HOME SECURITY: Why The Electricity Grid Could Go Down for a Long, Long Time

Our world has become entirely dependent on centrally supplied electricity, and there’s good reason to believe that the reliability of this supply isn’t what it seems to be. A threat called an EMP is why, and it’s more than just unfounded fear. The letters EMP stand for electromagnetic pulse, and it poses one of the single biggest threats to the modern world. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. EMPs are overloads of energy that can fry electronics and the electrical grid. They travel through the air and through power cables and can occur naturally from solar flares, or by people intent on destroying our way of life. EMPs have done major damage before.

Back in 1859, a natural solar flare and EMP event happened that was so powerful it fried telegraph equipment in use at the time. Dubbed the Carrington Event after the astronomer who observed it happening, National Geographic writer Richard Lovett says that a repeat of the Carrington Event today would devastate our world. Modern electronics, power transmission systems and communications are much more sensitive to EMP destruction than the old telegraph systems that actually caught fire.  Experts warn that it could take years for North America to rebuild it’s electrical system after a massive EMP event. All major replacement transformers are only made off shore and take years to deliver after an order. Also, our electrical grid requires electricity to come back online after a complete shut down. How would that happen if all of North America was black?

So, what can you do now? Two things . . . First, having your own independent electrical system you’ll keep refrigeration, running water, heating controls and shortwave communication going at your house. Even an EMP event somewhere else that causes the grid to collapse and shut down your power won’t necessarily fry your own electrical equipment.

Even though an EMP event can’t hurt large, coarse electrical items such as motors, heating coils and major wiring, it can damage sensitive electronics found in computers and anything with integrated circuits. Encasing sensitive equipment in a metal case that doesn’t touch the device is an effective way to protect it against EMP. In the world of electronics, this is called a Faraday box, and even a metal garbage can does the trick. Don’t ground the box.

Posted on November 20th, 2017

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