Jerry Emanuelson

Preparing For A Solar Storm Or EMP Attack

Last week, I blogged about the threats posed to modern society from a solar event like a coronal mass ejection (CME)/solar flare/solar (super)storm, and a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) from a nuclear weapon. Curious as to what could be done at an individual level to protect against such dangers, I turned to the Internet in search of some good resources. Regrettably, I didn’t find many. Most of the ones I came across tended to be generic in that they preached all-hazard emergency preparedness. Nothing wrong with that, but I was desperate to find something more threat-specific. Thankfully, it looks as if I could have possibly unearthed a gem with “Getting Prepared for an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack or Severe Solar Storm” by Jerry Emanuelson on the website for Futurescience LLC.

Emanuelson is an electronics engineer “who has been thinking about the EMP problem for more than 3 decades,” according to the site. In introducing “Getting Prepared,” Emanuelson states:

This is a page about some of the things that individuals can do to prepare for an electromagnetic pulse attack.

The engineer concentrates on “a nuclear EMP attack, but much of this also applies to natural events such as unusual geomagnetic storms due to extremely large solar storms.” Emanuelson emphasizes the following:

Among all of the kinds of electromagnetic disturbances that can occur, though, it is important to keep things in perspective. It is possible that a nuclear EMP may never happen where you live. On the other hand, a severe solar storm that will destroy most of the world’s power grids appears nearly inevitable at this point. Protection against the damage of a severe solar storm could be done easily and rather inexpensively by the electrical utilities; however it is not being done, and there is no sign that it will be done. A severe solar storm poses little threat to electronics, but would take down the most important power grids in the world for a period of years. This is a special problem in the United States, and is a severe threat in the eastern United States. So, more important than preparing for a nuclear EMP attack is preparing for all of the ramifications of a severe solar storm which would cause an electrical power outage that would, in most areas, last for a period of years…

Emanuelson talks in-depth about the threats, their impacts, and what the individual can do to protect against them. You can read the entire piece on the Futurescience site here.

Know of any other good resources related to preparing for solar/EMP events?

(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page)

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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