I have been listening to the Audio CD of ONE SECOND AFTER by William R. Forstchen. The premise of the book is that the United States is hit with EMP warheads. The setting of the action is in the area of Black Mountain, NC. Almost immediately our modern high tech society is destroyed. I am on disc 7 or thirteen right now. The story asks some very enticing questions about our modern society. We are hanging by a thin thread and the fictional events in this story may not be too far fetched. It may be fiction but the possibility of it happening should scare the hell out of all of us. I doubt if our leadership is any better prepared to handle the situation than the fictitious leaders in the story.
DL- as my main hobby is monitoring signals, I know what you are speaking of. I jotted down the name of the author. I take it....it's a good read/listen? Apparently it struck a chord with you to post about it in here.
Many people (at least some in the rec.radio. shortwave) think that it simply wouldn't/won't be that bad. I on the other hand prepare for the worst and expect the worst. ;-)
I have taken into consideration the effects of EMP and when we were getting our home built, at least my communications room, precautions were taken. Of course questions were asked of me and I told them "none of your business"... a couple of the fellas ( I think) knew what it was about.
There is nothing more I could have done, I won't go into detail here, but it was taken seriously.
I would take into consideration a possible EMP effect in any of your radios/comm. equipment, be it in your home or in your BOB.
I've found that on this subject there are only two sides, the ones that believe it will happen and what the consequences are and the ones (the majority IMO) that think because they say it won't happen....that it won't happen. ;-) Follow me?
I might. I've seen, read and heard a lot about EMP and it's practical effects. What I meant was why do you think that this author has come up with his scenario but that our government hasn't? I don't know what precautions have been taken but I've seen two DOD studies and the ramifications of an EMP event are well understood.
The consensus seemed to be that anyone in a large urban center would be in real trouble. Getting the military out to keep order and distribute supplies was the only workable solution and from what I saw, you have to be pretty loose in your definition of "workable".
I don't have any inside info but I've seen enough to know that one of the reasons many things the military buys seem needlessly expensive is that they require a lot of electronics to be more robust and/or shielded to protect them from EMP.
If an event like that in the book should happen I think the scenario depicted in the CD audio/Book are probably very realistic. I remember as a kid in the 50s/60/s when nuclear war was a real possibility Civil Defense fallout shelters stocked with food and water for a week or two (depending on population numbers) were scattered throughout most cities and towns. That is no longer the case. With a total collapse of the ELECTRIC GRID, think of the Northeast Blackout of 2005(?) but not repairable for several months and what kind of chaos would there be?
I take several prescription medications. I keep a three month supply on hand but IF I ran out of those medications I would not survive for more than a few weeks. One thing pointed out in OSA (One Second After) is how vulnerable the elderly and those with certain medical conditions are. Insulin dependent diabetics, those with pacemakers, dialysis patients and others would die in a few days without the support structure provided by the Electric Grid. Starvation becomes a concern after just a few weeks. If the event takes place during the heat of the summer any food item that requires refrigeration must be consumed immediately.
I grew up on a farm. Back then FACTORY farms were NOT the norm. The farms were smaller and just about every farmer raised chickens, milked a few cows, had a few hogs and several head of beef cattle. Now most of the farms are huge and instead of raising a variety of crops and animals they concentrate on one type of operation. Even farmers depend on the local grocery stores for food. Large dairy farms may milk hundreds or thousands of cows daily. However they do not raise their own hay and grain to feed those cattle. They truck in feedstock from as far as hundreds of miles away. The calves of beef breeding herds are taken off of grass and sent to feedlots several hundred miles away to be fattened up to slaughter weight. The same goes for chickens and hogs. Modern agriculture is dependent on MODERN transportation.
We have a population of over 300 Million here in the United States. A nation wide disaster like that depicted in OSA would reduce the population to about half that within ONE year. Don't think it could happen? Think back several years to Hurricane Katrina. Multiply that disaster by a factor of about 1,000 and you have the scenario laid out in OSA.
This book has scared the living shit out of me. Right now all of our attention is focused on Obama's HEALTH CARE. Maybe we need to pay more attention to our preparedness for a disaster like that in OSA. North Korea and Iran and others do have or will soon have the capability to mount an attack like that portrayed in OSA. I hope it never happens and it probably will not, but just in case! We all need to do some planning.
I hope some Hollywood visionary makes a movie on OSA that follows the story line exactly. The movie THE CHINA SYNDROME stopped the expansion of the Nuclear power industry in its tracks. Maybe a movie based on ONE SECOND AFTER would wake up enough people in the country to events that COULD happen and we might make the decisions necessary for survival.
Let the Record show that Bushcraftgregg on or about Sat, 22 Aug 2009 03:03:16 -0700 (PDT) did write/type or cause to appear in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
Is more than just your comm gear. It is everything else which is dependent on transistorized controllers. Electronic Fuel Injection? Smart Electric Meters? Computerized controls for oil or natural gas pipelines? For water utilities? No power, no pumps; no pumps, no water. How "soft" those targets are, is hard to say. I'm inclined to them being both harder and softer than expected. Inevitably, the toys will prove the most robust, and the essential services will go out with the first poof.
_One Second After_ is a deliberate thing,. Then there is the Carrington Event effect. Last Big One occurred in 1859, a solar storm which ejected quite a bit of material. (a "lessor" one in 1989 took out the Quebec grid.) Caused very spectacular Auroras - visible in Cuba, which normally is way too far south. Other fun effect - "Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted." (I had to go look this back up -- that line just stuck. But this will mean "Free electricity for everyone!") Fortunately, that all occurred before the introduction of cross country power girds. Were such an event to occur now, it is possible to fry the grid across the eastern quarter of the continent- and there simply are not enough of the critical components available to restore power before backup systems run out. The crucial component is a fancy form of transformer. The induced current from a Carrington event would melt them. While most Utilities may have one or two spares on hand, they are usually custom built, with the lead time for replacement being up to a year. Assuming the factory has power, that delivery can be done without local power. Etc, etc.
- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
I'm going to listen to it because I like apocalyptic fiction. I have to admit that the author picked an outstanding place for survival. Black Mountain is near (but not too close to Asheville.) It's relatively remote, mountain country and sparsely populated (7,511 people, 3,340 households, and 2,027 families.) The population density is 1,165.7 people per square mile. If you don't come up I-40, you don't get there by car and it's rough country for walking.
I'd like to compare what is actually there with what the author says is there to see if he got that part right.
Someone has already made a decent mini-series that starts out with an EMP attack. The focus, however, was nuclear winter.
I can't imagine any first strike by the US or anyone being land based but such a plan would certainly include numerous large weapons specifically designed to generate huge EM pulses. I say I can't imagine a land based first strike because you wouldn't want to give an opponent a chance to respond and land based missiles have to travel a long way and they are detectable.
An American SSBN or six, on the other hand, could sneak right up to within a couple of minutes range of just about anyone in the world and in two minutes an enemy couldn't even pull their finger out. Depending on their load out and configuration, six boomers could deliver 384 independently targeted nukes all at once, with precision, and without any real warning.
No Wes, it isn't. It's something to think about though. One of the questions people who try and position themselves to survive a nuclear exchane never seem to ask is the obvious one. Why would you want to?
I posted the original comments. I used to drive a truck all over the US and Canada. I have made quite a few trips across I-40 and the area where the story is set. From what I remember of the area the author was spot on in the geography. I don't want to give any of the story away in case some want to read or listen to it but one major MORAL in the story is that survival is not only self reliance.
I finished listening to the CD Audio this afternoon and enjoyed it immensely. I will read the book when the local library gets it in also. Time well spent IMHO.
This does not belong in rec.crafts.metalworking, so I've set followups to alt.survival only. And I won't be reading it there.
Note that the Enola Gay did not have a single transistor or IC on the whole aircraft. They had not been invented at that time. And solid state circuitry (transistors and ICs) are *much* more vulnerable to the voltage and current spikes induced by EMP. Tubes are amazingly forgiving for such things.
This is why the Soviet military aircraft would have done better than our own aircraft during the Cold War.
[ ... ]
Disconnected is the most important part of that -- and ideally in a metal enclosure acting as a shield. But these days, how much of our power grid is controlled by solid state devices -- and those are
*very* vulnerable to EMP. So what you have would still work only as long as you could keep batteries charged to run them -- and the radio stations would almost certainly be down anyway. Write off the internet, at least until everything switches over to fiber optics, and the machine rooms are all properly shielded.