An EMP is a form of intense electromagnetic radiation. It’s also known as nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) when it’s generated from a nuclear blast. The exact effect of such a blast depends on the specifics of the weapon and also on the altitude of the blast.
The real danger from an EMP is its ability to damage an entire power grid. That will lead to the chaotic breakdown of societies dependent on electric power. Experts say that the energies from a nuclear detonation can come in the form of three successive waves. The combination of these waves can cause damage over a wide area. This would cause people to have to rely on alternative power.
Needless to say, without power, everything that depends on electricity will be stalled. These include communications, transportation services, and water supply.
Natural EMP strikes can occur when the sun emits huge streams of plasma. In most cases, the Earth’s magnetic field can deflect them. Still, there can be powerful solar discharges that can generate strong EMPs.
The Carrington Event of 1859, is the only recorded example of such an event. It was powerful enough to knock out the telegraph lines of that period.
In the case of man-made EMPs, high-altitude nuclear detonations won’t harm human life directly. But it can affect electrical equipment within a 1,000-mile radius of the blast center. The blast can also affect satellites in a low orbit.
And the worst part?
Recovery from an EMP attack can take months or even an entire year. That’s long enough to break down the fundamentals of a civilized society.
As a prepper, the best thing you can do is to stay prepared for handling such an event.