Author’s Note: Before reading this article, I want to be perfectly clear that my objective is not to “freak you out.” Mental Preparedness comes more readily when we allow ourselves to mentally picture scenarios and then allow our brain to strategically work on solving the anticipated problems. I hope this article does that for you today.
do so while we are gathered all comfy and cozy in our homes. If I was a nefarious terrorist, I would plan an EMP strike for a freezing snowy winter day affecting most of the country AND during a late time of day that would most affect rush hour. To add to that timing, I would plan it to occur while Congress was out of session for the Christmas break. That would be a true formula for chaos.
Our autos and other modes of transportation will be the most noticeable initial casualty as the result of an EMP strike. Just think what would happen if you were commuting home on the freeway and all of the sudden your vehicle, as well as all of the other cars around you, had all of their electronics stop functioning. The power steering would go out. The power brakes would go out. And like a synchronized swimming team, all of the autos that were made after 1970 would simple stop operating. Sure they might travel another few feet—until they slammed into another car that suddenly stopped operating. Imagine this scene on your jam packed freeway on the way home from work or while running errands. Now picture that scene duplicated throughout thousands upon thousands of bustling cities throughout the country.
Keeping in line with the disruption of transportation, planes will fall from the sky as their electronics completely fail them. At any given time there are well over 5,000 non-military airplanes over the air space of the U.S. Boeing estimates that one of their 737’s take off or land every 4.9 seconds, although that’s for the world, not just the U.S. Boeing states that they have over 1.5 million planes in the air at all times of the day. Even without that, picture being one of the casualties stranded in the O’Hare or JFK Airport with no lights, no food, and no way to get out of town to your family.
The second part of this impact will be painfully felt in our modes of communication. Your cell phone will be completely useless for anything other than a paper weight. Your car radio will not function or provide you with any information to figure out what went wrong. Regardless of the abundance of injuries that will take place all over the nation, no ambulance, tow truck or life flight will be available to heed your call for help.
The third largest impact that you will notice is in the availability, or rather LACK of available medical care. If you can hobble your way to a hospital from the site of the freeway catastrophe, you will inevitably find the facilities in chaos, overflowing with panicked patients and medical personnel. Their backup generators will be useless in most cases as they typically operate with some electronics. The medical supplies such as bandages and medicine will be exhausted within a couple of hours, not to mention the medical staff. Can you imagine being in the middle of a life-saving surgery and suddenly have the power go off without even so much as a warning beep?
How to be prepared for an EMP
So, what do you do to be prepared? First of all, have your auto supplied with preparedness tools: first aid, water, coat, some food, etc. Be sure that you have a reliable pair of shoes—especially you ladies. Heels are great for partying in, but they make it pretty darn hard to hike in the snow 15 miles should a survival scenario come up. In addition to the obvious tools in your car, you MUST be prepared to defend yourself as well. Violence and desperation will reign supreme in such an environment. There’s no need to be a sitting duck, folks. Act quickly and decisively. When you’ve lost access to communication or news and your cars have suddenly stopped, you will KNOW it’s an EMP folks. Don’t wait around to deliberate with fellow travelers. Get to where you need to be ASAP.
Have a prearranged plan with your loved ones of where to meet in the event of trouble. At least this way your spouse or family and friends will have some peace of mind knowing that you will try to get to that location. Panic is not your friend in an emergency. Peace of mind is, even if it’s challenged by some “what if” scenarios.
Maintaining physical strength isn’t about being able to run a marathon for most people. But everyone’s physical strength will be tested in an EMP scenario. The simple act of getting a glass of water will require work. Flour for a loaf of bread will require arm muscles. Going to the bathroom will require full consciousness. :) That may not daunt some of you, but keep in mind that you may need to cover longer distances than between your house and the outhouse. Thus having working bikes and wagons you can tow on them may be a lifesaver.
Familiarizing yourself with basic medical care such as breaks, sprains, deep cuts, rashes, colds, and flu will also be important. While an EMP won’t send us back to the 19th century in all regards, it certainly would in terms of medical care. We need to take some of the responsibility for self-reliance in this area.
Again, I hope I’ve given you just a few things to think about today. I also really liked how the books “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank, and “One Second After” by William Fortschen helped me through some mental preparedness in this exact type of scenario. If you allow your mind to think about and mentally participate in such scenarios, you’ll have a more sound Mental Preparedness to solve the problems in comfort now, rather than in chaos later.