Five Ways to Prepare for an EMP Attack

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

In a recent Op-Ed, former CIA Director James Woolsey describes how North Korea could launch an attack that would result in the deaths of 90% of Americans.

Yes, you read that right. Ninety percent.

North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are well documented. And it’s no secret that many nations — including the U.S. — are watching them closely.

But North Korea is undeterred. In fact, a top North Korean defector and former diplomat asserts that Kim Jong Un not only will not give up his nuclear pursuits, but he also would not hesitate to use his nuclear capabilities if he felt his country were threatened by a foreign power.

According to Woolsey, North Korea could potentially launch an electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack against the U.S. An EMP attack is when nuclear explosions create a burst of electromagnetic radiation that produces harmful voltage surges. Electronic devices and electrical systems nationwide would be fried. The effects would be devastating.

Now, the big debate in the survival world is how many electronic devices would actually be ruined. No one is 100% sure which devices would be destroyed and which ones would survive. However, everyone agrees that a successful EMP attack could send the U.S. back to the Stone Age.

In fact, Woolsey believes this type of attack would cause society to collapse, leading to a high number of American casualties. Unfortunately, until it happens, no one really knows how bad an EMP attack could be.

That said, I believe it’s always important to be as prepared as you can be, so here are some things to consider in case of an EMP attack:

  1. Food Storage — I realize this is something I’ve gone over before — for several different types of emergencies — but I want to make a critical point: If an EMP strike occurs, food supplies will be decimated. And if that happens, not only will you need food for your family, but food will also be a great bartering item to trade for other provisions you might not have. Just another reason I strongly encourage you to build up your food storage now. I can’t stress enough how important this is, because a well-stocked larder serves many purposes.
  1. Batteries and Battery-Operated Devices — There is a better chance that battery-operated electronics won’t be ruined by an EMP, so get yourself a battery-operated lantern and survival radio to keep you out of the dark and connected to the outside world. And an EMP won’t affect batteries by themselves, since they’re not part of a circuit, so be sure to add plenty to your emergency storage.
  1. Build a Faraday Cage — A Faraday cage (named after the English scientist Michael Faraday) is basically a metal box designed to protect the items inside from an EMP — although its effectiveness depends on the magnitude of the strike. These boxes can be made from old microwaves, metal filing cabinets — even ammo cans — insulated with cardboard and wrapped in foil for added protection.
  1. Hand Tools — What happens if you plug in your electric can opener to your generator and — nothing? The fact is ANY electronic device is potentially vulnerable to an EMP attack. So make sure you have a manual can opener along with other basic hand tools, such as a staple gun, a handsaw and several kinds of screwdrivers.
  1. Communications — Since an EMP will affect cellphones and other communication devices, I recommend having a two-way radio as a backup. Two-way radios would be the best way to contact nearby family and friends during an emergency. Testing has shown they are resistant to EMPs up to very high levels, but it still might be a good idea to store them in your Faraday cage — just in case. And don’t forget to stock up on extra batteries!

The scary thing is no one really knows how bad an EMP attack could be — or how long the effects might last. It’s just another threat we must prepare for and hope never comes to pass.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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