Of all of the major disasters to prepare for, perhaps none will be as difficult as an EMP attack or solar flare.
The biggest reason for this is simple: both an EMP attack and a solar flare would completely change life as we know it over the long term (as in, for several years), and furthermore, they would affect an exceptionally wide area (perhaps your entire country if not the entire world).
The reason we are discussing both solar flares and EMP attacks together in this article is because they would both have the very similar effect of knocking down the power grid and throwing our civilization back to the Stone Ages.
Let’s discuss both solar flares and EMP attacks in greater detail:
EMP, in case you didn’t know already, stands for electromagnetic pulse. It basically refers to a very quick and powerful burst of electromagnetic radiation.
The most common cause of an EMP attack would be a high energy explosion detonated in the atmosphere. The higher in the atmosphere the explosion was detonated, the wider the affected area.
The EMP would result in electronic devices failing across the country as the result of rapid and intense electrical surges that would fry electrical chips.
Why would an EMP attack happen in the United States (or anywhere else)? The answer is because if enemy countries or terrorist organizations wanted to deal a devastating blow to the United States, there’s no denying that an EMP attack would be one of the most devastating ways to do it.
Not only would the immediate aftermath of the EMP itself be devastating, but the United States is dramatically underprepared for EMP attacks and could take literally up to ten years, if not longer, to rebuild from it.
Let’s put it this way: if an EMP were to go off and affect the entire country or North American continent, you could expect life to change in each of the following ways:
- The power grid would go down across the entire country
- There would be no more heat and electricity
- ATMs, online banking, and credit/debit cards would be completely shut down
- The supply chain would stop and there would no longer be anything you could buy from stores. Bartering with other people would serve as the new way to exchange goods and services
- Sanitation standards would drop significantly
- There would no longer be internet, cell service, text messaging, emailing, or other forms of online communication
- The vast majority of vehicles would no longer work
Based on the above points, you can begin to get a hint of how life would change for you over the long term as the result of an EMP attack, and it would be that way for several years.
The effects of a solar flare would be very similar to those of an EMP attack. A solar flare is a burst of high-intensity radiation from the surface of the sun that could cause electromagnetic disturbances on Earth – such as affecting the power grid and frequency communications.
Solar flares happen all the time, but it’s very rare that they are strong and powerful enough to affect life on Earth. The most notable recorded solar flare event occurred in 1859 and was referred to as the Carrington Event.
A massive white solar flare, or magnetic explosion, occurred on the surface of the sun that completely disrupted telegraphs all over the world. Sparks even discharged from telegraph devices and caused them to have to be repaired or replaced later in order for them to function again. In addition, massive auroras in a variety of different colors painted the night sky and illuminated the Earth – so much so that it seemed as though it was daylight.
Suffice to say, had the Carrington Event happened today, it would no doubt have had the same effect as an EMP. Just because a solar flare event of the same severity hasn’t happened again yet, that doesn’t at all mean that it will never happen again in the future.
The point that you need to learn from what you have read is this:
Electromagnetic pulses are not necessarily man-made. They can and do happen naturally as well, which means that, like natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, they are disasters that we really have no control over.
Regardless of whether an EMP attack or a solar flare occurred, either would be truly devastating. Preparing is going to require you to prepare as if life was going to resort back to the nineteenth century.