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Near Miss On Massive EMP with Tara Dodrill – Episode 168

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Solar_flareHold onto your seats…this week survivalist expert Brian Brawdy sits down to talk with Off The Grid News writer, Tara Dodrill. The two sit down to discuss the solar flare that just barely missed the earth two weeks ago. It was a solar flare that could have taken down mobile communication systems and other electronic devices worldwide.

Dodrill brings up some hard-hitting points about what kinds of disasters would be created by an EMP. She mentions factors like the number of planes over the United States at any given point in time. How many lives would be in danger if the electrical control systems go down in a plane while it is midair?

Dodrill and Brawdy really get fired up when they start talking about the lack of attention this is getting from the media and from the government. They also talk about the importance of the Shield Act. While they are not sure whether or not the Shield Act is the end all be all…it is at least a step in the right direction.

Off The Grid Radio
Released: August 2, 2013

Brian:               Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Off the Grid News, the radio version  I’m Brian Brawdy here today, sitting in for Mr. Bill Heid who is out on assignment.

You know, Jeramy, you can’t go on Drudge; you can’t listen to any news that you can trust.  At least, you can’t go anywhere anymore on the internet without hearing about these EMPs, these electric magnetic pulses.  Some come from the sun, some come from, you know, could come from foreign governments or terrorists of the like.  But regardless of where they come from, the end result is that your electronics, perish the thought, I know, you know your iPad isn’t going to work, you know, but your transformers could be down, you could do some really serious damage if there’s an EMP attack on our country or North America.  And it’s a good bit more than just a power outage.

You and I were discussing the show that this is like a power outage on steroids.  This is a real power outage, just the type of thing that our listeners probably already know, but in case you don’t, this could take us years to recover.  And I’m reading that not too long ago, we just literally dodged a bullet.  Our planet was in a slightly orbit than it normally is at other times of the year.  And the solar flare from the sun just missed us.  We just were able to scoot by or the solar flare scooted by our planet, based on that orbit.

So here’s what I thought we’d do today, I’d like to talk to our resident expert.  You’ve probably heard her name on a lot of bioline, she writes a good lot of articles.  But she’s more than just a writer, she’s an investigative reporter.  She’s been doing a lot of research, talking to industry big-wigs, seeing what’s going in Congress, what’s going on in the science aspect of it.  So we’re here today with Tara Dodrill.  Tara, how are you?

Tara:                Hey Brian, I’m just great.

Brian:               Well listen, my friend, I don’t know if you were able to hear any of that open but a lot of people are panicked now.  Everyone’s worried about solar flares.  Used to be terrorist attacks, nuclear device, detonated in our atmosphere.  But now the sun looks like it’s doing everything it can to paint a big red bull’s eye on us and send a solar flare our way.  How can you… Catch us up to speed, what’s going on?

Tara:                Well, you know, we’re heading the peak of the sun’s 11 year cycle.  And it’s something that has always occurred.  But until the past 20 years, which in scientific terms isn’t very long, the text and full knowledge of the power and strength of the solar flare was really unknown.  And so there’s been some better warning mechanisms now, we can have a day to three days to know its coming.  Well it’s not like it’s a hurricane and you know it’s coming so you get your sandbags, or you do whatever you’ve got to do, get some water, milk and bread from the store when its going to snow.  It’s so much more, whether it’s a solar flare or an EMP.  There’s a difference.  We can exhaust my scientific knowledge on that in about two minutes.  But there is a difference and it’s much more than just a power grid going down.  Congress has neglected, as they do with many things, really focusing on this issue.  The EMP commission was created, Newt Gingrich really involved in that and Dr.  William Forston, are you family with the one second after book, have you read about it?

Brian:               Oh yeah, yeah.

Tara:                Okay, yeah we interviewed him on Off the Grid News not too long ago, and he was very enlightening, and he testified in front of Congress.  They cited his book.  And we’re talking quite a while ago.  It was the EMP commission that was created, and it was a truly bipartisan commission.  So that never happens, right?  Who thinks something might happen?

Brian:               Sure.

Tara:                So it basically fell apart and now this impacts America, EMPs, at America, now Roscoe Bartlett, Trent Franks, two Congressmen, one may be senator, I’m not sure, are really pushing for a healthy EMP commission that actually has some influence.  And the shield act right now is stalled in Congress, and it’s the first real action that there’s been in about a decade to maybe do something to something to our (inaudible 0:04:29) power grid to protect it.  But it’s of course stalled.  But whether it’s a solar flare or an EMP, simply protecting the power grid, doing a faraday case thing around a transformer is what they’re coming up with now that’s going nowhere, that’s a little bit of something they may never get it done.  Or they could do exactly everything they could think of.  But protecting the power grid is what people mostly talk about – the solar flare/EMP and it would go down.  We’d live without electricity like you said.  But that’s just a smidgen of how that’s going to affect our lives.  We would immediately be blasted back to the 1800s.  We would be living like Little House on the Prairie.  So people have to get used to, like you said, you know, you can’t text, you can’t watch a YouTube video and…

Brian:               You’ve got to chase Laura Ingalls around all the time.

Tara:                There you go; you’re hanging out with Half-Pint.

Brian:               Sure.  Really, is Half-Pint.  I exhausted all my knowledge; you’re talking about exhausting your knowledge.  Was Half-Pint a character?  All I could think of was Laura Ingalls.

Tara:                Yeah, I was a big Little House on the Prairie fan as a girl.  Yeah, so people, there’ll be an immediate death toll you think, because hospitals wouldn’t be functioning and the heat fluctuations for the elderly, the young, or the ill, and so when making death toll estimates, I knew they weren’t anywhere in the ball park with saying maybe 40-50% of the country, you know, could die.  I know they weren’t anywhere in the ball park, but when I interviewed Dr. Forreston, they are like at the Jason (inaudible 0:05:54) Prize auxiliary parking lot near the stadium with their projections.

When… if there’s a power grid where they projected all the transformers, if it was to go down, you’re going to have fires.  And when you have these fires after solar flare, or an EMP, the local fire department are not going to be able to come.  The vehicles with a solar flare EMP would be (inaudible 0:06:19), anything past 1950s vehicle-wise is still electronically manufactured that it’s not going to run.  So, like our county’s little antique fire truck from the 50s the call Betsy, they use it for parades and funerals, it might run.  But that’s it.  So fires are going to cause a huge death toll, which FEMA didn’t take into account.

Brian:               Now, Tara, the fires, if I could interrupt, the fires, does that come from the solar flare itself, or is that because transformers are just blowing, sending sparks, and the sparks catch everything around them on fire?

Tara:                It would be transformers; it would be gas lines that’ll be breaking.  When there’s a solar flame or an EMP, electronics on an airplane are longer going to function.  According to the FAA, there’s about 7,000 aircrafts in the air at any given time over America.  Now you’re talking helicopters to jetliners.  But if 7,000 aircrafts were to fall, which they would, you have those deaths, but you also have the fires created from those deaths, and the buildings, wherever.  All those are not going to land in the ocean unfortunately and kill the people on board.  So you’re going to have those fires, and the jet fuel fires.

Brian:               Tara, can I ask, would it do anything to the ability of our satellites to function?  Now, I don’t care particularly that, you know, if your iPhones out, who cares if the satellite’s sending a signal.  But is there anything about satellites, their navigational system, or their ability to stay in orbit that could be affected by a solar flare?  In addition to airplanes and helicopters, we’ve got to worry about, are satellites falling back to earth?

Tara:                Dropping on your head, yes.  They wouldn’t function, they would fall, and anything with an antenna of any type would no longer be functional.  So you’re going to lose all these electronics.  If they could protect the transformers, that would be great.  They’re making a high tech voltage block, similar to faraday cage on steroids.  So you’ll protect those if this legislation passes, which it’s stalled, and they want 20-30 extra transformers to have also in a cage; which is great, because we don’t make anything in America anymore, as you well know.  And so if the whole world is impacted and we have to ship transformers that have to be made from Germany, China, wherever, because none of them are made here.  So if only America is impacted and we have to wait to get more transformers from elsewhere, we’re talking months and lifetimes.  If the whole world’s affected, they’re not going to be able to make new transformers.  So you’re looking at years.

Brian:               Well, Tara, you raise an interesting point, because it may not just be that they can’t make them, but let’s say that you know, we get a transformer from China and China decides – who can argue with them if they’re going to take care of their own people first, right?  So let’s just say they decide to take care of their own people first, and then we’re put on the backlist.  But suppose China goes, “Look, we’ve been fighting with you all about Taiwan, for years now.  We’re not going to send you any transformers, how do you like them apples?” So, it could be absolutely be used as a military advantage against the United States, I would think, if countries manufacturing these things decide to use it, or the lack thereof, as a military weapon.

Tara:                Oh they could, and it’s such a bargaining chip.  You know, food, food’s going to be in shorter supply.  All of us that live in rural areas that aren’t the crazy preppers, Congress things so know people can’t learn about solar flares and EMPs, food is going to be in short supply, here as well as there.  So we want the transformers to get back online, will the government confiscate food, use food here that’s actually being grown to send there?  You know, they’re going to have the bargaining chip of a lifetime, if they also are impacted.  And if they are, you now, it could be a decade.

But you know, the most conservative, from whatever governmental agency you speak with or scientist, the most conservative estimated if the power grid goes down, you’re looking at months to two years.  And depending on whom else you speak to and how widespread this solar flare/EMP attack would be, you could be looking at a decade.  You’re honestly talking of Bill Forest, and he went through the whole litany of items that are going to be impacted.  It could be 85% of the population dying rather quickly over the course of months or two years, far more realistic than FEMA’s 40.  The fires are going to be one of the biggest things in my opinion, have you ever seen a transformer or a power line on fire?

Brian:               I have.  Most times on Friday nights I have better things to do.  But yes, one weekend I was hanging out on my porch and I watch a transformer blow.

Tara:                Yeah okay, it blew.

Brian:               Sparks everywhere, one of the lines came down.  They said later to me that a bird, an egret, or something like that; what are the grey ones called?  King Herons – a Heron had flown into it at just right angle, speed, whatever, but when it hit it, like a huge pop, sparks everywhere, lines flying everywhere.  So yeah, sure.

Tara:                And you know, that’s just a small scale.  Our counties are all volunteer fire fighters.  And my husband is an officer.  And when I covered the local paper, it was great spiel you know, all the fire trucks, walk around the scene, he’d always be saying, “Watch out, watch out!” If the power lines are down and that was one, if you had a major storm, they’ll all bust at once.  You know, with the solar flare and they’ll all bust at once, and there’s nobody there to put out the fires, they’re around trees, they’re around structures, the fire can take out an entire town in hours and there’ll be no way to stop the spreading.  So you’ll lose homes and lives and food quickly, and you’ll have the civil unrest aspect that will occur after a solar flare/EMP.  So it’s not just we’re living without power, we’re living without, you know, anything.  The fire’s going to be the first, you know, major concern, trying to contain those.

Brian:               So the solar flare’s just the beginning of the heart ache, all the collateral damage that comes afterwards, whether an airliner crashes into your house, or a fire starts down the street, catches one house on fire, then all the other houses begin to catch on fire, given the drought that some of our country is in.  And with no firefighters or emergency personnel to be able to respond, there’s a domino effect Tara, is there not?  It just seems to go and go and go and go.

Tara:                Exactly, and you would just think, okay, the power lines are down, we’re going to have issues – somebody in your family has a heart condition, or being treated for cancer, whatever that might be.  You’re going to those are some of the initial things the people who need electronics need to live, a breathing machine or something.  And you think of the hardships, food’s going to be limited to grocery stores, they’re going to be, you know, starving, civil unrest.  And those are very legitimate and will occur quickly, but so will the fires and the burst gas lines and water treatment plants are longer going to be able to pump.

Brian:               Oh good point, water treatment plants, sure.

Tara:                So, if you live in the city, I can’t even imagine how somebody could survive a week in the city.

Brian:               Now Tony just handed me something here from former CIA director James Woosley that said that, “We are now at war with those who want to take down our electricity grid,” So obviously that’s talking about foreign governments.  In this day and age you could do it with a computer.  Yeah, you could do it with a laptop.  You don’t even need a nuclear weapon.  But also reading the deputy director of ARPAE, the energy side of the ARPA, told me a few weeks ago that they had crunched these numbers himself, and that the 3500 utilities in the United States, folks get ready for this, we got 3500 utilities, they spend less annually on research and development than does the American dog food industry.

Well, the weird stuff my wife buys our dog to eat that doesn’t surprise me at all.  You know, Jeramy, the other day I had to go in and get some stuff for our dog and I said, “Hey, I’m here for the vegetarian food.” And she looks at me.  And I go, “Oh, no, no no, the vegetarian food, it’s $80 a bag.” She goes, ‘Oh, do you mean the kangaroo?” I didn’t even know we were feeding him kangaroo.

Okay, but here’s the thing, we don’t do anything in terms and development on actually protecting the 3500 utilities in the United States.  We most certainly don’t do it to such a degree that we can even compete with the American dog food industry.  Now for all the dog lovers listening, that’s not a slam on us, right?  Because I’m a dog owner as well.  It’s not a slam on us, just that you would think we could do a little something, Jeramy, to get our priorities straight.

Now it also says no-one is really in charge of security for the grid, and no single intelligence agency with a staff that’s assuming how to deal with these threats as they come up, is currently in place.  So, Tara, we’re taking it from the sun, we’re taking it from foreign governments, I mean, it could just even a natural disaster that starts the cascading effect… I threw my pen across the room… cascading effect that if one part of the grid is knocked down, that moves across the country, causing those same fires, those same outages, we could be in a really bad way.

Tara:                Oh the grid is the most vulnerable piece of our infrastructure.  A hacker sitting at a computer in China could take down not the entire grid, but large enough sections and overwhelm the rest.  Moving things to smart grid, which was what the Obama administration was pushing for, makes it more vulnerable.  I did a story for Off the Grid a month ago, and it focused on the smart grid technology with electronic cars.  New York and several other states got tax-payer funded grants, and there will be a lot of electronic charging stations across the country.  And they were tied in of course to electricity.  And hackers, with not even super-advanced knowledge can use this, pull their car up to them with their laptop in the car and be able to access power grid stations on a regional basis, not a national, regional basis and hack into the power grid because security on these power station charging boxes, transformers, whatever they’re called, is so lax that they would be able to go two or three steps into the system, and be able to get into our power grid.

But yet there’s no regulation, there’s no oversight.  I don’t understand the lack of attention to this.  The article Tony passed to you, the man with the long (inaudible 0:16:24), he was also discussing that the threats like you did, in the multiple different ways.  And Congress is just unwilling to move.  And the thought process from this administration is too complicated of an issue to educate the public about.  I don’t know why the administration official said that line.  But it was too complicated to educate the public about.  And I didn’t want to start a panic, because honestly, they can try to protect the grid in every way possible, we would’ve been hit by the electromagnetic pulse two weeks ago, it was a Carrington event level solar flare.

Brian:               Okay, Tara, let me ask you about that as earlier when I mentioned electromagnetic pulse, you seem to differentiate between a solar flare and an electromagnetic pulse that would be sparked say by a terrorist or a foreign government of the like.  but an electromagnetic pulse, an electromagnetic pulse, regardless of where it comes from, we’re talking about the same thing – electricity moving so quickly that it goes through a circuit and just fries the in and fries the out.  Yes?

Tara:                Yes and in a fraction of a second.  With the EMP attack you don’t have a nuclear component so there would be a disaster that you normally associate with a missile with nuclear capabilities.  And that’s an added, an added gotcha too if that’s what taking over a power grid.  So the solar flare won’t actually do any harm to human beings or people on earth.

I was interviewed at a radio show for, I don’t even remember what network that was with, it was a nice lady.  And there was a woman who called in, and she was concerned because her husband has a pacemaker.  And she wanted to know whether it would affect him.  I’ve never been asked that question before.  I told her I did not know, but I had a few proper doctor friends.  She talked to her doctor and he dismissed her as a nut, you know, that that’s just crazy.  And so she was really concerned.  And the best advice I could her, I told her you know, I didn’t mean to sound facetious, but she has a basement with a faraday cage, human size type shed in their basement, it might be his best protection.  That was all I could come up with logically, the way you would protect your equipment.  And the medical people I spoke with hadn’t thought of it either and that was the best they could’ve come up with as well.  But her doctor dismissed it.

People and Congress and officials and others think this is some kooky prepper thing worrying about it.  You know every generation has, like you mentioned before, has what’s called the doomsday prediction.  Well it’s not paranoid.  These are real concerns; there’s been real bills in Congress.  There’s been an EMP commission that the center was just dismissed off to the side.  And they were unanimous, when they created that EMP commission, they unanimously passed the house and the senate – both parties.  There was enough interest and we need to protect the power grid, what can we do to try to mitigate the death and trillions, trillions of dollars of loss.  But it was reinitiated, it was approved under both Republican and Democrat-led Congress unanimously both times, but it has been a decade.  And the system is so overly taxed now that the EMP (inaudible 0:19:28) is far more serious.  We’re hitting another 11 year peak in the solar cycle, yet there’s been nothing done to even try to keep the electrical system up.  Which is the good idea for when nobody in the country can drive, turn on an appliance, go to a hospital.  The power grid back up is great, the fact that Air Force One is EMP proof, that’s great but does nothing to stop the civil unrest and the fires and everything else.

Brian:               Tara, let me as you a question then, as I hear you said that – are you aware of any other governments that are taking… Two questions: one, are you aware of any other governments that are taking more proactive steps than our government?  And I’m just curious because that 93, what’s the sun like, 93 million miles from the earth.  And the speed of light is what, 186,000 miles per second.  So there’s a little bit of lag time.  So first question is: any other government doing something more proactively than we are?  And two: do we have enough time?  Is there enough of an advanced warning.  Are scientists able to sense a solar flare leaving the surface of the sun and then the clock starts, whatever that calculation would be, however long it takes the flare to travel, I’m assuming at or close to the speed of light, to get over that 93 million miles, what kind of lag time or what kind of warning time do we have?

Tara:                Well as far as other countries, you could just pick a winner in Europe.  They all are taking it much more seriously than we are.  How much success they’re having with protecting the power grid things, I’m not real sure.  But their officials are taking it seriously and listen to their scientists, listen to NASA – know a scientist here in Europe and they are taking steps that may or may not work but at least they are addressing it.  I’ve heard things about solar flares twice in a year.  Both on Fox News, both Bill Hemmer.  Shout out to him.  He’s from Cincinnati, right next door to me, that’s it.  And I watch the news constantly and write about this constantly.  And it’s just passed over.  So at least Europe, they are attacking it like any other important problem.  I’m not sure exactly where each country is with doing something, but it’s an issue.

Warning time – yeah, kind of.  In theory, no one NASA scientists in the NASA institute of science do believe that they can give us more warning time now.  Hours to two to three days, it kind of depends.  They watch very closely the sun spots, see how they’re moving, how hot they are, how they’re developing, how active they are, to try to gauge when one could erupt and be big enough, and whether or not their facing the sun.  So in the last 20 years, and more likely in the last ten, it’s a well-developed technology.  It’s only been this year there’s a portion of sun they could have a monitor.  And now they can.  So that’s improved.  There’s some super mega telescope in Australia that’s supposed to be the best in the world that’s also helping with the detection.  But you have… those at NASA are really watching and trying to gauge so give us some time.  So maybe you can get home from your hour of work and get your child or something, grocery store.  I mean I know what it’s like in any panic, disaster; a solar flare is going to hit and take us back to the 1800s in the next 48 hours.  You can imagine the pandemonium, but these people could at least get home.

But it’s still a game of Russian roulette.  There’s been multiple sun spots this year that seem huge, that they’ve not been directed towards us, we got lucky just more than 2 weeks ago.  So there’s supposed to be, I think, they enough warning time.  But these things you don’t know.  We’ve not had one that big with this technology to see.  It’s a fraction of a second it takes for all those electromagnetic pulses to go.  So, in theory, we should have some warning time.  What that warning time’s going to buy us, if you’re not already prepared, it’ll get you home and that’s about it.  If you’re close by a grocery store, you can fight the mob, you can have enough food for a couple of days.  The warning time would help those of us who are prepared.

But getting information out, it’s not really discussed.  If you want to go to NASA’s website and check every day, to see where the solar activity was, whether M-class or S-class, where it was directed, you would know.  But it’s going to be a blurb on the TV and it’s going to frighten millions of people who are just blissfully unaware of the stretch that we face, because they consider it crazy prepper stuff.  And unless the Shield Act passes in Congress, I don’t see the issue getting more mainstream media play.  I don’t know how the Shield Act is really going to protect us, but it’s the first real step in the right direction, and it should be supported.  If they can try to protect our power grid, with these transformer boxes they want to do, that at least keeps the infrastructure in place.  And if that doesn’t help anything else, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

Brian:               A step in the right direction, and I think that’s why we wanted to talk a little about that.  You mentioned earlier about the media not doing a great job of reporting it.  I’m just reading something that came across the wire 12 minutes ago, a near miss for earth: devastating electromagnet pulses that could have knocked out power, cars, and phones occurred two weeks ago.  But what’s missing from that headline is people going, “I can get by without my car.  I can get by without my phone.” But what’s missing from the mainstream media and what I like, Tara, about your reporting is that that’s just… I don’t want to say tip of the iceberg because it’s so cliché – but that’s just the beginning.  It’s just the very beginning.

You know planes are falling out of the sky, all the things, the tangential fires, all the collateral damage.  So I’m wondering, do you think that if the media was a little bit more open and honest about 30 seconds after you lose your car and your phone, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, do you think that that would wake up more people?  Because if anything in our country, Tara, you know, once the populous really gets behind something, politicians snap to action.  So it’s easier for us to say now that this Bill – I get into trouble when Bill and I talk about things like this as well – you know, that this legislation is stalled.

In Congress, I don’t blame the senate; I don’t blame the people in the House of Representatives.  I blame you and Tony and Jeramy and me and anyone else listening, you know what I mean?  Because we’re all ready to blame you know, the Congressmen, but until you and I, until our family, our friends, our neighbors, everybody else starts ringing up the phones, right?  If as many people called to ask about the Shield Act as they cared about the name of somebody, a princess in England just had a baby, if as many people cared about that as cared about the name of her little one, I think the Shield Act would pass.  If we, even if we gave it one ten minute interview with Shep, you mentioned a friend of mine, Bill… if any of the people that we see in the nightly news did ten minutes of the after effects that you told the audience today, you’d go, “Bri, that Shield Act passed so fast I didn’t even know what happened.” Do you agree?

Tara:                Oh yes.  And there’s nothing controversial about this, it’s not bipartisan.  It’s less money that we send overseas on any given month – but that’s an entirely different topic.  But if the money comparison is blown on stupid stuff, and there’s nothing in this Bill that’s going to tick off any contingent of our extremely short attention span country.  So I don’t understand why it’s not passed.  And the man from the public relations lobby firm, his name is Kevin McBicker and he’s wonderful shared information updates trying to get the information out there.  And as you said, the Bill passing is great, but what I see as the best benefit of this bill getting media attention and hopefully passing, is not so much protection to the power grid, which are necessary for the packers, EMPs, hot weather everyone has their AC cranked up, whatever, it’s the attention it’s going to put on the issue.  Because if they protect the power grid, that’s great, but there’s still going to be fires.  There’s still going to be civil unrest.

If the attention is given to the issue, I hope it alerts more people that need to prepare and that will save lives.  Because that, even if they can try to keep most of it up and repair it, the death toll is still going to be high.  The airplanes are going to crash, there’s going to be no fire department.  So, the Shield Act passing would be great.  The biggest benefit I see of that Bill would be the attention on the issue to take it out onto the mainstream area so every mother and father and grandparent across the country realizes what life would be like, not since, you know, you couldn’t watch Netflix one night.  But what the true aftermath would be, so that they are prepared.  Fighting the fires would be very difficult on your own, you’re not going have water, and that’s something that I give a lot of thought to and am concerned with.  But as far as food, water, medication, organic alternatives to medicine you can’t buy, you got your home bag in your car, putting things in faraday cages – and the things you can do to try to get a hold of your loved ones and to get home and have some food, that’s the biggest benefit I see of the Shield Act and what it’s going to do to the power grid.

Brian:               You know, you raise a very valid point, Tara, in that if you’re armed with this knowledge, the first thing that you should know, and I say this as a reporter at the time for CBS, covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  If plan on your fallback, your emergency preparedness plan is to pick up the phone, dial 911 and think someone is going to ride in on a white horse and save you, you’re backing the wrong pony.  If in an emergency in the size you’re describing, if your plan is to wait for outside help, it isn’t coming.  So maybe the best thing that our listeners can take away today is that, what are you doing?  If you couldn’t go the grocery store to get food, what would you do?  If you couldn’t call the fire department to put out a fire, what would you do?  If you couldn’t get your own electricity, do you have a solar generator?  Do you have an emergency supply of wise food?  Do you have the things that you could use?  Do you have the ability to replant a garden the following spring?  Because if the government isn’t going to take action, and we go back to the 1800s.  I mean the good news is we did all right as a country in the 1800s.

Tara:                Yes we did.

Brian:               You know, it’s not like this is some kind of super natural thing, that’s going to make everybody to turn out to wear leisure suits and, you know, snap back to the styles of the day, but maybe what we should be suggesting the people as they heard this, go, “Don’t wait for Congress to act.  You need to act.  you need to find those things that you could do,” because in an emergency situation, I can tell you, in the hours following Hurricane Katrina there was no one coming to help those folks, and that was in a major city in this day and age, in our country,

Tara:                We have, like I mentioned, a short attention span, that hurricane Katrina and hurricane Sandy and 9/11, those things made us think about being more prepared for a while.  But then people kind of drifted off from that.  And not only do you need to prepare, if you’re in a city, if you’re a single woman in the city, these college students – there’s information coming out, you know, if the Shield Act finally gets the attention it deserves, I would hope that more women will go get the concealed carry permit, or at least learn how to shoot and clean a gun, and to clear jams so you can use one safely.  People need to tell their children, your kids might be at school, you know I’m in a rural area; people work an hour from home.  Your kids are at school, which is a 45 minute bus ride from home, what if you taught your middle school and high school kids about how to get home and what to do if there’s a disaster.

Brian:               Absolutely, and I know I do it with my son and daughter, or whether to even come home.  In an emergency situation, at both of their schools if something happens, and I’m in the area, which is also a big if – you could be away – but if I’m in the area and something happens, they know exactly where to get to, and that I would get there to get them, right?  So without that kind of fallback plan, you’re absolutely right – oh no don’t worry, they’ll get a bus ride home – no the buses don’t work.  It’s not just your cell phone.  It’s not like you get back to the days when you can wear rabbit ears on television, it’s not that your signal is going to be all messed up, there is going to be no signal.  So maybe that’s a great way to look at it.

I know we interviewed a couple times, Tara, last year John Campenman from the storm analysis consultant who’s testified at least twice and maybe more times than that Jeramy will nod if I’m right about this, at least twice he’s testified in front of Congress saying it’s not a question of if, but when.  This is absolutely going to happen.  Our grid either by the sun or through a terrorist attack, our grid is going to be compromised.

Tara:                It is just a Russian roulette, a matter of when.  They’ve got about 200 year cycles for massive solar flares.

Brian:               Yeah but 200 years ago, nobody cared really, did that?

Tara:                Exactly, the last major solar flare was 1859 the Carrington event.  The advanced technology at that time was the telegraph.  The telegraph lines did catch on fire.  The sparks caught the papers, the desks and the telegraph operators on fire.  Their bucket brigade came out and put it out.  So you had the fires.  You had your technology down.  But people who lived way out, not around any telegraph lines, they were even all the way through the country then, didn’t even notice the difference.  So, they were far more prepared.

Perppers was a like a lot of our ancestors, they can, they had a root cellar, they raise their own livestock, people in the rural area would be better off as far as preparedness, but we don’t need to let ourselves wallow to some kind of safety, because we won’t be better off when it comes to fires.  We’re surrounded – the county I live in, over 50 % of it was national or state forest.  So we’re surrounded by a lot of woods, and I’ve witnessed many brush fires.  So we’re a lot better off in safety and preparedness aspects, but the fires are going to probably be the most potentially deadly aspect of a grid down scenario in my opinion.  And it’s overlooked a lot even FEMA discussed which I don’t want to cite FEMA with any type of hypocrisy or love.  But they don’t take into account when they’re even putting out warnings to be prepared discussing what it’s going to be like when your gas lines blow and there’s fires.  So people need to prepare themselves more and to network.  What are we going to do if there’s a fire in our neighborhood?  And people in the rural areas think they’re going to bunk if there’s a disaster – well bunking in might not be an option.  If you have a cabin in the woods, it could be gone very quickly.  So then what do you do?  So that’s an aspect of a power down scenario that I think not only Americans who aren’t paying attention, but even our very well trained survivalists and rural preppers need to think about too, is, “What if I can’t stay on this 50 acre farm where I have done everything I thought could?”

Brian:               No, that makes perfect sense.  And for all of our listeners regardless of where you live, what are the steps you’re going to take?  If you hear this is going to happen tomorrow, if you’re having a difficult time and this is what’s going on, what are you going to do?  What’s your fallback plan?  Now, Tara, let me ask you, are you putting any articles together for us right now?  I’m sorry I don’t know that.  Is there something we can read on Off the Grid News?  Or if not up there already, is there something that is coming out soon?

Tara:                Tomorrow I’m going to do a piece.  (Inaudible 0:35:11.) Pretty much everything we’ve talked about today.  I’m halfway through it.  But on Off the Grid News there are multiple solar flare/EMP cyberacting power grids stories out there; if you go onto our website solar flare/EMP you’d be able to find them.

Brian:               You’d be able to find them.  Okay my friend, we’re not going to hold you so you can get back to writing the second half of that story, which will appear tomorrow, Jeramy, is that right?  2nd of August.  Oh, about the same time.  Well, that’s today now that you’re hearing my voice.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have spent about 45 minutes here with our resident expert on all things solar flare.

Bottom line, in speaking with Tara, is that you need to have your own plan. Don’t let the next Carrington effect catch you off guard.  You need to have your own plan.  What are you going to do for power?  What are you going to do for water?  What are you going to do for food?  What are you going to do for some type of emergency set up, right?  What’s that going to be?  What’s that going to be?

All right, special thanks to Tara for sure, Tara Dodrill has been with us 45 minutes on a special edition of Off the Grid News, here at We look forward to speaking with you next week. Mr. Bill Heid would be back from assignment.  That’s a show you’re not going to want to miss.  On behalf of everyone here from Solutions from Science the parent company of Off the Grid News, didn’t think I could get in that quick, did you?  I’m Brian Brawdy, thank you for joining us.

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