Southern Oregon Survival
April, 16, 2016
What if it was for a day or two or for a week or two…what if it was longer? Could you fend for yourself and your family? Could you keep yourself warm in the winter and cool in the summer? How would you keep your food cold and water flowing? What would you do about money if credit cards and ATMs no longer worked? How would you know how far reaching the power outage is and how would you receive important updates? How would you take care of your hygiene and sanitation issues? How would you put gas in your car? There is so much to consider when it comes to electrical power.
Our lives depend on it and most don’t know what to do without it.
We live in an electricity dependent infrastructure and once the electricity is down, so is our system.
The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines. Aging infrastructure, combined with a rise in domestic electricity consumption, has forced experts to critically examine the status and health of the nation’s electrical systems.
A closer look at the threats
According to the Forbes.com article ‘Major Cyber Attack On U.S. Power Grid Is Likely’ -A destructive malware app known as ‘BlackEnergy’ caused a power outage on the Ukranian power grid this past December, resulting in a blackout for hundreds of thousands of people. Ukranian officials have blamed Russia for the cyber-attack. A CNN article states that U.S. systems aren’t any more protected than those breached in Ukraine.
The U.S. national power grid faces physical or online attacks approximately “once every four days,” according to a new investigation by USA Today, threatening to plunge parts of the country into darkness.
SAN JOSE, Calif.—The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16, 2013, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables. Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation. Shooting for 19 minutes, they knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night.
Did You Know?
The U.S. has few high-power electrical transformers held in reserve, because of the multimillion-dollar price tag, and the delivery of new ones can take more than six months. This is under normal circumstances.
Either a man-made or natural event where a burst of electromagnetic energy is released. This attack is broken down further into two man-made attacks and one natural-occurring phenomenon:
When you tune your radio, watch TV, send a text message, or pop popcorn in a microwave oven, you are using electromagnetic energy.
Electromagnetic energy travels in waves and spans a broad spectrum from very long radio waves to very short gamma rays.
A radio detects a different portion of the spectrum, and an x-ray machine uses yet another portion.
An EMP has three main components:
The pulse length increases as one goes further from the peak field region, and this is another reason (besides the natural decrease of the E1 field strength) to expect somewhat less damage towards the periphery of the exposed region.
The easiest way to explain the results of an EMP are examining the items we use on an everyday basis. Microprocessors, other integrated circuits, transistors, diodes, etc. are semiconductors. (These parts make up virtually every electronic device).
Normally transistors and diodes have a decent tolerance to being overpowered, but when they are miniaturized to fit into integrated circuits and microprocessors, they become way more sensitive to overpowering.
That said, when the electromagnetic pulse induces current into the wires and components, the components get fried rendering the rest of the circuit useless.
There is a distinct lack of information available about EMP and its effects. Most of what we know is from nuclear tests, both American (Starfish Prime) and Soviet, in the 1960s. Starfish Prime was a high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States on July 9, 1962. It produced a yield equivalent to 1.4 megatonnes of TNT. It was the largest man-made nuclear explosion in outer space.
Starfish Prime caused an EMP, which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale, causing great difficulty in getting accurate measurements. The Starfish Prime EMP also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 898 miles away.
In the U.S. Starfish Prime event, the maximum electric field pulse experienced was in the range of 5,000 to 5,600 volts per meter.
During Soviet tests over Kazakhstan in 1962, rugged diesel generators having no solid state parts were burned out by E1 EMP. The Soviet tests were as high as 10,000 volts per meter.
It is possible to rather easily generate 50,000 volts per meter with an old second-generation nuclear weapon of the proper design. There are reports that it may be possible to make nuclear weapons that will push beyond this 50,000 volts per meter limit.
An EMP of 50,000 volts per meter would undoubtedly damage some cars, both with and without solid-state electronics. What percentage of vehicles would be damaged, and which particular vehicles would be damaged, is something that even the best EMP experts can only make guesses about. The total available data is just too limited, and the number of variables are huge.
The worst thing about nuclear EMP and motor vehicles is if you happen to be driving in heavy traffic when it happens.
In this event, simultaneously, a certain percentage of vehicles will stop running (perhaps temporarily), many more drivers will be instantly and simultaneously distracted by strange electrical behavior happening inside of the car, and (at the same instant) the traffic lights will abruptly go out or go into a flashing mode.
This instantly creates the worst traffic jam in history. If you have a working motor vehicle in a post-EMP situation, there may not be any clear roads to drive on.
On September 1, 1859, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred. Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases shocking telegraph operators. Telegraph pylons threw sparks and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire.
Despite the EMP Commission’s recommendations in 2004 and 2008, hardly any progress has been made in protecting the country from an EMP attack and its catastrophic results.
The U.S. military hardens many of the country’s strategic defense systems against EMP effects but little is done to implement measures to protect civilian infrastructure.
Starting with the lowest and the easiest for a Faraday cage to handle:
Solar flares and resulting geomagnetic storms: Hundredths of a Hz. Non-issue for electronics, absolutely no RF risk (i.e. if it’s not plugged in, it doesn’t give a damn).
Lightning: Mostly below 1 MHz. That means wavelengths of hundreds of meters, so anything that more or less surrounds your electronics will protect from the electromagnetic waves. (direct hits are a different animal) For testing in this frequency range, try an AM radio tuned to the strongest station you can find.
Nuclear EMP: Worst below 100 MHz, but significant up to several hundred MHz. Wavelengths as short as several inches. This is where things become demanding. Gaps of several inches in length may allow RF to penetrate into a Faraday cage. Making sure the lid contacts the body around its whole circumference, or at least every couple of centimeters, is important. To test isolation for this sort of thing, try at least UHF (FRS/GMRS radios operate around 460-470 MHz).
Non-nuclear EMP bomb: Up to several GHz, perhaps tens of GHz. Wavelengths down to a couple of centimeters.
You can use any metal canister of any shape or size, but copper is the best. Lined with nonconductive material like cardboard, towel, bubble wrap, etc. Make sure there is no interruption of metal exterior with anything non-metallic. For example, a rubber gasket along the lid.
Layer electronics at least three times. For example: wrap radio in towel and place in mylar bag. Wrap mylar bag in towel and place inside second mylar bag. Place radio with doubled mylar inside a metal garbage can that is lined with cardboard. Seal metal can with metal tape.
If using screen mesh, one rule of thumb often used for Faraday cages to prevent transmission is that the holes need to be no larger than 1/10 of the wavelength of the signal. To take the guesswork out, It is BEST to use solid metal.
Some of you may figure you’ll be fine as long as you’ve got your generator and your gasoline. A generator serves its purpose- Short Term Power. A few hours or a few days are fine. By week two you’ll suddenly become a beacon in the night with your noisy power.
What you need is power that is quiet, reliable and self-sustainable. You can achieve this by using solar, wind, hydro, or biogas. Now I don’t suggest you put all your eggs in one basket and only invest in one form of power. Diversity is the key.
1. SOLAR POWER is produced by collecting sunlight and converting it into electricity.
Photovoltaic (PV) modules make electricity from sunlight, and are marvelously simple, effective, and durable. They sit in the sun and, with no moving parts, can run your appliances, charge your batteries, or make energy for the utility grid.
To use the energy from the array, you also need other components, such as inverters, charge controllers and batteries. The components required are dependent on the system type designed. System types include:
PV-DIRECT SYSTEMS: These are the simplest of solar-electric systems, with the fewest components (basically the PV array and the load). Because they don’t have batteries and are not hooked up to the utility, they only power the loads when the sun is shining. This means that they are only appropriate for a few select applications, notably water pumping and ventilation—when the sun shines, the fan or pump runs.
OFF-GRID SYSTEMS: These systems operate independently from the grid to provide all of a household’s electricity. These systems require a battery bank to store the solar electricity for use during nighttime or cloudy weather, a charge controller to protect the battery bank from overcharge and an inverter to convert the DC power to AC for use with AC household appliances.
GRID-TIED SYSTEMS WITH BATTERY BACKUP: This type is very similar to an off-grid system in design and components, but adds the utility grid, which reduces the need for the system to provide all the energy all the time.
GRID-TIED SYSTEMS WITHOUT BATTERIES: These most common PV systems generate solar electricity and route it to the loads and to the electric utility grid, offsetting a home’s or business’s electricity usage.
Living with a grid-connected solar-electric system is no different than living with utility electricity, except that some or all of the electricity you use comes from the sun.
The drawback of these batteryless systems is that they provide no outage protection—when the utility grid fails, these systems cannot operate.
2. HYDROPOWER is power derived from the energy of falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as watermills, sawmills, textile mills, dock cranes, domestic lifts and paint making.
3. WIND POWER, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation and uses little land. Any effects on the environment are generally less problematic than those from other power sources. For more information, go to: www.awea.org
4. BIOGAS typically refers to a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. It is a renewable energy source and in many cases exerts a very small carbon footprint. Some gasoline engines are designed for or can be modified for use with natural gas, propane or biogas. Diesel engines can accept up to 80 percent biogas. For a DIY article on making your own biogas, go to the Preppers101 Blog Site.
LIGHTING, HEATING & COOLING:
FOOD STORAGE AND COOKING:
HYGIENE & SANITATION:
MEDICAL & FINANCIAL: