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Resident Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's all the same things we have been saying you ought to do, but with the consequences of an electromagnetic pulse extrapolated nationwide. It makes the preparations I have managed look pathetic. I seriously doubt if many of the Band of Fellers are prepared for something like this. Most of our prepping seems to be aimed at surviving civil disorder.

 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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36,354 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
What are the chances of a EMP?
There is much more chance of a terrorists to take out substations & totally shut down all electricity in the us.
They say it would take as little as 9 substations knocked out to totally shut the US down.

I'm old enough to remember the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965. Mom and I were eating dinner at the local Friendlys after my weekly piano lesson when the lights went out. Everyone in the restaurant thought it was a local outage until the manager came out of the kitchen where the staff was listening to a big portable radio and announced that it was a major blackout affecting the entire Northeast and two Canadian provinces; that the power company had no idea what had happened; and no idea how long it would be before we got power back. He then offered everyone in the restaurant all the ice cream they could eat, for free, because it was going to melt anyway and they might as well get some good out of it.

I didn't understand what had happened until many years later, when PBS aired the James Burke documentary series, Connections. Episode 1, "The Trigger Effect" opens with the 1965 blackout in New York City. Burke showed how one automatic switch tripping at the Adam Beck Generating Station II power station on the Canadian side of the Niagara River miles above Niagara Falls resulted in a chain of cascading failures which caused other power plants and distribution stations to trip out in turn to cause the blackout. One lousy little switch tripped out, and millions of people lost power for 12 hours or more until the system could be traced back and reset.

The North American power grid has been enhanced and expanded, and analog controls have been replaced by digital controls, but from what I can tell it's even more vulnerable today thanks to computerization than it was in 1965, when switches had to be manually thrown at control stations and power distribution stations. Montgomery Scott clearly pointed out the problem with this sort of thing in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." And when it comes to the North American power grid, the drain is easier to stop up than ever.
 
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