Friday, April 29, 2011

The Power Grid Is Not Protected From A HEMP Attack!

I had an interesting and very stimulating conversation with an insider in our regional power company. I asked what kinds of protection systems were in place to prevent the grid from going down in an emergency. Apparently, the power company has done a very good job of preparing for things like unstable fluctuations due to storms, accidents, grid overload, etc. They have redundant systems that are offline that can be switched online in moments. They can pull a power generation station offline within 3 cycles of a 60 cycle (hertz) second. They have transformers and regulators in stock to handle localized catastrophes.

Where they are not prepared is a different matter. Although the power generators or even the larger substations can be taken offline in an instant, the rest of the grid, from the local substation to your home or business remains intact. This would still be a major problem if faced with a nuclear HEMP (High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse) attack by a terrorist nation. A HEMP device wreaks havoc on anything that conducts electricity. It causes huge voltage and current fluctuations that will fry everything from small electronics up to huge substation transformers. So far, about six countries are known to have HEMP capabilities. Among them are the US, Russia, Israel, China, North Korea, and Iran. A nuclear HEMP bomb is not new. It's been around since about 1962. Others are working on them, but it is not known if they have been successful so far. The major threats today are from North Korea and Iran. Both countries are unstable and have little regard for their lives or especially the lives of others.

What makes HEMP so powerful today is the US has become so dependent on technology for just about everything. Disrupting technology by bringing down the power grid and melting all microelectronics would send the US into the 1850's in one second. No cars or trucks will move; phones, televisions, radios, computers, the internet, microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, freezers, water & sewer pumping, natural gas lines...All Dead in One Second!

Think about how you would have to live if that happened right now, this second. How much food do you have? How would you get water? How would you protect yourself and your family from others who were caught off guard by this? Are you on any medications? Where will you get them?

Do you have a plan that will keep you and your family and maybe some friends alive for a year? That's about how long it is estimated for a catastrophe of this magnitude to level out and stabilize, albeit in the 1850's era.