So What Will You Do When the EMP Hits?

by | Mar 29, 2019 |

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With the recent Executive Order signed by President Trump addressing the threat from an Electro-Magnetic-Pulse attack (EMP) from one of our enemies, it’s probably a good idea for us to consider how such a major event would impact each of us personally.

We know that our enemies in Russian, China, and especially the Islamic Republic of Iran are feverishly working to develop this capability. Iran has repeatedly called for the destruction of “the great Satan”. Their religious fanaticism poses a threat not only to the United States, but to the entire world. And they have already shown a willingness to share their technological developments with others, perhaps even more fanatical than Iran is.

Certainly an EMP attack isn’t the only concern. The New Madrid Fault in southern Missouri could rear its ugly head and unleash another massive earthquake in the heartland, or for that matter the San Andreas Fault in California could create havoc and chaos along much of the west coast. And we have seen recently what a major hurricane can do in Puerto Rico, disrupting essential services and causing hardships to Puerto Ricans for months.

The damage caused by an EMP attack could cause such far reaching and much longer lasting damage to our infrastructure and our nation’s ability to be responsive to the needs of its citizens, that it must be viewed as a potentially catastrophic event for our entire nation.

If an EMP attack takes down our electrical grid it won’t be just an annoyance that many in the Midwest experience for a few hours every time a thunderstorm passes through that knocks out the power to our homes, normally for just a few hours. An EMP attack could destroy our entire electrical infrastructure causing long term electrical power outages that may last for months, or even longer. All of our personal vehicles, in fact our entire transportation system may also be severely impacted, reducing us to horse-drawn carts at best.

So what will you do when an EMP or massive natural disaster occurs? Are you prepared to fend for yourself as Americans once did in the past before we looked to government to solve all of our problems and take care of us? How long can you do so until some semblance of order is restored? If you’re not able to provide for yourself and your loved ones for at least two weeks then you are woefully unprepared and likely won’t survive.  It will take a minimum of two weeks for the government just to begin to complete an assessment of what they need to do to even start to respond.

So what do Americans need to do for themselves to prepare so that they have a better chance to make it through what certainly will be some difficult times? Undoubtedly the most difficult times that our nation has ever been confronted with.

First prepare by stocking food and water supplies in your home. You’re probably going to need a minimum of two bottles of drinking water per person, per day just to stay hydrated and able to function and think clearly. Find a place in your home where you can store enough water for you and your loved ones for at least two weeks, if not longer. You can rotate the stored cases of water with water you are consuming, replacing each stored case as you use it so that you always have a couple of weeks on hand.

If you are able to collect rainwater into a good-sized rain barrel then do so. It will come in handy for personal hygiene. The same with every one gallon milk jug. Fill them with water and store them. They won’t be suitable for drinking after sitting for any length of time, but toilets generally operate on the theory of gravity. Water will flow to its lowest level so many toilets can still be flushed even though there’s no electricity, or the water service has ceased to operate. It takes roughly two milk jugs to fill the toilet tank and flush the bowl. This water can also be used to wash dishes, as well as for personal hygiene. Also locate your water lines in your residence. They can be tapped into and collected in containers and will supply for some of your water needs as well.

Any water you use for cleaning needs to be collected for reuse in flushing toilets. Bathe in a wash tub or something similar so that the water doesn’t escape and can be used again. It might not look sparkling clean like the Tidy Bowl Man at work, but it’ll do the job.

The same thing with food. Dry goods and canned goods can last a long time. Stockpile enough to cover the needs of your family. There are food products designed for emergencies that one can find and purchase on the internet. Just use caution before spending any money on them until you have researched them fully.

And let’s not forget about our furry family members. Many of us have pets at home that will also require a supply of food to get them through a lengthy national emergency when dog or cat food will not be available. They are a huge part of the family and we need to think of them when making our emergency preparations.

Many of us take prescription medications to provide a better quality of life, or even for our very survival. Once the electrical grid goes down how is the local pharmacy going to receive the regular shipments of drugs from the pharmaceutical manufacturers when the orders can no longer be placed via computer or telephone? The short answer is they won’t.

If it’s not possible to maintain at least a three month supply of medicines from your doctor and pharmacist, then there are books as well as on-line Internet sites that can provide one with information about plants and other things which occur in nature that can provide some of the essential medicinal needs people might have. Plan ahead.

It’s also important to have a family plan in place that everyone is familiar with since they may not be at home when an attack happens. Plan ahead as a family on what you are going to do, where you’re going to go, and how you will eventually be reunited if the time ever comes. A natural response will be to try to leave the home in a desperate attempt to find loved ones. Likely to be unsuccessful and will even place the searchers at great risk. If you’ve planned ahead of time you’ll have a sense of some relief knowing that your loved one is following the plan you have put in place, and is somewhere safe and making plans to get home.

And finally one must prepare for the inevitable predators who will be out in force, people who made no preparations themselves and who are desperate to survive. They will be out looking to take from those who have survival supplies at home. That’s why one must prepare by having guns and ammunition available in the home for personal and family protection.

The police likely are not going to be able to respond to provide protection, so Americans will be on their own for the most part.

Certainly this is not an all-encompassing list of things one might consider doing to prepare for any emergency, and I’m sure there are other ‘experts’ out there who will offer additional ideas. That’s all well and good but beware of scammers who just want to make a buck at your expense. 

Americans have faced many challenges throughout our history, and we have been able to overcome them all. Now that President Trump has brought attention to this threat with his executive order it’s our responsibility as citizens to make sure our elected officials work towards reducing our vulnerability to an EMP attack. It’s their job to serve and protect us, and not to just play politics with important issues! 

Del Wilber

Del is a former under cover employee of the Central Intelligence Agency serving overseas in Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East. He currently does consulting work in counterterrorism and writes columns, as well as appears as a guest on a number of programs.

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