Massive Solar Flare Narrowly Misses Earth, EMP Disaster Barely Avoided (Updated)

Massive Solar Flare Narrowly Misses Earth, EMP Disaster Barely Avoided (Updated)

Aug 02

solar-flare

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08/02/13 UPDATE from SpaceWeather.com:

Original Link

“Many readers are asking about a report in the Washington Examiner, which states that a Carrington-class solar storm narrowly missed Earth two weeks ago. There was no Carrington-class solar storm two weeks ago. On the contrary, solar activity was low throughout the month of July. The report is erroneous. The possibility of such a storm is, however, worth thinking about: A modern Carrington event would cause significant damage to our high-tech society.”

Helpful Links

• Zombie Day Survival
• Use Google Alerts to notify you of real-time topics like “Carrington-class Coronal Mass Ejection”
• Space Weather Prediction Center
• NOAA NWS Space Weather Prediction Center on Facebook

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MASSIVE SOLAR FLARE NARROWLY MISSES EARTH, EMP DISASTER BARELY AVOIDED
By Paul Bedard
Washington Examiner
July 31, 2013

Original Link

The earth barely missed taking a massive solar punch in the teeth two weeks ago, an “electromagnetic pulse” so big that it could have knocked out power, cars and iPhones throughout the United States.

Two EMP experts told Secrets that the EMP flashed through earth’s typical orbit around the sun about two weeks before the planet got there.

“The world escaped an EMP catastrophe,” said Henry Cooper, who led strategic arms negotiations with the Soviet Union under President Reagan, and who now heads High Frontier, a group pushing for missile defense.

“There had been a near miss about two weeks ago, a Carrington-class coronal mass ejection crossed the orbit of the Earth and basically just missed us,” said Peter Vincent Pry, who served on the Congressional EMP Threat Commission from 2001-2008. He was referring to the 1859 EMP named after astronomer Richard Carrington that melted telegraph lines in Europe and North America.

“Basically this is a Russian roulette thing,” added Pry. “We narrowly escape from a Carrington-class disaster.”

Pry, Cooper, and former CIA Director James Woolsey have been recently demanding that Washington prepare the nation’s electric grid for an EMP, either from the sun or an enemy’s nuclear bomb. They want the 2,000-3,000 transformers in the grid protected with a high-tech metal box and spares ready to rebuild the system. Woolsey said knocking out just 20 would shut down electricity to parts of the nation “for a long time.”

But Washington is giving them the cold shoulder, especially the administration. Woolsey told Secrets that some in Congress are interested in the issue, but the administration is just in the “beginnings” of paying attention.

Woolsey said that Air Force One and aircraft used by the Strategic Air Command to control nuclear-tipped missiles are hardened against an EMP.

The EMP effect is not rare. One occurred in Canada in 1989, knocking out Quebec’s electric transmission system. And North Korea is reportedly testing a device to attack the U.S. with an EMP attack.

The trio appeared at an event in Washington this week, but Pry said getting the nation’s leaders interested in the issue is difficult and educating the public about EMP hard too. “The education curve isn’t going up fast enough,” he said.

At the event, Cooper suggested that North Korea might already have the capability to launch an EMP against the United States. He said in December, North Korea tested its so-called Space Launch Vehicle which could deliver a stealthy nuclear attack on the United States by orbiting a nuclear weapon over the South Pole where the U.S. has no radar or missile interceptors facing south. North Korea, he said, apparently orbited a satellite over the south polar region on a trajectory and altitude consistent with making a surprise nuclear EMP attack against the United States.

Woolsey and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are the honorary co-chairs of a new EMP Coalition pushing for protections to the electric grid, national security, and civilian infrastructures.

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STATE MAKES IT LAW TO HARDEN GRID AGAINST EMP
By F. Michael Maloof
WND
June 16, 2013

Original Link

Maine has become the first state in the nation to pass legislation ordering its grid to be hardened against an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, event, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The law not only requires preparation against a natural or man-made EMP, it encourages other states to take a similar initiative, since the federal government has refused to make the potential for an EMP event a priority.

The “Act to Secure the Safety of Electrical Transmission Lines” was introduced by Maine Representative Andrea Boland, D-Sanford.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, had promised that if the legislation became law it would provide Maine with a study of the most cost-effective options to protect the Maine electric grid from an EMP, free of charge.

It has been estimated that hardening the Maine grid may cost only one to three percent of the cost of new construction and expansion of the Maine grid currently underway.

“This is the first major success for those who have been fighting to get grass roots Americans to take this existential threat seriously and to deal with it,” said former Ambassador Henry Cooper, the first director of the Strategic Defense Initiative under then President Ronald Reagan.

“Hopefully, other states will find local authorities who also will take the initiative to follow Maine’s pattern,” he added.

Congress has sought in its past two sessions to pass the “SHIELD Act” which also would give the federal government the authority to require the electric power industry to protect the national grid from an EMP.

However, those efforts died in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which blocked the legislation.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has failed to look at EMP as major threat in its 15 planning scenarios, even though DHS officials have testified before Congress that they are very aware of the consequences of an EMP event, whether natural or man-made.

An EMP could wreak catastrophic consequences on the nation’s technologically based society, affecting tens of millions of lives over a wide geographical area.

“Sequestration and the endless politics of the federal budget and — above all — the 2014 congressional elections, are the only ‘crises’ visible to most in Washington,” according to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, who was staff director of the EMP Commission that released its sobering 2008 report on the impact of an EMP on the nation’s critical infrastructures that rely on the grid, electronic components and automated control systems.

“But the electric power industry has very deep pockets, and an army of K Street lobbyists so far have always been able to buy just the right member of Congress to keep (the legislation) locked up in committee,” Pry said. “Consequently, after nearly a half decade of trying, the Congress has been unable to implement the most important recommendation of the EMP Commission — protection of the electrical grid.”

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WHY AND HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GEAR FROM EMP
The Survival Mom
October 18, 2012

Original Link (Click this link to see photos of what is described below)

EXCERPT:

I conducted EMP-protection tests myself

When looking for an inexpensive way to protect my electronic gear from EMP, this author personally tested several methods. As I mentioned, the tests are imperfect because we’re only testing for a certain range of frequencies, but we can get really good information from these tests.

One test involved being on top of a mountain that was filled with radio antennas. The collective power of all these radio towers was 9,000,000 watts of RF (Radio Frequency) energy! Another test was standing at the base of a 50,000 watt AM station.

So, what worked?

Using the AM/FM radio test, it was found that both Mylar bags and microwave ovens were not good Faraday cages. Both of these failed inside my home. They simply did not work well at all. When I tuned an AM radio to a strong station and put it in the microwave, I could still here the station. The shielding on a microwave oven is tuned to block out signals in the 2.4 GHz range, which is the same as most WiFi routers (most cell phones are close to this range, too). Thus, when you put your cell phone in them, it’s not surprising that they lose signal. They can also block out most FM radio stations. However, because of the nature of longer radio waves, AM signals pass right through the shielding found in the modern microwave oven.

Because Mylar bags are a lot easier to transport than a microwave oven, they were tested at the radio antennas sites. Even tightly wrapping the radio in two Mylar bags, the signals still got through. In fact, the Mylar bags didn’t seem to reduce the RF radiation at all.

It turns out that a very effective shielding can be made from aluminum foil. Common heavy duty aluminum foil successfully blocked all nine million watts of RF energy from reaching the radios. The radio needed to be wrapped in three layers, but it worked! For AM signals though, I needed five layers to successfully block out the RF energy.

This means that you should be able to easily protect your electronic gear from EMP simply by wrapping it in aluminum foil. I also found that placing the foil-wrapped radio inside a galvanized steel trash can greatly increased the effectiveness of the shielding.

Here’s how to do it

To start, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

• There needs to be a minimum of 3 layers of aluminum foil completely surrounding the device.

• Use a minimum of 5 layers if you’re not going to be using a second layer of shielding, e.g. the metal trash can.

• The foil must not contact the device directly, so first wrap it in paper or cloth. I use cloth.

• The foil-wrapped device must not touch the inside of the outer Faraday container.

• In order for the Faraday cage to be effective, the metal needs to completely surround the device being protected.

• Use heavy duty aluminum foil, the thicker the better.

When you wrap your electronic device, it’s important to prevent it from touching the foil. Otherwise, it’s like making an antenna for the EMP to get right to the item you’re trying to protect. You can protect this by wrapping the device in paper, wax paper, an envelope or cardboard box. Whichever works best for whatever you’re wrapping in foil. If the device has protrusions, it’s best to wrap it in something thicker than thin plastic wrap or paper. Use a box or envelope of some sort. This will help keep the item from poking through the foil.

If your device has an antenna that does not retract or fold into the device and can be removed, go ahead and remove it. Likewise for any cords or wires. It’s not necessary to remove these, but can make it more difficult to wrap. You don’t want to have any risk of protruding parts poking through the foil, as this will void any Faraday protection. Just make sure that any wires, cords and antennas are completely within the foil.

If the device has a removable battery, remove it and store it separately. The last thing you want is to find out that the batteries leaked and ruined the equipment that you went to so much trouble to protect.

You can use anything non-conductive to wrap the devices, here I used an old sheet and plastic wrap. The cloth sheet prevents “pointy” parts of the device from poking through the foil and the plastic wrap keeps cloth to hold the fabric in place. I could have used tape, but the plastic wrap is reusable and I can see through it to make sure that the cloth is in place. I don’t use plastic wrap directly on devices, as I don’t want any letters or print on the device to get stuck to the plastic in long term storage and come off when I remove the wrap.

Wrap the device in the foil, making sure that all areas around the device have a minimum of 3 layers. If you’re not going to be storing these foil-wrapped items in another Faraday container, then make sure to wrap 5 layers of foil around the device. In tests that I’ve done, it seems that wrapping each layer individually seems to work better than folding the foil into a double layer and then wrapping.

You don’t have to wrap up every item individually. You can save time and space, and avoid the need for cloth and plastic wrap by putting several devices into a small bag, cloth pouch or box.

What if you want to protect devices that have internal batteries that can’t be removed? Many of these items would be helpful in a post-EMP world, but you’ll need to determine a way to store them and periodically recharge the batteries.

Once you have all of your devices wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil, you’ve taken a big step in protecting them from EMP. However, you should place all of these foil-wrapped items into another layer of Faraday protection, as EMP is an extremely powerful pulse and every layer between it and the device diminishes its ability to destroy electronics.

One of the easiest ways to do this second layer is to put them into a galvanized steel trash can. With a tight fitting lid, it’s surprising how well this works.

Because you need to keep the items inside the can from touching the inside metal of the can, line the trash can with cardboard. If a foil wrapped item touches the inside of the can, it’s like there’s only one level of protection, and could end up focusing the EMP directly towards the device. Not a good thing.

Once you have your items wrapped and your can lined, place the items in the can and put the lid on. You may want to duct tape the lid in place, so that it doesn’t get accidentally knocked loose. Any gap between the lid and the can and it looses its ability to function as a Faraday cage. If you have space, go ahead and wrap the items in more cloth, to further protect them from accidentally shifting and causing a tear or hole in the foil when you move the can.

As you can see from the picture above, there is a lot of room in a 31 gallon trash can. Pack the items that can be left sealed in foil indefinitely on the bottom and place on top the items that need to be checked on or have their batteries charged. If you happen to fill the can with equipment, make sure you place cloth or other non-conductive material on top so that nothing can touch the inside of the can lid or the top around the sides. Also, make sure that you have a metal to metal contact between the lid and the can. Don’t put paint, tape or anything that would get between the can and the lid, as this would likely render the can ineffective as a Faraday cage.

One final note. Should an EMP attack ever happen, don’t rush to open your Faraday cage and start pulling out your gear. The enemy may pop off the first EMP and then wait a few days or a week before popping off another one. This way they could ensure that they are destroying as much as possible.

Consider having two sets of gear in separate Faraday cages. The first one would be small and only have a few items, like an AM/FM/Shortwave radio and a few walkie-talkies. Your second one would be larger and contain all of your main gear, which you would open only after a reasonable amount of time, or when you needed the equipment inside.

As you can see, protecting your electronic gear isn’t difficult. While EMP will destroy most electronic equipment and take out the power grid, by taking simple precautions now, you can ensure that you have functioning equipment to make the transition to a whole new way of life a little easier.

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