EMP is a surge of high voltage produced by the detonation of a nuclear device in the upper atmosphere.
A warhead for this purpose would probably be detonated at an altitude of 200-300 miles, and would most likely be deployed from a pre-positioned hostile satellite or ship near the US coast.
The resulting burst of electricity would instantly and permanently ruin electrical circuits and microchips, completely disabling almost any electrical device that you can think of.
This would happen because the overpowering surge of electricity in the air would be collected by power lines and antennae and funneled into the electronic components.
It is theoretically possible that one well-placed air burst above Kansas would effectively knock out nearly all vehicles, airplanes, computers, electronic equipment, radio and television broadcasting stations nationwide, as well as the nation’s entire power grid.
Unfortunately, the power grid would be especially susceptible because the electrical lines would gather the voltage in the air, funnel it to the power stations, and blow up nearly every transformer in the grid. Replacing that many transformers alone would take years, since they are all made overseas.
Anything that uses electrical circuits and microchips would be instant junk. Trucks would stop running, and airplanes would fall from the sky.
Older vehicles which are less dependent on computer components may be less affected by EMP. Vehicles made before 1975 with ignitions which are not electronic may not be affected at all.
Almost anything with electrical circuits would be instantly useless if not encased in a hardened metal box, or “Faraday cage.”
Lightning on steroids
Electromagnetic pulse is stronger, faster, and briefer than lightning. The sudden surge of voltage is so great that surge protectors are useless against it, and even equipment that is turned off may be rendered useless.
In fact, most electronic equipment within several hundred miles of a high-altitude nuclear detonation would be affected to varying degrees.
According to the Federation of American Scientists, “The first recorded EMP incident accompanied a high-altitude nuclear test over the South Pacific and resulted in power system failures as far away as Hawaii.”
This was a result of the Starfish Prime nuclear test in space by the US in July of 1962. Street lights in Hawaii went out, burgalar alarms went off, telephone microwave communication links failed, etc.
That same year the Soviets conducted a series of similar high-altitude, high-yield tests which wreaked havoc on electrical systems, even in the vacuum-tubed world of 1962.
Note that The vacuum tubes of the 1960′s were very resistant to EMP; the microchips of today are not.
Today, electronics which microchips run virtually every system that you use to get through the day.
One well-placed nuclear warhead in the upper atmosphere will bring all those systems to a halt in a microsecond.
You won’t hear, see, or feel anything.
Suddenly your cell phone and your computer will go down, and your car will stop running.Shop The Best Deals on Ground Coffee at CoffeeForL
That brings up an interesting question
What if you are vacationing in Las Vegas, along with hundreds of thousands of other people when the EMP strike occurs?
You won’t be able to leave, because the airplanes and cars will be permanently disabled. You will be stuck in a city that has to bring everything in using microchip technology, including water.
The electric bill to bring water to Las Vegas is $20-$30 million a year. It is a city surrounded by desert, with maybe two days of drinking water on hand.
After that, you will have to walk 30 miles in the heat to the nearest water source- Lake Mead.
Even if you survive that trek through the desert, what will you do then?
In an EMP strike, 92-95% of the inhabitants of Las Vegas will die from the desert heat and dehydration. Similar scenes with lower mortality rates will play out across the United States.
The case of Korea
In 2009 North Korea assembled a medium-range missile with a nuclear warhead capable of attacking South Korea.
That is alarming because South Korea has a vast power grid and is very dependant on electricity; North Korea is still a comparably primitive nation and would hardly be affected by the massive power outages resulting from the EMP destruction.
The blast would level the electronic playing field and make a good first strike weapon for the North Koreans.
The perfect crime
A country using an EMP burst against the US would not have to fear retaliation because the perpetrators would fire the missile near the US coast, sink the ship that served as the platform, and the warhead explosion at 300 miles high would effectively destroy all the evidence.
How is the US going to know who to retaliate against?
Will we even be able to?
It is likely that we would be very busy dealing with the immediate catastrophe that would ensue.
It would be the perfect crime, and Iran knows it.
Iran has written specifically about crippling the US with an EMP device, and is practicing missle launches in the Caspian Sea.
Welcome to 1880
The government is not working on fixing our vulnerability to this threat, because it’s a problem that can’t realistically be fixed.
The nation’s power grid is too fragile, too old, and too interconnected.
In essence, an EMP attack would instantly take us back to the 1800′s way of life. Automobiles would be rendered permanently useless, so the only mode of transportation would be bicycles and horses.
Farmers would have to go back to putting in crops with old fashioned horsepower.
If the grid fails, the food and water distribution system would collapse immediately. The trucking delivery system would stop instantly.
Millions would starve within days.
Anarchy, looting, and riots would be rampant. This would be a terrorist’s dream come true. All you can do is have an emergency preparedness plan to deal with the aftermath if it happens.