by TECHSTAR on NOVEMBER 19, 2011 - 4 Comments in self-sufficiency
People prepare to go off the grid for many different reason – the environment, economic collapse, solar flares to name but three.
The latest fear to be added to the long list: A massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. The best defence: to be both off the grid and underground.
An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic radiation from a nuclear weapon. If the weapon is detonated high in the atmosphere, above a target area, it can produce a radioactive pulse across a huge area. The effect could knock out electricity and fry sensitive computer processors, even a total blackout that could last months.
Some fear Iran could get a lone nuclear missile onto a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, and detonate it over the central U.S.
The US Government has prepared a detailed report, outlining the risk: “2011 Essential Guide to Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack – Reports of the EMP Commission on the Threat and Critical National Infrastructure – The Danger from High-Altitude Nuclear Explosions.
“All of the people from the cities, they have no choice when there’s no power, the only thing they can do is to walk out of the city and forage, go to every single house, break in, and look for food and water.” said one prepper. “I don’t care how many rifles and bullets you have, you can not defend a house.”
This scenario is captured in the best-selling novel One Second After, written by military historian William R. Forstchen with a forward by Republican leadership candidate Newt Gingrich. In it, American technology is knocked back to the early 1800s -vehicles stop moving, medications spoil in useless refrigerators and phone lines drop dead. Most of the population starves to death. Survivalist scaremonger John Wesley Rawles also refers to it in his book Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse
In real-world Washington, a specialist panel reports to Congress about the potential threat.
“What is different now is that some potential sources of EMP threats are difficult to deter. They can be terrorist groups that have no state identity, have only one or a few weapons, and are motivated to attack the U.S. without
regard for their own safety,” according to a report in 2004 by a group called the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.
It’s chaired by Dr. William Graham, who advised former U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
“Rogue states, such as North Korea and Iran, may also be developing the capability to pose an EMP threat to the United States, and may also be unpredictable and difficult to deter,” the report reads.
“It all changed in July of 2008 when Iran sent a missile up off of a boat, testing for an electromagnetic pulse attack on the U.S.,” said Walton McCarthy, owner of Radius Engineering International, the world’s largest builder of underground shelters. “It makes me think of Krakatoa, the volcano that killed so many people. There’s only a handful that survived it, because they did something that nobody else did: They recognized the threat and they walked out of town.”
As for McCarthy, he doesn’t so much fear the end as he is preparing for it — and helping others do the same. His company’s complexes look like domed houses, deep underground with hidden hatches. They come complete with plumbing, electricity, air purification and shielding against EMP hits. They are installed in every U.S. capital from Hawaii to Maine, and in some Canadian cities. McCarthy said orders have doubled every year for five years. About 15% of his customers are corporations now fearful of an economic collapse, and they are planning to protect their executives and their data, he said.
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Price of an underground dwelling can vary, largely depending on customization and amount of people.
Not everyone is suffering from the economic downturn. Survivalist suppliers are reporting a
BILLION-DOLLAR INDUSTRY these days, as a worldwide recession has only increased fears.
Here are some top items:
WaterBOB: Liner for bathtubs, fill it up during a disaster -instant 100 gallons.
Gamma seals for buckets: Used to protect buried electronics and guns in a nuclear blast.
Roll-up portable solar panels.
Houdini tool: Fits on a keychain and offers such necessary items as a seatbelt cutter, a window-breaker, a light and a whistle for car emergencies.
Satellite messaging devices, C.B. and ham radios.
Crank-powered and solar-powered radio/light combos.
Food rations: Freeze dried breakfast, lunch and dinner for a year.
Old-fashioned manual items such as hand grinders, wood stoves and oil lamps.