Out of the comfort zone

EMP: William R. Forstchen giving us a wake up call

EMP might be the biggest threat to our society. But for some reason, we never ever hear about it. William R. Forstchen, who has a Phd in military history doesn’t

One Second After (source: Wikipedia)

understand this. He believes everyone should know about this threat. And he believes that the government should prepare for it. Knowing that nobody is interested in boring, 100-page long, articles full of technicalities, he wrote a book: “One second after”. A book to teach, and to create awareness.

What is EMP?

EMP is the abbreviation for Electro Magnetic Pulse. And it’s a big problem. An EMP is a short burst of electromagnetic energy, which can be caused by natural events such as solar storms, or lightning strikes. But it can also be caused by man-made causes. Electromagnetic Pulses do not cause any direct harm to people. Instead, they basically destroy any electronic device within the zone of effect. This means no more laptops. No more smartphones. No more electric light.

But it also means no more intensive care units (ICU). It means no more pacemakers. This means that as soon as an EMP strikes, the vulnerable will die.

The effect goes further though. It hits anything electric. Including pretty much every single car made after 1980. Modern cars, after all, are full of electronics. Without car, transportation becomes impossible, which means no more supplies. No food, no medicine. Nothing. Speaking of transport, I don’t think I need to point out what will happen to airplanes, which are pretty much completely dependent on electronics.

EMP as a weapon?


Nuclear explosions cause EMP

So what? Why should we care about this? If EMP is caused by stuff like lightning or solar storms, who cares? After all, it’s been happening forever, right? Well, the thing is, natural EMP isn’t all that strong. But the military kinda likes the concept. And like everything the military likes, it’s been turned into a weapon. And EMP has gotten stronger and stronger, while our society has become more and more dependent on electronics. We’ve gotten more vulnerable, while weapons have become stronger.
Apparently, we’ve reached a point where three nuclear missiles can destroy the United States. All an attacker needs to do is detonate three nukes at high altitude. We won’t have to worry about nuclear fallout, but because of the altitude, the EMP will affect a HUGE area.

So what?

Does it matter, if someone destroys our electronics? It’s hard to imagine the effect. Which is why Forstchen wrote his book. It starts with a guy worrying about his daughters’ birthday. Then a blackout happens. He’s happy, because he’s gonna get some rest from her horrible music. But then, slowly, reality dawns upon the small town. Civilization falls apart pretty fast, and the town becomes a small autonomous area, having to defend itself.

Of course, “One second later” is fictional. But when a guy who knows everything about military history AND about the history of technology starts to combine knowledge with imagination, you better take it seriously.  Forstchen has his characters refer to earlier events. The security guy from the university served in Vietnam, and the local professor knows all about the collapse of civilization in sieged places like Leningrad (1941) and other places. In a peer-reviewed article, the scientist would refer to historical studies. Here, Forstchen tells us the same, using a different form.

Source: Pixabay

Preparation is a good thing

And indeed, it IS terrifying. Women selling their bodies for a bowl of watery soup. Parents starving because they give their rations to their children. Criminals forming gangs of robbers. It’s Wild West again, except this time, the people aren’t prepared for a harsh life.

Really, you need to read this book. Learn the lessons in it. And then take some action… or don’t. Or just enjoy an amazing book. But if you chose that option, don’t tell us you weren’t warned…

You can purchase the book “One second later” on Amazon.com

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