What Is An EMP Attack and Why You Should Be Prepared

EMP attacks are a growing concern as the world has become completely reliant on technology and electronic devices. They can cause total blackouts by damaging power grids and cell towers. They can also cause widespread damage to electronic devices, including; computers, cell phones, TVs, and radios.

What is an EMP Attack?

emp caused by lightning

An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack is a sudden burst of electromagnetic energy that basically overloads capacitors causing short circuits and power surges. It can quickly disable or damage electronic equipment and the entire electric grid, with potentially devastating effects on our modern day society.

They can be caused naturally, like lightning strikes or solar flares. They can also be man-made, as in nuclear explosions, bombs, or EMP generators. A nuclear EMP occurs when a nuclear weapon is detonated high above the Earth’s surface.

EMPs can be small and targeted at specific buildings or affecting under a 1km radius. They can also be massive. If a nuclear EMP were to be set off several hundred km above the United States, it could potentially wipe out the power grid and communications networks for most of North America, with devastating consequences.

What Are The Consequences of An EMP Attack?

An EMP attack is a burst of electromagnetic energy that can disable (for an unknown amount of time) or destroy electronic equipment.

The effects of an EMP attack depend on the strength of the EMP and the distance from the blast. A strong EMP can damage or destroy electronic equipment over a wide area. A weak EMP may not cause any damage to electronic equipment.

EMP damage can be difficult, time consuming, and very expensive to repair. Meaning we would be without power, internet, and communication for a signficant amount of time. Governments, businesses, and individuals have been investing in protection to prepare for this kind of attack.

How Can An Electromagnetic Pulse Be Stopped?

We have no control over whether or not a pulse occurs, either naturally or deliberately. The only action you have is to prepare yourself, in case one does occur… or bury your head in the sand and hope for the best.

The best way to prepare yourself is have Faraday cages. A Faraday cage is an enclosure made of a conductive material that surrounds an electronic device. The cage absorbs the EMP and protects the device from being damaged.

How Can I Protect Myself From An EMP attack?

faraday bag

The best way to protect yourself from an EMP attack is to put your electronics inside a Faraday bag that will shield your devices from an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). A good bag provides 99.7% protection from electric fields, which should protect most items.

It doesn’t guarantee your devices will be protected but it is the best option.

You can also use nesting bags within your Faraday bag for additional protection. These are typically aluminum layered bags in multiple sizes that you put inside each other.

Who Is Most At Risk?

It is possible that an EMP could happen right next to you and you wouldn’t notice. Most do not hurt people as humans aren’t good conductors of electricity. Although at high levels of intensity (as in a Nuclear Bomb) it is possible and could cause damage at a cellular level and damage to the brain and nervous system.

In general, the effects of an EMP depend on the specific characteristics of the attack. However, some groups of people who might be considered more at risk include:

    • People with pacemakers
    • People dependent on respirators
    • Those who require other life-sustaining equipment

What Are The Signs of One?

You can’t smell, see, or hear a blast. You likely wouldn’t be able to feel it. However, you will definitely be able to see the effects of it.

    1. A sudden power outage that affects a large geographic area and lasts for an extended period of time.
    2. You lose your cell signal, radio, internet, and use of all electronic devices. It’s possible your car (or its electronics) could stop working.
    3. Utter chaos.

What Should I Do One Occurs?

If an EMP attack occurs, the first thing you should do is stay calm. It’s likely there’s not much you can do at this point but hope it is only temporary. Try and find a battery operated radio and hope it works.

The best way to deal with an EMP attack is to prepare for one ahead of time in order to protect your electronics and be ready to function without power, internet, bank cards, or communication technology.

What Is The Government Doing?

harden critical infrastructure against EMP effects

Emp attacks can pose a threat to national security, as they can be used to disable military systems. The government is taking a number of steps to protect against EMP attacks. One key step is to harden critical infrastructure against one.

This includes ensuring that critical infrastructure is protected from electromagnetic pulses, whether from natural causes or man-made sources.

The government is also working to increase public awareness of the threat of EMP attacks and to educate people on how to protect themselves and their families in the event of an attack.

Which Electronics Would Be Affected?

nuclear weapon

Anything electronic can be damaged or destroyed. This includes;

    • Cell phones, landlines
    • Computers, tablets, laptops
    • TVs, radios, fridges
    • Electric Vehicles, Electronics in vehicles
    • Aircraft control systems
    • Power grid transformers
    • Satellites and cell towers
    • Generators
    • Radar
    • Hospital equipment
    • Critical infrastructure (water systems, banking, etc)

 

Wrapping It Up

Emp attacks can be carried out using a variety of devices, including EMP weapons, improvised EMP devices, and natural EMP phenomena. They can cause a wide range of effects, from temporary disruption of electronic equipment to permanent damage. They can have a significant impact on critical infrastructure, such as the power grid, transportation systems, and financial networks.

They are a growing concern as the use of electronic devices and systems increases. There is no sure way to prevent EMP attacks, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk. The best way to protect against EMP attacks is to store your electronics in Faraday bags and have a backup plan for power and communication.

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