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Are you prepared for an EMP attack?

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EMP attack

Electromagnetic pulse

Whether it is caused by a natural event or a man-made action, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event can have catastrophic consequences. Are you and your family prepared to manage a sudden EMP attack?

What is it?

An EMP is a strong burst of energy that can seriously disrupt life and destroy a variety of electronic devices. It can be caused by a natural event, such as a solar storm, or by a man-made strike in the form of a nuclear explosion.

A little history

In 1962, the United States detonated a thermonuclear weapon in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In Hawaii, about 900 miles away from the test site, burglar alarms went off, circuit breakers opened and Honolulu streetlights went out. This was when the public first became aware of an EMP event and its consequences.

What it can do

Power grids in the United States are vulnerable to ordinary disruptions such as those caused by high winds, and a potent EMP surge can be devastating. However, from power grids to cell phones, the extent of damage from an EMP event varies. Several factors are involved, beginning with the direction an electronic device is facing relative to the attack.

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The simpler, the better

How will an EMP event affect you? Older appliances with a more straightforward internal design will probably survive such an attack. For example, refrigerators, washers, and dryers with electromechanical motors will likely keep working. Because of the chemicals with which they are made, rechargeable batteries will also survive—unless they are connected to an electrical grid at the time of an attack. Solid-state components are affected by electromagnetic fields. Therefore, older electronics like CRT televisions and tube radios are more likely to stand up to an EMP assault. Power tools with electric motors will also survive unless connected through their chargers to an electrical grid that experiences a strong power surge. Unfortunately, due to their advanced electronics, most cars and trucks will not survive this kind of attack.

Develop a plan

Surviving the first few days is critical when a natural disaster such as a hurricane or long-lasting snowstorm occurs. Here are some suggestions to help you put together a survival plan if an EMP attack should occur:

  •       Get together with your family and devise a plan for managing an EMP attack. Everyone should know what to do, wherever they may be.
  •       Put together a stockpile of supplies such as water, food, medicine, and emergency items like flashlights, batteries, and a short-wave radio.
  •       It is a good idea to have alternative transportation modes available, such as bicycles, in case your vehicles no longer run after an EMP attack.
  •       If you are not at home during an EMP strike, find a safe place to shelter while you work out your next steps and how to get home.
  •       If your vehicle becomes inoperable, abandon it and start walking. First, head for the school or wherever your children are to take them home with you.
  •       If you can, stop to buy essential supplies to add to your stockpile.
  •       Once home, remain indoors to avoid panicked crowds that might develop.
  •       With your fire extinguisher at the ready, search your home carefully for any electrical fires the EMP event might have triggered.
  •       Check all electronics: some may still work, but others may not.

·       Important—remain calm. Take deep, even breaths to help you cope and execute your action plan.

The big picture

Experts believe that if the U.S. suffers any manufactured EMP assault, the event would likely be the forerunner of a more comprehensive nuclear attack. The military has been preparing for years since such an attack could seriously disrupt everything from the electrical grid and communications to wastewater systems and ordinary transportation. The U.S. Northern Command and the Northern American Aerospace Defense Command can work in facilities that can withstand an EMP event. One such facility is the Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station in Colorado Springs, CO.

Should it become necessary, the President of the United States will communicate with the American public through the National Public Warning System, likely with orders for us to follow. Here at Urban E-Recycling, we hope it never comes to that. But like you, we realize the best way to face a possible EMP attack is to have a plan and be prepared for the unexpected.

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