© [2017] — Destinations Journal

It is our pleasure to introduce another of our Feature Sections Simply Bob featuring Bob Kelly who has been writing for SurvivalBlog.com


Would you survive the Zombie Apocalypse? Maybe or maybe not but Bob would. Bob shares his insight and wisdom with us in his humorous way so that we might increase our odds of surviving any disaster natural or man made. Be prepared is the boy scout motto and Bobs credo adds the additional words “For Anything”. That being said Bobs debut article is about EMPs a subject that many of us are unfamiliar with but should be aware of. 

Take it away Bob…

EMP Facts


#1. What is an EMP?
#2. What causes an EMP?
#3. Why should I worry about an EMP?
#4.  Will an EMP harm people?
#5. What will an EMP do to my cars?
#6. How do I protect myself from an EMP?

As a friendly, and hopefully a pleasing feature, this article is being edited as it is being typed so as to be read as though it were a friendly two person  social conversation.

The sit-rep situation would necessarily be two good friends talking about a recent article concerned about a potential EMP situation caused by a strong ego driven leader of a small Asian nation with an attitude and an ego to match.

We will call our two friends Bob and Ray. Actually Bob ( Old Bobbert ), that’s me,  did call his friend Ray about the Texas flooding disaster. Ray lives in Texas about seventy-five miles from Houston, and they are safely outside the coastal flood area.

We did talk about the possibility of a sneak EMP attack, for about forty five excited minutes. We have similar backgrounds with a strong leaning towards preparedness and security measures concerning our families and homes. Friends for 40+ years. We had no idea that we knew so little about a real situation that could be so serious, so deadly, and maybe very soon.

It was embarrassing to say the least. He’s eighty and I’m seventy-six. We should have known better, long ago. Thus we now have this article for our families, and for you. That call prompted serious research so Bobbert could have current and up to date accurate information for wife Kathy and a 1st edition copy of this article for Ray  and his wife Anna in Texas.

And yes we do know about the very old dumb jokes about the ancient radio comedy show named “Bob and Ray”. We are still in full agreement, they have never been funny!

Ok, here we go for answer #1..
What is an EMP?  It’s an explosive incident creating a destructive energy wave  ( a type of radio wave ) that seeks out unshielded computer chips for damage. An EMP is a short hand nickname for an “ELECTRO MAGNETIC PULSE”, that will try to attack computer chips most everywhere. That is unless they are protected by “Faraday” shielding. We’ll get to that protection item later.

#2.  What causes an EMP?
As a solid generality an  EMP event is generated by one of two sources, the Sun or an Air Burst Nuclear Blast. An EMP generated by a Solar incident will not occur instantly in most cases, there may be a small warning period.

It will be devastating and there may be no way to stop it. We have barely missed a few in recent years.

Moving on to the more likely source, we will look at the possibly, perhaps the probability of a sneak attack overhead at many thousands of feet above us. However, an air burst Nuclear Device may possibly allow, at best,  a very small warning period. We still have NORAD looking after our safety. It may be a deliberate sneak attack from a simple tramp freighter ship with a well hidden nuclear armed rocket launch ability.

#3. Why should I worry about an EMP?
There is a high likelihood that a foolish enemy force may utilize a triple tramp freighter launch offense, so as to maximize the possible destructive effects and to provide a success even though one or more rockets may fail to complete their mission. We still have NORAD looking after our safety.

An EMP is a weapon designed to cause an instant failure of the computer chips now utilized in nearly every appliance, every automobile, every banking transaction, every usage of credit or debit cards, operation of traffic signals, operation of hospital equipment and sundry medical devices.
Please note the repeated word “MAY”. It may all be a total bust. Our cell phones may fail. The internet may fail. Home oxygen services may fail. Most likely the primary target agenda will be to destroy the power grid system, which in turn may shut down many aspects of our daily lives. Elevators may fail and plummet to a ground floor fatal crash. MAY MAY MAY.

We are fully dependent on the safe and successful silent computer chip operation in nearly every aspect of our life. If the power grid system goes down, and it may actually fail. Our entire way of life may also go down.

#4. Will the EMP harm people?
Excellent question with a simple short answer. No, not many and not likely to be permanent. That answer is always misleading even hough it is true and accurate.

Lets look at some population ratios. If only a single person in every 10,000 people in a national population of three  hundred million, dies as a result of the EMP,  there would be 30,000 fatalities. One in every 5,000 would be 60,000 fatalities, and thats just in the first hour or so.

There is a possibility that some digital hearing enhancement devices may be effected but, no one is sure at this time.

There are many who utilize prothetic limbs which have chip control units. These may fail. Cars traveling at high speeds may experience engine failure resulting in multi-car accidents, possibly serious injuries, and possible deaths.

Air Liners’ engine failures, coupled with communication and radar failures, may also cause an exhausting series of fatal mid-air crash events nation wide.

Visualize Boston’s very busy Logan airport without radio communications.  The many pilots flying into and from the airport. Those flights depend on constant accurate radar operations to prevent multi-plane collisions. Planes coming into Logan from many cities west of the East coast, fly past the airport and go out to the open sea. They then turn back and approach the end of the runway only a few feet above the Atlantic. The runway was built on top of a long wide jetty created in the bay. Some passengers have never made a second flight into Logan. In the mid- seventies, this writer, came into Logan on thirty-two Monday morning red-eye flights in just eighteen months. I was commuting from our home in Ohio. After a while I slept through the landings. I trusted those pilots. I had to. For them, and for myself.  Radar was a life preserving device those Red Eye flight pilots needed for there was no use of chips in those days.

#5. What will an EMP do to my cars?
We really do not know exactly how our cars will be affected–  no one can be sure.  Be safe and not sorry is the necessity driven game plan. The question is very important. We are a mobile population and we need our wheels. I fully expected to go to the internet search engine and find that there is no good news about cars and EMP’s. I assumed that I had best go buy an old guy’s three wheel bike.

The very best way for me to share with you the terrific good news I found, is to give you the pertinent findings of testing cars and the EMP. Yes, a bit long but still wonderful. And here it is from Google!
The following quote is the report on the EMP Commission testing of vehicles from pages 115-116 of the EMP Commission Critical National Infrastructures Report:

“The potential EMP vulnerability of automobiles derives from the use of built-in electronics that support multiple automotive functions.  Electronic components were first introduced into automobiles in the late 1960s.

As time passed and electronics technologies evolved, electronic applications in automobiles proliferated.  Modern automobiles have as many as 100 microprocessors that control virtually all functions.  While electronic applications have proliferated within automobiles, so too have application standards and electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility (EMI/EMC) practices.

Thus, while it might be expected that increased EMP vulnerability would accompany the proliferated electronics applications, this trend, at least in part, is mitigated by the increased application of EMI/EMC practices.

We tested a sample of 37 cars in an EMP simulation laboratory, with automobile vintages ranging from 1986 through 2002.  Automobiles of these vintages include extensive electronics and represent a significant fraction of automobiles on the road today.  The testing was conducted by exposing running and non-running automobiles to sequentially increasing EMP field intensities. If anomalous response (either temporary or permanent) was observed, the testing of that particular automobile was stopped.  If no anomalous response was observed, the testing was continued up to the field intensity limits of the simulation capability (approximately 50 kV/m)”.

Automobiles were subjected to EMP environments under both engines turned off and engines turned on conditions.  No effects were subsequently observed in those automobiles that were not turned on during EMP exposure.  The most serious effect observed on running automobiles was that the motors in three cars stopped at field strengths of approximately 30 kV/m or above.  In an actual EMP exposure, these vehicles would glide to a stop and require the driver to restart them.  Electronics in the dashboard of one automobile were damaged and required repair.

Other effects were relatively minor. Twenty-five automobiles exhibited malfunctions that could be considered only a nuisance (e.g., blinking dashboard lights) and did not require driver intervention to correct.  Eight of the thirty-seven cars tested, did not exhibit any anomalous response.  Based on these test results, we expect few automobile effects at EMP field levels below 25 kV/m.

Approximately 10 percent or more of the automobiles exposed to higher field levels may experience serious EMP effects (including engine stall) that require driver intervention to correct.  We further expect that at least two out of three automobiles on the road will manifest some nuisance response at these higher field levels.

The serious malfunctions could trigger car crashes on U.S. highways; the nuisance malfunctions could exacerbate this condition.  The ultimate result of automobile EMP exposure could trigger crashes that damage many more vehicles than are damaged by the EMP, the consequent loss of life, and multiple injuries.

#6. How do I protect myself from an EMP?
Once again, I went to the internet for “current professional” answers to personal safety issues and once again it was good news as I see it. I have copied below the simplified official expert testimony conclusion as to “people” safety from an EMP.

We apparently have good news– no direct immediate danger for people.  The real danger appears to come after
the EMP event from “secondary” consequences.



“Thank you for this opportunity to testify at your hearing on the threat posed by electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to critical infrastructure.

Natural EMP from a geomagnetic super-storm, like the 1859 Carrington Event or 1921 Railroad Storm, and nuclear EMP attack from terrorists or rogue states, as practiced by North Korea during the nuclear crisis of 2013, are both existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse.”

We have learned a lot from this simple research endeavor.
Thanks for your attention. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

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