Saturday, September 24, 2011

What if an EMP happened right now?

On Rourke posted a link to a person's story ( about what would happen if an EMP came over San Francisco today.  Let me tell you, we'd be in trouble.  Why? Because the grandkids and I are in San Francisco for the weekend.  If an EMP happened this weekend we'd have to walk the couple hundred miles home.  We could do that.  As soon as I'd realize that this was a big issue then we'd be out of here instantly.  That's where people would get into trouble, by waiting for the problem to go away. 

I think my biggest concern would be to realize that there is a long term problem happening, not just a short term issue.  As soon as the power went out, if I was even aware that the power went out, I'd have to go check my truck to see if it starts up.  If it does then all's fine, right?  I'd have no idea.  At least I have a full tank of gas but how long would that last in nightmare traffic? 

First the article says the traffic lights will be out.  This would cause a nightmare in this city!  Traffic is already a nightmare.  For those living close to home, and by that I mean a day walk or 20-25 miles, then there won't really be a problem because of traffic.  They can walk.  Sure they will get thirsty or hungry but they'll make it just fine.  What about us?  We are a couple hundred miles away.  The kids and I can walk.  Especially if we start off right away. 

The story starts out that after a couple of days the water supply will run out.  The pumping stations will grind to a halt.  If we leave right away we could be half way home before the water supplies would run dry.  Not a problem, we have water in our packs plus I have a filter with me. 

What about food.  We'd have enough to get us home but we'd probably be looking forward to a good meal once we got home!  The articles says that most cities will be out of food in three days.  Fortunately for us after the three days we will be out of most of the cities.  If most people have a couple days of food on hand, then I figure in about a week people will be looking for food from travellers.  We should be home in the week if we travel 30 miles in a day. 
The article talks about how within days, tens of millions of Americans will need to leave their homes looking for water and food. As long as we were one step ahead of them we'll be ok. 
What about you?  Most likely you are reading this from home and wouldn't have to worry about travelling.  If not, how would you make out?


  1. Great points! If I were in SF I have relatives north about 50 miles, but would they be prepared? They are farmers, have food and a spring fed pond, but you bring up the good point of filter.

    We have an inflatable pool here and we are going to keep in filled this winter. But we have no filter if we had to make it our drinking/cooking water.

  2. i don't know how well i'd make it out. living in NYC, i face a lot of different problems. first off, most people have have zero concept of disaster preparedness and feel pretty much impervious.

    most of us have no vehicles and would be on foot. the sheer scale of the city would mean that it would take several days to leave. that isn't just because of the size (i could walk out in under a day in normal circumstances) but this city would explode along racial lines. i don't like saying that but it's true. in the days i would have to be extremely stealthy and i don't think i would travel at night at all. i'd have to make my way into NJ and/or PA and that would be a heck of a trip. i have no where near the supplies to make it that far and i honestly have no idea what i'd do from there, i have no family (not any i'd depend on, anyway) here so...yeah. sure hope that doesn't happen. i don't know what i'd do.

  3. I often think about what I would do and how long it would take to get home. When I travel it is often to family about 2500km away, but I would still start walking home.

    I don't like travelling that far from home if I can help it, 30 minutes down the mountain is as far as I like to go. Though sometimes I am about 1 1/2 hrs driving time from home but I figure these two distances are easily walkable.

    Just have to be prepared, it will make it all so much easier if it happens :)

  4. That's one of my biggest worries when I travel. How would I get home. I can get home no problem from across town or just about anywhere in the state.

    I worry about it when I'm in Vegas or when I'm out of the country. I don't worry about it enough to make me stop having fun and traveling all over the place, at least I think about it.

    Across town I wouldn't think twice about getting on foot and leaving my vehicle if that's how I can get home faster. If I'm in Denver, I'm going to walk no matter what. If I'm in Rome... well I can always swim as long as I can and sink really slow.

    But yes, stay one step ahead is the best advice, get out before the gen pop makes realizations.

  5. I read the article too, it's a scary thought. Even more scary when you live in the city. I don't think our apartment neighbors would do so well in such an emergency, just looking at their behavior on normal days. We'd have to leave right away if something like that were to happen. Have a safe trip!