Doomsday: Solar Storm / Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)

Warning Time: no warning to days

Likelyhood: Extremely likely - every one hundred years on average.

Possible Effects: Satellites broken, Electronic Equipment fried, Power Grid Collapse. This event could knock civilization back 100 years!

Risk assessment

Along with a global pandemic, a massive solar storm or EMP burst has to be considered as the one of the top most possible and devastating doomsday scenerios.

First off this kind of doomsday event has a very high probability of occuring. Once every 100 years you can expect a solar flare or coronal mass eject large enough to wipe out the power grid. The last such event was the Carrington event in 1859 before we had our life-supporting power-grid. Then there are possible EMP actions by terrorists - a EMP device isn't all the complicated to build. Or a nuclear warhead denonated high in the atmosphere would also produce an EMP and could easily wipe the power-grid for a continent.

Secondly, the effects of a massive solar storm would have a far-reaching impact - billions of people! No power, no water, no hospitals, no industry, no stock markets. People would not die all at once - they would die slowly from thirst, hunger and disease. This would knock civilization back 100 years. Watch the video as noted physicist Michio Kaku explains just how bad this type of doomsady event would really be.

Consequences of power-grid loss

A massive solar storm or EMP burst would be a doomsday scenerio primilarly due to effects of a power-grid shutdown. So much of the world's population is supported either directly, or indirectly, by the power-grid and without it many could die. Sure - loss of power to hospitals and the water distribution system come to mind first as negative effects of a solar storm / EMP, but loss of the power grid would have many more far reaching effects.

Without power - manufacturing grinds to a halt. As a result the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) collapses and the stock market takes a nose dive. The dollar becomes worthless and with our current over $17 Trillon debt (mostly to China) who knows what China and our other debtors would do. With manufacturing down, even the ability to produce the transformers to get the grid back up would be diminished!

Without power the petro-chemical industry ceases to be able to produce the fertilizer that American farmers use to feed America and the world. This would cause worldwide food prices to skyrocket and there would be alot of hungry people.

Without power sewage stops working. Diseases such as Cholera make a come back and many die from disease alone.

Since this is a such a destabilizing disaster, it is quite possible for war(s) to break out - even nuclear war.

Electronic circuits shorted out

A massive solar storm or EMP burst would also "fry" electronic devices. The silicon chips just can't handle the electrical current that would be generated by such an event. Sure - cells phones would stop working, so I'm sure some would go into convulsions if they couldn't text their friends. But more serious would be the loss of electronic systems used by places such as hospitals, banks, the stock market, or anything relying on a computer.

If you have a modern car or truck, the electronic systems that control your engine won't work either - you won't be driving to a bug-out location in that vehicle. This is also one of the reasons why it is imperitive to plan out your Bug Out Bag as if you had to hike, or bike to a bug-out location. If a disaster occurs and you CAN drive to safety - great! If not, your Bug Out bag will still work for you.

Survival Plan

Because of the sheer magnitude of such a doomsday event, you won't be able to count on agencies such FEMA or the Red Cross for long. Maybe in the weeks just after such an event water and food "could" be shipped in, but relief organizations and government agencies are just not equipped to handle supplying the needs of so many people. You really need to relocate to a long-term bug-out location - and stay there.

In the weeks following a total power grid loss you'll see the best of man. People will probably help each other with food, water, emergency care, etc.

But this disaster event isn't like some that may be resolved after a months - the effects of this doomsday scenerio will last for years. Eventually people will get thirsty, or hungry, or diseased from drinking contaminated water. Then you'll see the worst of man as they fight for survival. You will need to stay safely hidden, and away from people until things have a chance to stablize - possibly years.

I know saying this is harsh, but eventually the population will drop to a point it that can be supported by the available resources - your mission is stay away from others until that time.

Prepper Supplies Needed

For this disaster a bug out bag just won't be enough. You will need to be totally self-sufficient for years. You should have a long-term bug-out location stocked with enough food and medicine, along with the ability to make safe drinking water. You may want to stock seeds and try to grow your own food, but you want to keep your site hidden so other don't stumble upon your garden and find you. An underground bunker would be ideal. You shouldn't count on stealth as your only defense - you will need weapons and lots of ammo.


1859 Solar Storm: 1859 Solar Storm

Llyod's Solar Storm Risk Assessment: Solar Storm Risk Assessment