9 Mind Bending Effects of a Grid Collapsing EMP The EMP is always out there. The terrifying reality of what could happen to our great nation if thrust into a world without power. Its not a pretty sight. With North Korean satellites positioning themselves over American its hard to not be a bit concerned about …
Dangerous Threats You Haven’t Thought To Prepare For For a person who is preparing for the basics of preparedness this article takes you down a path of the more terrifying threats we face. What are you truly preparing for. Though we all want to hit as many buckets with our preps as possible I think …
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Affordable Vehicles That Can Survive an EMP This is a great article that offers such good information that it surprised me. We all know about the perils of the EMP. We understand that it has the ability to launch us back to the 1800’s if it hits on target. That’s terrifying enough. The fiction on …
North Korea Prepping EMP Catastrophe Aimed At U.S. Homefront In 2012 I was playing a video game called Homefront. It was one of the best stories I have ever played. America was hit by a high altitude EMP attack by North Korea. They then launched a full scale attack on a crippled military and desperate …
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What Is An EMP?
An EMP, also sometimes called a Transient Electromagnetic Disturbance, is a brief burst of electromagnetic energy. Most people know that an EMP can damage electronic devices, but it can also do physical damage. For example, a bolt of lightning is actually a side-effect from an EMP. If you have ever seen a tree after being struck by lightning, you know how destructive this force can be.
There are times that EMPs can come from outside the earth’s atmosphere. It is possible for a meteor to hit our atmosphere and cause a pulse when it breaks apart. The sun can also produce EMPs as gases explode outward from the surface. These are called solar flares and they happen all the time. Major flares are the ones that can do real damage.
Nuclear EMPs are generated both as a primary EMP resulting from the blast and a secondary EMP resulting from ionizing the surrounding air. As the electrons are ripped from the atoms and then reattached, another pulse is emitted. A normal nuclear bomb produces an EMP, but a NEMP (nuclear EMP) is specifically designed to do its primary damage through the pulse and not the blast.
HEMPs are high altitude blasts that work a bit differently. They flood the stratosphere with gamma rays that ionize atoms. As these atoms react with the earth’s gravity, it creates a much stronger pulse than a ground level blast. These could easily take down a 700 mile radius disabling about half of the United States with one bomb.
NNEMPs or non-nuclear EMPs generate the pulse without using nuclear material. These devices serve a very specific purpose as they have a small radius of effectiveness but allow the user to target a defined area. They are ideal for taking out ground vehicles and aircrafts. They do still require a chemical explosion and can be delivered via missile or drone.
So what will happen after an EMP? Pure chaos is likely. EMPs create surges in current and voltage in all electronic components. This means cell phones, televisions, radios, computers, cars, trains, and planes would all go down because of the computers built into these devices. The electrical grid would be permanently fried so it would take months or years to get the power back on.
No power means no running water, no refrigeration, no A/C or heat, no lights, no communication, and no access to your funds in the bank. It would literally send us back to the stone-age, and most people would not know how to survive for more than a few days. Out of desperation, hordes of people would take to the streets looting and stealing any supplies they can find.
The threat goes further than just panic. Prisons would shut down and inmates would likely escape. With the police down for the count, criminals would do what they please. The violence would be severe. Hospitals and nursing homes would shut down and people would start dying as their breathing machines and other devices power down. Without vital prescriptions, many more would die in the coming days and weeks.
It is estimated that as many as 500,000 people would die in the first hour due to planes crashing. Without power, every aircraft in the sky would fall to the ground or glide into buildings killing almost everybody on board. Many people on the ground would die as well when these flights plow into populated areas.
Elevators would be a death trap as they freeze in place. Those inside would be in complete darkness and would have to try and find a way out before dying of dehydration. Anybody living near nuclear plants would be in trouble as well. As the backup generators get fried, these plants would melt down releasing large amounts of radiation. They would kill anybody downwind of the plant. There are 99 nuclear reactors located in the US.
Another risk is being on a highway during the pulse. Cars going 70 MPH would lose their power steering, but would keep rolling until they come to a stop. Many vehicles would run into oncoming traffic or would coast off the edge of the road. Some would hit other cars doing major damage. Those in tunnels would be in complete darkness as well, so they would really be in trouble.
Cholera would likely become a problem within the first few weeks. Cholera is caused by people drinking tainted water. With no power, water filtration plants would go down. Humans can only survive for three days without water. When day three rolls around people will start drinking whatever water they can find. This disease will likely kill more Americans than any other aspect of an EMP event.
One of the most widespread issues in this scenario is getting to your children. Many parents work 20 or more miles from home or from their child’s school. With all transportation coming to a halt, parents would have to hike to their kids and hope their teacher stuck around despite having a family of their own.
Protected Devices And Faraday Cages
What devices would not be affected? The short answer is that any electronic device could be susceptible. However, small devices may not have enough wiring to draw damage from a pulse. It all depends on the strength of the pulse. Also I have heard that auto manufacturers protect some of the vehicle’s components against EMPs, but you cannot bank on any vehicle being 100% protected.
The only reliable way to protect anything electrical is a faraday cage. Faraday cages are enclosures made of either solid metal or wire. In the event of an EMP the pulse would travel around the cage and not through it leaving electronics unharmed. These devices must be unplugged for this to work. I have seen faraday cages as large as a room and as small as a purse.
For the smallest versions you can purchase one online for items like cell phones, radios, flashlights, solar chargers, and inverters. With any sized faraday cage, there must be a layer of non-conductive material inside the cage but surrounding each item. This could be cardboard, Styrofoam, plastic, or even paper.
For mid-sized cages a metal filing cabinet or metal swing-door cabinet work well. These give you plenty of space for smaller items, but there is also room for slightly larger things like small generators, solar panels, or medical equipment. One way to finish off your cage is to line the inside with sheets of foam insulation or cardboard.
For the largest cages you can line a room with sheet-metal or build an actual cage. The cage can be made from any conductive material so rebar or exposed copper wiring works well. A large enough faraday cage can protect an entire household’s electronics including a vehicle in some cases. Do not forget that you still must surround the items with a non-conductive material.
The Big Picture
An EMP event is getting more and more likely, and the government knows it. The EMP commission report submitted to congress in 2004 indicated that 9 out of 10 Americans would die in the two years following a pulse. Furthermore, millions would die in just the first few weeks. If the mainland United States is ever attacked, this would likely be the first move.
What are the long term consequences? A major EMP strike could shut down US power for 10 years. The entire grid would have to be rebuilt. It would cost the United States over $2 trillion in just the first year. In addition, it would leave the US susceptible to mainland attack. Without our jets, Humvees, helicopters, missiles, and ships we would be at a great disadvantage.
The craziness of all this is how simple the solution could be. For a mere $2 billion the US government could retrofit most of the grid to protect against an EMP blast. I know that sounds like a great deal of money, but it is only .1% of the $2 trillion that would be spent in the first year after the blast. Despite how likely it is that this will happen, the government has no intention of doing the work to protect us all.
The only advantage that the survivalists and preppers will have is that we will know what has happened when it happens. While other people are trying to call 911 or trying to finish their day at the office, we will be gathering supplies and bugging out or bugging in. While others are running around confused, we will setting up security and gathering our families. We will be ready.
Is that enough? Definitely not. Action needs to be taken on a larger scale to protect against this problem. If congress has known about this threat since 2004, then there is no excuse for our lack of preparation. It is just a matter of time before another country takes advantage of our weakness. I truly hope there will still be a United States after the dust settles.
The post The Day The Electronics Died: What Happens After An EMP appeared first on Survival Sullivan.
Do Faraday bags work? I purchased some Faraday bags to protect a batch of handheld electronics. Faraday bags are designed to block radio wave transmissions and act as an insulator to protect against electronic currents. Federal agencies and local law enforcement officers use them to protect information and [...]
Clearly, many are concerned with the vulnerability of the US power grid, so much so that in 2015 there was a virtual war game, called GridEx III, that tested the strength of the power grid and the preparedness of stakeholders in such situations. But just how safe is the US power grid? Before we look at the threats to the power grid, let’s take a look at what would happen if the grid went down.
The Reality of Grid-Down
I will wager that many, if not most of you have considered what life would be like without a functioning power grid. If you haven’t, now is the time to give it some serious consideration—and believe me, not having internet would be the least of your worries.
There are over 50,000 electrical substations in the US, yet the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has said that it would only take strategically knocking out nine of the system’s stations, as well as taking out one manufacturer of transformers, to plunge the country into total darkness for over 18 months. Without electricity, you would not be able to:
- Use ATM machines or get money from the bank
- Get gas from a gas station
- Watch television
- Listen to the radio (even if you have a battery-operated radio, the radio stations need power to transmit)
- Make purchases at stores (they would close down)
- Use your refrigerator
- Work (chances are your job depends on electricity)
- Send your kids to school
- Get medicine
- Get clean water from your taps
- Use the hospitals (maybe for a short time, until they can no longer run their generators)
- Heat your home in the winter
This list gives me the shivers. It is a wakeup call to what we would face if the power grid was taken down. But what are the threats to the power grid?
There are a number of natural threats to the power grid, some of which are common place and others that occur less frequently. These include:
This is certainly one of the most common threats to the power grid. It is also one of the least catastrophic. When weather events affect the power grid, it is generally over a limited geographic area and usually the situation is resolved within hours, although sometimes it takes days or weeks, depending on the severity of the event. After all, weather-related outages and damage to the grid can be severe if the event is severe enough, such as a large winter storm or powerful hurricane. Still, we usually bounce back easily enough.
Earthquakes also threaten the stability of the power grid, but again this is generally over a limited geographic area and the damage can be resolved relatively quickly.
Believe it or not, a lot of money is spent every year on repairing the power grid due to damage from squirrels! Industry insiders have commented that squirrels are the biggest problem faced by the power grid. These little critters chew on the wires and get electrocuted in the transformers, causing an immense amount of damage.
One natural event stands out as having the capability to do some real damage—geomagnetic storms. A strong geomagnetic storm can generate an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strong enough to wipe out the power grid and fry electronics. One such storm affected the power grid in Quebec in 1989 and a large portion of the province was blacked out for nine hours. An even larger geomagnetic storm occurred in 1859, causing auroras that were seen all over the world and damaging telegraph systems across North America and Europe. If this magnitude of storm happened today, it could cause massive power grid failure and disruption in communications.
There are quite a few manmade threats to the US power grid and they run a much higher risk of causing widespread and devastating damage. It is these threats that cause the most concern when it comes to the vulnerability of the power grid and these threats are very real. According to USA Today’s analysis of federal energy records, there is a cyberattack or physical attack on the US power grid once every four hours. That’s crazy! Potential manmade attacks are as follows:
Yes, an EMP is a threat from human beings, as well as the sun. Any terrorist or enemy government could wipe out the US power grid by creating an EMP. All it would take would be for the attacker to detonate a nuclear device at a high altitude over the continental US, which would generate an EMP that would damage or destroy the electrical grid. North Korea is now believed to have this capability.
Physical attacks on the power grid can come in many forms and they occur far more often than you might realize. It is common to have physical attacks on substations around the US and the majority of these substations are virtually unprotected. They are surrounded by a chain-link fence and many do not even have security cameras or systems in place. For those stations that do have alarms, the alarm is often unheeded when they are tripped.
In 2015, the Bakersfield, California substation suffered an attack in which wires were cut and the perpetrators got away. In 2013, gunmen attacked a PG&E Metcalf power facility not far from San Jose, California. It is believed they were terrorists and they escaped. A total of 17 transformers were disabled, nearly causing a blackout in Silicon Valley. The Metcalf substation was attacked again in 2014, with a lot of damage done and 14 alarms triggered. No one responded to the alarms.
In addition to on-the-ground attacks, aerial attacks are also a concern. In 2014 in Quebec, Canada, there was an aerial attack on two of Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie’s major power lines. The man piloting the small plane was charged with dropping objects on the power lines, which caused them to short out. This affected 188,000 customers, who went hours without electricity.
The concern of aerial attacks is even more serious now that drone technology is becoming more and more advanced. It would not be difficult to conduct a coordinated attack consisting of multiple drones dropping explosives on power stations and substations. That, combined with on-the-ground bombings, would be devastating to the US power grid and it is an all-to-real threat that terrorists or extremist groups could pull off.
The US power grid is also vulnerable to cyberattacks. That means the system can be hacked and brought down remotely. China and Russia have the capability to accomplish this. It is possible that North Korea and Iran do, as well. This type of attack was unleashed on the Ukrainian power grid in December of 2015. Ukraine’s power system was hacked and seven substations were taken offline for three hours, affecting 80,000 customers.
According to Ted Koppel, at this point it is possible for terrorist groups like ISIS to possess the financial means to hire the people skilled enough to conduct an attack of this nature and the necessary equipment is easily bought. Not only that, but as the US power grid is updated with the latest in digital and Smart technology, it becomes more and more vulnerable to cyberattack. The grid is also now connected to the Internet and the Cloud, increasing its vulnerability.
Why Isn’t the Grid More Secure?
There are measures that must be taken to ensure the US power grid is more secure. However, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) can mandate methods for increasing the security of the nation’s power grid, the June 2015 report from Congress stated, “FERC still asserts that it does not have the authority to act quickly in the event of a major cyber event.”
FERC absolutely must begin to coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security and other regulatory and security agencies to improve grid security before an attack even happens. While it seems with the virtual war games conducted last year, they are beginning to take the threat to the power grid more seriously, it simply isn’t enough.
Perhaps it isn’t easy to convince people to take it serious when some industry insiders believe the biggest threat to the security of the power grid is squirrels. And if you live in Canada and think it’s not an issue for you, think again. The Canadian and US power grids are connected and if the US is affected, Canada will be, too. This isn’t just a problem for the US; it is a North American problem.
We all know that most vehicles will not survive an EMP attack. The ones that will survive will either be really old vehicles or ones that have been modified to survive an attack. These EMP ready vehicles will have been rigged up ahead of time to make sure that when an attack did happen, they were ready. Here’s a list of some that will survive and can be modified to survive an attack:
- Toyota 4×4 Trucks 1985-and earlier – The keys that make these types of trucks EMP ready are they solid front axle and a carbureted 22R motor. It’s a simple setup, but when it comes to withstanding a pulse, these will do it. And the best part is, these trucks are known to perform better under pressure.
- American made Pre-1980 trucks, SUVS, and commercial vehicles – American truck motors were built very simple pre 1980. When it comes to choosing the right type of truck to use after an EMP, follow this rule of thumb: The simpler the motor, the better. American trucks can withstand and handle the duty of a bug out vehicle.
- Dune Buggy – These are not on fun, but they are awesome bug out vehicles that will withstand an EMP.
- Pre-1980 Jeep – Jeeps are iconic for survival. They will make great bug out vehicles and can double as daily duty vehicles.
- Pre- 1980 Land Rover – Like the Jeep, Land Rovers have their place in the survival game and for a reason. They are efficient and they can handle off road situations when getting you from point A to point B.
Dirt Bikes and Off Road Motorcycles
Certain types of motorcycles may survive an EMP. Those would be the off road kind, those designed to trek through the back country and over rough terrain. Motorcycles are excellent choices for surviving an attack. If you plan to use a motorcycle for a SHTF type of situation, chose one that is definitely off road and one that can be converted to diesel. Converting a motorcycle to a diesel and using it as a survival vehicle is highly recommended. A couple of favorites among preppers are the Kawasaki KLR 650 and the ROKON 2×2. The Kawasaki can be converted to fit your needs. The ROKON is a bike that is design to go everywhere and do almost everything. It’s designed to handle everything from escaping to scouting.
Solar Panels – Solar panels absorb nuclear radiation from the sun on a daily basis. An EMP will only affect these slightly. They’ll suffer a small decrease in power output. They’ll still be able to power. If your home or bug out shelter is powered by solar panels, you can rest easy knowing that an EMP will not wipe out your power source.
People – We put people on the list because overall humans as a whole are unaffected by EMPS. However, some will not as seen in the list below of things that will not survive.
Any device (including means of transportation) that is mechanical. I.e. mechanical watches.
What Won’t Survive
The Main Power Grid – The main reason why enemies launch an EMP attack is to disable the power grid. Without power, there’s no computers to maintain the military defense system, there’s no communication between law enforcement or emergency personnel and without power and communication, the land is sure to descend into chaos.
Shutting down the main grid, puts everyone in the dark. Literally. Radio darkness occurs, causing confusion and panic everywhere. Without some type of emergency generators of some kind, if the EMP attack is bad enough, it could cripple the affected area for a very long time and thus give an enemy the upper hand.
Most Cars- This is a known fact that most modern cars will not survive an EMP attack. The sad part about newer and smarter cars is that once an enemy decides to launch an attack, these smart cars will be useless. The super-efficient computers that manufacturers boast about now will be useless to their owners once a pulse has been unleashed. If you have a car that is computerized in any shape or form, it will not work.
If your car has any of the following features, an EMP will render it useless: electronic fuel injection, anything computerized that controls your vehicles main systems, a PCM also called a powertrain control module, ABS (Anti-locking Brake Systems) electronic ignition or keyless ignition, or a negative battery terminal that is grounded to the vehicle frame.
Eco-Friendly Electric/and Hybrid Cars – Electric? Forget about it.
Upgraded Computerized Motorcycles – We love our Harley’s and our touring bikes, but if you have a motorcycle that is computerized and 21st century fancy, you can forget about getting the heck outta dodge on it when an attack happens.
Homes that are computer operated – In the 21st century we have all these great new and innovative home appliances. They call them appliances for the home of tomorrow! You must admit, some of those gadgets are pretty cool. The touch screen refrigerator or the voice activated oven. They’re cool, but will they survive an EMP attack? Most likely not. Why?
Because of the solid state components that they’re made up of. These “smart homes” may be smart and innovative but they’ll be shut completely down during an attack. Can you imagine spending all your prepping budget to build a smart computerized home, only to fall victim to an EMP attack and get stuck inside your house?
Computers –These are a given. Computers are getting faster and more complex these days but they cannot withstand an attack by an electromagnetic pulse. Most of us are aware that you can’t put a magnet on a laptop because it’ll mess up the hard drive. Likewise, just imagine what will happen when a gigantic magnetic wave hits the region. Everything computerized within the affected area will flat line.
People with pacemakers – It’s a sad truth. The electromagnetic pulse that is released during an attack would no doubt kill a person with a pacemaker. That all depends on how close they are in proximity to the initial burst.
How to Prepare for an EMP Attack
When an enemy decides to unleash an EMP, it’s usually when no one is expecting it. And when it does happen, even the ones who are prepared are caught off guard. The best way to make sure that even if you’re ready for an EMP is by preparing ahead of time and routinely practicing drills. Practice a drill of what to do if an EMP attack happens:
- At home
- At work
EMP attacks are nasty and will cripple an entire city and its population. Imagine the state of panic that will arise if an EMP hits New York City. That’s a city packed full of millions upon millions of people. They don’t call it the city that never sleeps for no reason. If an EMP hits the Big Apple, it will immediately descend into darkness. If it happens during the day, the inhabitants of the city will not be prepared, and they will panic and panic quickly.
Once night falls on the city and all the lights are out, chaos will reign. That’s the main purpose for the design of the EMP. To knock out the communication. A breakdown in communication lends to a breakdown in society. Turning out the lights will only make the matters worse. o
If you live near a densely populated metropolitan city, understand that cities with huge populations are prime targets for EMPs. Enemies want to hit hard and hit fast, disabling as many section as possible, so they can confuse the population and cause widespread panic and mayhem.
Plan Ahead Now
If you don’t want to get caught up with the rest of the general population then the time to prepare is now. The key to moving quickly right after an EMP attack is to be familiar with the signs of an EMP and be prepared to act immediately when you discern a threat. Quite obviously, the lights will go out, and everything that is electronic will cease to function. If you’ve practice your escape plan, you would have already put it into action, especially if you are caught in the city when it happens.
Dan’s note: What you can do, though there’s no guarantee it’llwork is to build a Faraday cage to keep some of your electronics.
The last place you want to be is in the city when it strikes and get stuck there after nightfall. You’re chances of survival are lessened the longer you stay in the city. It’s best to get out of the city and as far out as possible so you can implement your other plans of action.
How to Survive Without Electricity We’ve become so reliant on electricity that many of us wouldn’t know how to survive without it. Electricity powers everything we do- cooking, bathing, cleaning, staying updated on the news, staying cool, etc. If you’ve ever been without power for more than a few days, then you know how inconvenient …
Make a Faraday Cage For Just a Few Dollars An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) would be the most devastating disaster ever. Without power, the United States would be sent back to the dark ages overnight. And since most Americans can’t even cook a meal without electric stoves and microwaves, one can only imagine how chaotic the …
Would you know what to do in a serious disaster situation like a regional EMP? Here are the first 9 steps to help you survive.
You're reading SHTF! The first 9 things to do during a disaster, originally posted at Graywolf Survival - Emergency preparedness from a former Counterintelligence Special Agent by Graywolf.
Communication After an EMP Do you know how to communicate after an EMP? What kind of gear will you be needing? What will you use after the electronics in your location have mostly all gone down? Have any idea how to protect your electronics from a potential EMP? If you’re interested in finding out, today’s …
In April of 2012, the earth barely missed being fried by a massive solar flare.
Now scientists at NASA are sounding the alarm that another such event might soon strike the earth.
NASA scientists observe sun activity on a daily basis through a series of early warning systems. In light of the 2012 event and events in both 1989 and 1859, they warn that earth is just one X-Class solar flare away from a complete shut down of the entire electronic grid.
In 1859 an infamous solar flare known as the “Carrington Event” took place.
The flare was so powerful it caused huge electric spikes in electronic communication lines and even caused some telegraph offices to catch on fire. 140 years later in 1989 a similar event took place in Canada. The flare sent a large number of valuable electronics on the fritz and even damaged parts of a nuclear reactor.
The main reason that NASA scientists are so concerned is because in the summer of 2012, the earth only narrowly missed being totally fried by an X-Class solar flare.
Reportedly, if the sun had been just one week ahead in rotation, the flare would have completely overwhelmed all electronic systems on the planet and life as we know it would have changed dramatically.
According to a report by NASA.
“If it had hit earth we would still be picking up the pieces,” says Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.
This storm might have been stronger than the Carrington Event itself.
A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect on modern power grids and telecommunication networks….Multi-ton transformers fried by such a storm could take years to repair and impact national security.”
In light of the very real danger an X-Class solar flare might present, NASA and the U.S. government have begun development of a solar shield.
The shield is not so much an actual shield to protect electric equipment from flares, but a means of using early detection systems to take many crucial transformers “offline” so that they are not fried if the sun sends off a large flare.
Though the warning offered by NASA is serious, the good news is the fact there are solutions that might be available in the near future.
We can only hope those solutions are put in place sooner than later so we can avoid having to deal with the fallout of a catastrophic solar event.
Though the threat of either a natural EMP or one that results from an atmospheric nuclear attack are small, several legislators in the state of Arizona have decided there’s no longer any time to let the issue slide.
Co-sponsors of SB 1476, David Farnsworth and Don Shooter, recognize that it is not within the power of the federal government to help prepare for a disaster of this nature, which is precisely why they introduced the legislation on a local level to help citizens of Arizona prepare for a possible emergency.
As reported by WND.com:
Under the legislation that now is law, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management is to post on its website recommendations such as the type and amount of supplies residents should stockpile to be prepared for an EMP event.
Several democrats voted against the legislation, dismissing it as such a remote possibility of disaster, that it shouldn’t even get any attention considering “we already have a major catastrophe in the state and that’s called our schools falling apart, our roads falling apart and we should be fixing those things.”
The legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, helps to outline what materials citizens should have on hand in case the grid goes down as a result of an EMP.
The law requires that the state’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs have available a complete list of supplies that normal, everyday people could stockpile in case the electric grid were to be totally knocked out.
The measure is one of the first of its kind, and sets Arizona apart as the only state to take an advanced level of emergency preparedness into its own hands.
Survival gear expert of “Doomsday Prepper Fame” Tim Ralston said:
I think it’s fantastic. I think any time we can take a proactive step to help people become more self-reliant it will help that transition.
The simple fact that top level government officials are recognizing how unprepared the nation is for such a disaster is a good sign.
And it’s even more encouraging to see that real, actionable legislation is making its way into law to help prepare for a possible doomsday scenario.
It remains to be seen how long it will take other states to take a similar course of action, but let it be known that New York, Texas, North Carolina, and Missouri are already beginning to toy with the idea of passing similar legislation into law.
Unless you are completely unplugged or have your head buried in the sand, then you already know an EMP attack could knock out America’s aging electrical grid.
Multiple TV shows have explored the impact of a nationwide grid down scenario. And just last fall there was a major preparedness drill called GridEx II, a multi-nation drill that studied the potential results of a long-term grid outage.
But what most people don’t realize is that you don’t even need an EMP to bring down the grid…
All you need is a well-coordinated attack on a single factory and as few as nine key substations to cause a coast-to-coast blackout that would last 18 months or longer.
In a recently published memo, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concluded, “Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer.”
And this isn’t mere speculation either. Just last April there was a well-coordinated attack on a substation in California. Some people believe it may have been a dry run for a larger future attack.
The shocking details of the event — in the middle of the night six men fired hundreds of AK-47 rounds at critical energy grid components after purposely disabling emergency call systems — rightly piqued the collective curiosity.
The incident happened around 1 a.m. on April 16, 2013. A suspect broke into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut AT&T telephone cables that enabled security response for the substation. Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on the electric grid components.
Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 10 transformers – the size of double-decker buses – that funnel power to Silicon Valley. Just seconds before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night, according to the WSJ.
Turns out, just a handful of electrical substations play a disproportionate role in the transport of electricity around the country. Knock these out and it’s game over. There is no backup plan.
Jon Wellinghoff, a former FERC chair, believes we need a more distributed electrical system to eliminate these major vulnerabilities. Whether these proactive changes are implemented before the next attack remains to be seen.
Don’t be scared. Be prepared.
If you already consider yourself a prepper and have been taking steps to get prepared for a few months (or years), then you may already be familiar with all the prepper jargon and acronyms.
But if you’re relatively new to the space, then chances are you’ve come across an acronym or two that made you scratch your head.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a brief list of common prepper acronyms. I’ve separated them out into three groups: the most common acronyms; those that are less common, but still used occasionally; and some government acronyms sometimes used by preppers.
Most Common Prepper Acronyms
BOB – “Bug-Out Bag” – A bag that is packed with items you will need if you’re forced to quickly evacuate your home.
EDC – “Everyday Carry” – Something you carry with you every day. For example, a pocket knife, Leatherman tool, or concealed carry.
EMP – “Electromagnetic Pulse” – A type of weapon that could be used to bring down the U.S. electrical grid. Usually appears as “EMP attack.”
SHTF – “Shit Hits the Fan” – Generically used to describe crisis situations. In a broader context, it refers to a time when we finally experience the natural consequences of our bad decisions. Can be applied on a national or personal level. Sometimes the longer version of this acronym is used: WTSHTF – When the Shit Hits the Fan.
TEOTWAWKI – “The End of the World as We Know It” – A situation where everything we are accustomed to changes. This acronym is long and awkward, so the misspelled version is also fairly common: TEOWATKI.
More Prepper Acronyms – Less Common, But Still Used Occasionally
BOL – “Bug-Out Location” – The place where family members have agreed to meet in case of evacuation.
BOV – “Bug-Out Vehicle” – A vehicle, often a large truck or RV, that is specifically equipped to bug out.
EOTW – “End of the World” – Not the literal end of planet earth, but the end of a government, a nation, or a particular way of life.
G.O.O.D. – “Get Out of Dodge” – A phrase that means one should leave town or get out of the city and stay somewhere else.
MRE – “Meal Ready to Eat” – Originally a military term. Refers to individually packaged rations for soldiers in the field.
MSM – “Mainstream Media” – Refers to major news networks that seem to be more interested in pushing propaganda than reporting actual news.
WROL – “Without Rule of Law” – Describes a situation where there is anarchy and/or martial law. In either case, ordinary civil laws would not or could not be enforced.
YOYO – “You’re on Your Own” – The idea that you cannot depend on anybody else when the SHTF.
Some Government & Military Acronyms Sometimes Used by Preppers
B.O. – “Barack Obama” – The current two-term President of the United States.
BOHICA – “Bend Over, Here It Comes Again” – Military term. Refers to a bad situation you can’t get out of. For example, imagine being pinned down and taking heavy fire from an enemy. Suddenly, there is a lull in the attack that lasts for a few minutes. When it begins again… BOHICA. (Note: This acronym can be applied to almost any law passed by politicians.)
EBT – “Electronic Benefits Transfer” – This is how people enrolled in SNAP (“food stamps”) receive their monthly welfare benefits. The money they receive is automatically loaded into an account. They can then buy food and other “necessities” using an EBT card, which is basically the same as a debit card.
FUBAR – “F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition” – Military term that means something is really messed up.
POTUS – “President of the United States” – The current POTUS is B.O.
SNAFU – “Situation Normal All F***ed Up” – Closely related to FUBAR. Military term that means everything that can go wrong is going wrong.
SNAP – “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” – The official name for the government welfare program that provides money to families to buy food. Sometimes referred to as “food stamps.”
TPTB – “The Powers That Be” – A reference to the known (and unknown) people who control the nation, its money supply, and its citizens. Sometimes shortened to “the PTB.”
Feel free to share or reprint this list of acronyms. If you do, I’d appreciate a link back to my site.
Also, if I have missed any acronyms you feel should be added to this list, please contact me and let me know. Thanks.
Don’t be scared. Be prepared.