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The State Of The Union, 7 Days After An EMP

The State Of The Union, 7 Days After An EMP

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Determining the specific ramifications after something like a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) attack, or even a Carrington Event-style coronal mass ejection (CME) is kind of a guessing game at this point.

However, one thing we do know is that some of the most horrifying effects of an EMP disaster will occur about a week after our grid gets fried. That’s why I’ve decided to take a visualized journey into what the US might look like, seven days after an EMP — and let’s just say that the state of the union will be a bleak one.


If you live in a city or suburban area, then it’s no secret that when you look into the sky on a cloudless evening, you’re basically seeing a fraction of the stars that someone from, say, an Arizona desert might be viewing. The reason is that the cumulative artificial lighting from your surrounding area – the light pollution — is blocking out the stars. In a city (and other somewhat densely populated zones), you can walk around at night without a flashlight, because the area is practically bathed in artificial light.

(Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s show about a Carrington-type sun event, here.) 

After an EMP, however, everything will go as dark as a lifeless desert or wilderness mountainside. Since at this point, people will be running out of battery juice for their flashlights, cloud-covered evenings will be pitch black.

This might not necessarily be such a bad thing, if you’re planning on running your bugout operation under the cover of complete and total darkness.

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But the absence of light won’t be the only “darkness.”

There will be a cognitive, communicative darkness sweeping from sea to shining sea, especially since the methods that we’ve depended upon to exchange information will have been gutted

  • Emergency services will not be able to coordinate or exchange information.
  • The Internet infrastructure in the US will have been completely destroyed.
  • Telephones and cell towers will have been fried.
  • Radio and TV stations will have been destroyed.
  • Even ham radio operators (that have not hardened their systems to EMP) will have nothing but electronically damaged gear.

Most people will have no clue what happened (because let’s face it, most people aren’t aware of these types of threats). It will be a complete and total information blackout and a true time of total darkness in the US after an EMP takes its hefty toll.


The State Of The Union, 7 Days After An EMP

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If anything, this type of information blackout will become cause for a nationwide sense of desperation. The US is primarily an info-based society, because we currently enjoy the ability to share information and to communicate globally with ease. In a way, that’s what makes this modern digital era such a time, which has been ripe with opportunities.

However, we’ve become extremely dependent on easily accessible information via electronic means, and almost totally independent on word-of-mouth sources (the likes of which were the norm during pre-modern times).

Confusion soon becomes desperation, because not only will people become very concerned that the state of things has not improved within a seven-day timeframe, but they also will have no ability to obtain information as to what exactly is going on. The effects of this will be extremely psychologically destructive. And at the same time, we will have a snowball-effect problem in the works …

  1. EMP strike renders the grid inoperable.
  2. Grid electricity is required to pump gasoline through pipelines and into tractor trailer trucks and locomotives (the primary movers of goods in the US).
  3. Supply chains will stop because tractor trailer trucks and locomotives are no longer going anywhere, due to fossil fuels becoming inaccessible at local pumps.
  4. A complete shortage of consumer goods will occur, since companies can no longer get their goods from distribution centers to retail/grocery stores.

Also within days of the EMP strike, it will become quickly apparent that law enforcement can no longer communicate effectively, thereby disabling their ability to maintain law and order. Looting will likely ensue shortly thereafter.

In addition, dangerous and disruptive aftershocks of this crisis will being to occur on a national scale. For instance, all across the US, flooding, fires and town-leveling explosions will begin to erupt without warning. Not only will many homes and businesses burn to the ground due to the initial electromagnetic wave that causes smaller scale electrical fires, but when entire utility substations begin to leak millions of gallons of flammable-toxic liquids, this will result in major cataclysms.

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But regardless of proximity to massive ecological disasters and multi-kiloton gasoline blasts, there will be hundreds of millions of personal crises occurring. After seven days of people not having been able to use their credit/debit cards to make transactions, nationwide looting in even rural areas will become commonplace.

There will be a temporary run on the banks, but since cash isn’t nearly as common these days, most people will be forced to resort to theft and bartering in order to feed themselves and their loved ones.


Through the culmination of depleted consumer grocery/retail goods, the widespread coordination breakdown and manpower deficiencies of emergency services, and a total information blackout of communication, including the blanket of darkness at night, the state of the union at seven days after an EMP would, in essence, be one of nationwide disorder.

The US would begin its descent into an epidemic of anarchy.

The State Of The Union, 7 Days After An EMP

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At this point, not only would the federal, state and local government be rendered practically useless, but even if they were able to maintain a certain level of solvency, they wouldn’t have the ability to communicate with the population at large.

Virtually everyone, regardless of wealth status, creed, race or gender, will have no possible way of accessing their electronically held funds … and because of the relative newness of the crisis, most people will not yet have thought to adopt the barter system to slow the nation’s economic hemorrhaging.

One week after an EMP, each household and individual will have to provide for and protect themselves, carrying the tremendous weight of the same fundamental responsibilities and capacities that the national law enforcement, military, civil government, and US economic system had been carrying only a week ago.  And since everyone now will have become hopelessly impoverished, having most likely burned through the contents of their pantries at this point, then the US population at large will have reached a maximum state of confusion and desperation … as it takes its final dive into utter chaos.

A Crisis of Confusion

In a way, it isn’t a forgone conclusion to suspect that FEMA will not have to round up a single person to check in at their nationwide franchises. No, most people will probably elect to check themselves in for a free meal and “secure” lodging.  Martial law would be the next step.

Yet in such a crisis, there will be a good bit of hope for those of us who have adequately prepared ourselves in advance. Not only will we have the cover of darkness shielding our escape to the backwoods, but confusion tends to obfuscate the movements and actions of the tactically wise and strategically sound. And so, in the event of an EMP, I would like to say…

On that darkened day of calamity, you fellow vigilant Off The Gridders: I wish you and all of your loved ones a safe, speedy bugout and a flourishing homestead thereafter.

What would you add to this picture of an America, post-EMP? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  1. When the Earth suffers another 1859 Carrington Event level CME the transmission lines and far worse the substation transformers will go down. Most transformers are built out of the US and rebuilding the factories to make them would take time. Time will be in short supply when time sensitive crops rot on farms and unrefrigerated truck docks. But its been tested that a CME may not destroy all electronics but the ones with connection to the wires, lines and cables that span all our landscape are going to suffer.

  2. Assuming a complete failure of the grid – I’m puzzled by the lack of reference to water availability. I’d guess that 99% of the population won’t know how (or be prepared) to obtain clean water if it doesn’t come out of a bottle or a spigot. Which means that a huge portion of the population would become lawless animals within 7 hours, not 7 days. There will be significant die-off within 7 days.

    • Chas – Well said. Add to that the following points:

      Delivery of produce and other food stocks will cease immediately. No trucks, no electricity to pump the fuel for the trucks, and no credit cards to pay for the fuel. Freight haulers will be sitting on the side of every Interstate and highway in the country.

      Inner city rioting and looting will begin within 30 minutes of a grid failure. It has in the past, it will again.

      Police will become bystanders, powerless to suppress rioters (think politics). When that reality sets in, the police will abandon their posts to take care of their own families.

      By the time state governors realize the need to activate their national guards, there will be no means of communicating with them. There will be no suppression of rioters and looters.

      I could go on, but you get the point. You will be on your own.

  3. In an EMP scenario nuclear power plants will overheat sooner than later! After their reserves of diesel fuel runs out, there will be no electricity to the mechanisms that cool the reactors, and the reactor cores will overheat causing massive melt downs with massive amounts of radiation being released.

    There are very few contingency plans to cover this horrible scenario.
    This IS scary, and it should be thought provoking!

    • @RickE ; best comment ever . Amen.

    • And don’t forget – oil refineries run on electricity, not oil. The national petroleum reserve (which has been diminished by Obama) is a fraction of the normal consumption. Even assuming that transportation of this reserve to refineries would be possible, the pipeline capacity is far lower than the demand that would exist.

      The only groups that will get fuel will be government agencies and the military. You will be sucking wind.

    • Reactors shutdown isn’t a problem…..they will simply lower the control rods and stop the reaction. If you knew anything about nuclear power operation, you’d know this.

      The REAL problem is the locations that use pools of constantly recirculated water over spent fuel rods. Once those pumps stop, the water evaporates and the rods may heat enough to catch fire, spewing clouds of radioactive smoke/ash down wind of the site.

    • Every safety and cooling device in a nuclear plant has one critical function: The safe shutdown of that plant in the event of loss of offsite power or some other critical process is interrupted. Nuclear plants do not run on the power that they make. That electricity goes out into the grid. In the event of a major EMP the plants would immediately go into emergency “trip” and total shutdown would take about 8-10 hrs. NO electricity will be generated during this time. So, there would be no electricity from the outset of the crisis. Argue if you will but think, that if the grid is down where would the electricity go that the plant is producing if it maintained production?

      • Let me add that all commercial size nuclear power plants have emergency diesel generators the size of a house and more than one or two. Redundancy is the watchword of nuclear power and safe operations. The “melt down” of a nuclear reactor that has all it’s safety process intact will NOT repeat WILL NOT happen. Plus the plants have back up DC power storage that can provide all power necessary to safely bring the plant down under control. A core melt down is way down the list of things one should concern themselves with in an EMP event.

  4. I am new to this but I thought the EMT would make cars unable to start?

    • They still aren’t sure on that.
      Some tests with EMP generators knocked out running cars, some didn’t.
      But, seeing how it is insulated (rubber tires) if not running it would I think have a chance at running again. If your on the road, good luck and I hope you remembered your “get home bag”.

    • TheSouthernNationalist

      The newer cars say from mid 90’s would have a problem, not enough metal in the body to form the faraday cage effect plus all the electronics involved, if you can afford to, buy an old vehicle say from the 70’s back to the 50’s and fix it up so it will run and get you where you need to go. I’ve got a 1968 ford torino that is in great shape and will withstand an EMP blast.

  5. Heinrich Mueller

    Back in the 1930’s my dad had a pool hall/card room and a couple of slot machines. One guy left to go home and it was so dark he got lost in a town that was only three square blocks (about 200 yards by 200 yards). So yes it is very dark without artificial lighting.

  6. Hello there,

    I am a young widow, in my 20’s with a small son, we live off grid on top of a mountain. I am not looking to replace my husband but am very concern with the chaos erupting all over the world and especially in this Country. My husband died before we could complete our plans, therefore, I am hoping to find a capable man that will do well with an off grid independent life. A man that is a builder, has certain combat/firearm and survival skills, who is business savvy, patient, and who will care for and protect my son and I. I know this is a long shot but tragic and devastating things happens to all of us and one has to think of ways out or around it no matter how difficult it is. ” IT’S NOT THAT I CAN AND OTHERS CAN’T, IT’S THAT I WILL AND OTHERS WON’T ” , is a motto my husband lived by.

    Our plan was for 95% – 99% ” self efficiency ” we wanted to live off grid and have all the convenience of being on grid. Where I live there are only 2 full time neighbors on a 2 mile private driveway. The closes is half a mile away. There are no buildings or structures that can be seen from our property.

    If there is a man that meets this criteria and may be interested please respond to this letter and we will go from there. I am a very private person so I dare not share too much information on the world wide web, well openly for all eyes to see. You will be walking into a project, as I mentioned before, my husband died before everything could be completed. We will have a mutually beneficial arrangement (whatever that means?)
    Yes, I know this may sound rather bizarre and you may be wondering if this is for real, well I can assure you I am no robot, I have flesh and everything and all the requirements that makes me a real human being person…thingy majigger, which happens to be the technical name of some big machine. Winter is steadily approaching, and by the way, winters here are breathtakingly gorgeous and tranquil it makes me feel like I am in a snow globe.

    Thank you for all inquiries (is my attempt to sound all business like…I don’t know if I used that word correctly…Oh Well.)

    My name is Reana and yours?

    • Wow, I wish you the best. I’m preparing for all this, but not like you due to my situation. I live in a city. Thankfully a small one, but a city nonetheless. I hope that the right man comes along as you have a child to protect. I hope you have female friends because that is something I now realize is so important. We stick together. Could you go into a city occasionally just to have a small circle of acquaintances? Maybe they could introduce you to someone. You apparently have access to the internet. Is there a website for this? I would like to meet more people that realize we need to do this. My family will soon think I’m nuts!!! You or anyone may contact me at [email protected]

      • I might be interested, would like to know more about you and your situation. I am a blue collar guy that can build or fix most anything( heavy equipment, concrete, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, farming, martial arts instructor, etc) and has a PhD as well. Would bring all equipment needed as well as significant funds . Drop me a note if you are interested.

    • TheSouthernNationalist

      Hello Reana,

      I would like to submit my application, I am an older man but still in good health and I do have knowledge of building and survival.


    • Hello Reana,

      I hope this finds you well. I am very curious, as I’ sure others are, if you ever found anyone to fill the position? I would love to hear.


    • Reana, I hope this message finds you well and your troubles over. I hope that a gentleman came into you and your childs life. I would have jumped at a chance to help your if I was half my age. After growing up all over the world and the serving in our military, I found that Alaska had my name in my mind. Alas it was not to be because life and health stepped in the way. I currently find myself living close to the border of several states and ready to return to basic’s whenever life throws me a curve ball. I help college Guys/Gals find nature and understand how to live in it on its terms if needed.

      Currently Our country knows about the EMP threat and added to that North Korea has the ability to shut us down. I government has decided to not fix the problem and they won’t even put a Bandaid on it. That has made many other countries very happy. But even at Our worst the military has a system built to help fight off our invaders and then the Powerful politicians and the Elites will come out of their holes in the ground that they have build with billions and billions of our tax dollars. Some of the locations are know (all of them) even a couple have been tested during several past recent events against our nation. They had a list and checked it twice only the chosen were allowed in.Of course the Elites plan to come out after it is safe and then tell the people they will again lead Our People and Country to Prosperity. They don’t understand that is if the American People let them but there might be plans to seek those holes out and seal them up. To let them die as the rats and snakes that they are for allowing the American people to suffer while they were safe under ground. I dont believe we need another Clinton or Obama or a Soros or Stalin to rule over us. Those that are the survivors after generations of strife and sorrow and hard life will rule themselves. If the event happens I hope that you and yours will be there to see the good times roll again. Best wishes.

  7. I love that this was brought back to the top. Didn’t catch before.

    EMP: don’t tease me. I’d love a good off grid scenario for the WORLD for about 60 – 90 days, at least. Should clear out a lot of crap for sure.

    Would it be tough? Depends on what you consider tough, but considering you’re reading this you’ve probably got a trick or two up your sleeve for dealing with it. 😉

    Biggest thing won’t be physical, it will be mental and emotional. Will you be able to shoot your neighbor as he smells your food and his kids haven’t eaten in three weeks and he’s doing everything he can to get to YOUR food? Can you say NO to family members that thought you were a whackado for keeping extra supplies on hand?

    Oh – you’re going to feed your neighbor and his family and his friends? Ok, who in your family is going to go hungry because of this bad decision?

    Only one in da hood with a wood burning stove/fireplace and it’s 1 degree outside; are you going to say no to your friends who want to warm up?

    This will be the worst of it, going against our solid American Christian principles of helping others.

    Prepare now, live later.

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