Is Central PA ready for an EMP blast?

According to an article by the Patriot News yesterday, and by Cumberland County officials we’re not.

They go on to say a little more about the entire scenario and paint actually a pretty dismal picture.

Here’s a bit of what they said, head on over to read the full article, then come back and read my comments below:

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A nature-induced, geomagnetic solar superstorm, or an enemy bomb that’s designed to go above the atmosphere, could release gamma rays that spread over a region and knock out electrons.Microchips would fry and electric grids would collapse within a nanosecond, or a billionth of a second. Without electricity and all the services that depend on it, between 66-99 percent of the population would be dead within the year.Only the rugged individualist — and those who stockpile a two-year food supply — would survive.

Sitting back and thinking about this (which yes, I have thought about it), it really is pretty bad if we were to get hit with either a cyber attack a monster solar flare or an EMP or large weapon attack.  No one really sits back and thinks about what happens and/or what is affected.

Let’s look at it.

Water, power, emergency services, emergency operations, radio, TV, cellular, automotive, traffic signals, banks, grocery stores, refrigeration, plumbing, sewer, everything, relies on electricity and an available power grid.  If something were to take down a power grid, or if someone were able to some how interrupt those services, there would be mass chaos.

Look at New York City during the black out a few years back when a large chunk of the NorthEastern Seaboard went black.  People stuck in elevators, elderly people in apartment complexes with no way to get out, or to get back into their homes if they were out.

Emergency power only lasts so long.  Hospitals have a requirement to maintain and they’d be fine for a while, at least until the fuel ran out and they had no way of getting more.  Services would be cut to a minimum, more people would be coming in because of accidents or injuries caused by the loss of everything, but there’s a lot of places that only have a few hours of backup power.

Let’s look at groceries, most grocers only stock a few days of fresh food.  Look at here in Central PA, when a big snow storm is predicted, the shelves empty almost magically of milk, bread and eggs.  Wow, there’d be a lot of french toast.  But if something like this would happen, those shelves would be a lot more empty than eggs, toast and milk.  Water, vegetables, canned goods, and MANY other items would be gone.  Not only would grocery stores but hardware stores, electronics stores, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, gun shops and many other places would soon empty out.  Regardless if the items taken or purchased would be worthless without electricity.

Most fire, police and emergency services do also have backup services, but even those would eventually run out.  Without power fuel pumps would not be able to provide fuel.  Without electric, most water systems wouldn’t be able to route water to where it’s necessary such as to fire suppression systems.  Emergency services radio towers would go dark fast leaving short distance radio to radio communications.

A lot of services would have to rely on foot patrols, horses, bicycles, stored fuel and other ways of getting around to verify that things are being taken care of.

This is a worst case scenario as some of you may be thinking, but, it is possible for it to happen.

As they say in the article, only rugged individuals or survivalists would survive and a large portion of the population would be dead within the first year.  I don’t think I agree with the 66-99 percent like they are estimating, but I do believe that a large portion would die either from starvation, accidents, lack of medications, gangs, infighting, heart attacks, lack of life support services.  I’d estimate a good 70-75 percent.  But there are a number of individuals (some of whom may surprise you) that live both in the city as well as the country/mountains that would make it through.

Those of us that have the capability to garden, repair machines, build housing or repair housing, doctors and medics, etc.  I think would survive.  Well, at least I’d hope we would.  I think there would be a lot of  people coming together to not only survive but to thrive as a new community would come around.

I don’t know, maybe I’ve seen one too many disaster movies.  But I’d like to think that there’s a few people out there that would be able to do some good in a time of disaster.

Either way, what do you think?

Am I a whack job?  Am I just over thinking something that’s been said?

Who knows, but if the CIA and other government agencies are talking about it, there’s gotta be some truth to it.


~ by Normanomicon on October 28, 2010.

One Response to “Is Central PA ready for an EMP blast?”

  1. Oh You are NOT a whackjob! This is something I’ve been warning my friends and family about for a couple years. Some Wireless companies have plans in place on how to react. My employer is one that takes this threat seriously. Check out the earthquake and disaster-proof brown buildings at the base of some cellsites. The equipment is protected. Most sites have batteries generators that can keep the site going for several days.
    An EMP strike by an enemy would cause damage to a specific geographic area, while a naturally occuring EMP would be much worse. Humanity WILL survive, but the days following will be just awful. Cars will not start, gas stations will not be able to sell gas because electric pumps won’t work, the same with water treatment. Communications systems will fail, phone, tv, radio.

    It just makes sense to have an emergency or disaster plan in place for your family regardless of the situation.
    -Two week supply of food – not that difficult
    -Two week supply of water – cheap
    -CB Radios with little magnet antennas, walkie talkies, batteries, stored in an old microwave oven, in your basement or shed.


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