reply to post by Awolscout
The way to properly rate the threat of any event is to figure in two basic factors.
- How likely is it to actually happen over a reasonable period of time. The less likely it is to happen or the longer the period of
time involved the less the threat.
- How serious would it be if it did happen. Obviously the less severe the less threat. But an event as severe as a global electronics
and power grid killer has to rate high on the threat level chart even if the probability is low.
I, for one, would rather be prepared and nothing happens instead of not being prepared if it did happen.
Lets examine the effect such an event would have on various aspects of different systems.
1 - The Power Grid
- It would be bad enough to lose the heavy duty high voltage transformers that could take months to years to completely
replace. But we would also lose all the electronic and electrical controls at the generating and sub stations. In a coal, natural gas, hydroelectric,
wind, or geothermal plant that would be just one more thing to add to the list of replacement parts needed. However, in a nuclear powered plant they
would lose all ability to control the nuclear core and/or the used fuel storage tanks. There are a few reactors of more recent design that are capable
of being self limiting as the temperature rises. But most reactors ABSOLUTELY MUST have a constant supply of water even after being shut down. And
that is assuming they were actually shut down before the solar EMP wave hit. In either case we are looking at a large number of reactors going into
2 - Transportation
- All vehicles that depend on computers or other electronics like electronic ignition would be inoperative. While some of
the older cars and trucks might be able to be recovered they would not be able to provide nearly enough transportation of people and goods to do any
good. Also keep in mind that even really old cars with only spark coils would most likely have such coils burned out and have to be replaced. For
newer vehicles that depend on high level electronics to operate there would be little chance of getting more than a very few of them back on the road.
3 - Food Supply
- With transportation and computerized logistic systems fried the supply of fresh and canned/boxed food supplies would be
completely stopped. I doubt that any large city has much more than a weeks worth of food on hand at any one time. Throw in the lack of police control
and the looters would quickly wipe that out too.
4 - Hospitals
- Most, if not all, hospitals have back up generators of sufficient size to keep urgently needed equipment running for a time.
But I doubt that even the best equipped hospitals would have enough fuel for a week of generator operation. Keep in mind that they are just prepared
for a general blackout such as would be expected from a storm or tornado. They would still be able to receive fuel deliveries for extended outages.
But with a solar EMP there would be no re-supply trucks and even if there were they would have no way to pump the fuel into them at the terminals.
5 - Police and Fire Protection
- Without power for communications equipment and no working vehicles they would be as useless as a newborn
puppy. We would have no police protection from looters or any other criminals. Even if they confiscated bicycles they would still have no means of
communication. The same goes for fire protection.
6 - Water Supply
- Once the water towers were drained dry there would be no fresh water. Referring back to the fire protection issue; even if
they could somehow get a pumper to your fire they would have nothing to pump. The only dependable water supply's would be natural artesian and hand
pumped wells. Unfortunately those, for the most part, only exist in small rural communities.
7 - Where were you when TSHTF???
- Anybody at work or school too far from home to easily walk the distance would be stranded away from their
home and family. I know many executive types who work 30 to 60 miles from home but very few who are in good enough shape to walk that distance under
8 - Personal Security
- Say you are one of the prepared ones and have food, cooking fuel, and water for several months. Unless you also have a
high security underground bunker you will have to defend those supplies from the raiding gangs that will be an inevitable result of such a
catastrophe. Even a fairly large family with plenty of weapons is no match for several hundred desperate and also armed raiders looking to steal your
food and water.
OK, so the probability is pretty low. But the consequences of not being prepared are so dire that it is still something to be concerned about. Our
politicians are too busy funding their pet contractors and projects so they can get kickbacks to be responsible and do what is needed to harden our
electronic infrastructure against such an eventuality. You see; that won't get them votes and campaign funds for their re-election to their cushy