I sure do love the AR15. Well, okay, love might be a bit strong of a word. But I really do like them. They are such fun toys to play with. They are like the tinker toy of rifles. Click this on here, click that on there. Is there anything that can’t be customized on the AR15?
The AR15 as an economical SHTF/TEOTWAWKI Gun
The AR15 can be an economical choice for your SHTF/TEOTWAWKI rifle too. With that light 5.56/.223 cartridge you can shoot the AR15 all day long and never even get a sore shoulder.
Sure, you can spend a lot of money on an AR15, too much really. But you don’t have to. Really, to be honest, you don’t need to. All of the parts for AR15 rifles are made to the same tolerances and specifications, that’s why they are all interchangeable (NOTE: except for the Colt).
In the Colt AR, the fire control group pins WERE larger sizes than ALL other AR 15 rifles, but they changed them to match everyone else sometime recently. Sorry, but I don’t have the exact date when they made the change, I think it was around 2008-2009.
If you have an older Colt with the larger pins, you might have trouble finding replacement parts in the future. Because of this, I’d either get rid of it, or buy a few replacement parts now. If you aren’t sure you can either just measure them, or you can contact Colt with the serial number. The larger pins measure .170”, while the “normal”, smaller pins measure .154”
But really, we are discussing economically priced AR models, and the Colt is typically more expensive for no reason other than it says “Colt” on it. Oh, and it has a little horsey on it. I have owned Colt and Bushmaster ARs before they were not any better than any of the others, they just cost more.
There are a lot of people stranded in the areas that are likely to be the hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. While it’s easy to say, “Oh, they should have left earlier” and run through the gamut of blame, the fact remains that there are all sorts of reasons that leaving didn’t work out.
The point is, for many, it’s too late. There is no further option for escape from what will most likely be a category 4 or 5 hurricane. (Good news – Friday morning, Irma was downgraded to a Category 4 Hurricane, with “only” 145 mph winds. Please don’t be deluded into thinking this lessens the danger dramatically, however. Hurricane Harvey was a Category 3 and we all saw what happened to Texas.
Here’s an explanation of the categories.
I can’t urge you more strongly: evacuate if you can at all. (Here’s an evacuation checklist.) This is a life-threatening hurricane, potentially the strongest to ever hit the country in recorded history.
The hurricane is definitely headed toward Florida. That turn we were all hoping would send Irma out to sea didn’t happen – she’s headed west, straight for Miami. Not to scare the daylights out of you, but this is what it looked like on a webcam in St. Maarten. You’re going to want to do what you can to be ready.
If you’re in Florida, it’s too late to order online. There is practically no chance that the items will reach you. You aren’t going to be able to buy standard hurricane supplies at the store at this point, either, so you’ll have to make due with what you have or can still acquire.
Let me be absolutely clear, lest someone accuse me of recommending that people remain in their homes: remaining at home is not a wise course of action. If you haven’t been able to evacuate, here is a list of numbers that you can call to get help and get to a safe shelter before the storm hits. Do not wait until the storm hits to ask for help. Be proactive and do so now.
If you have absolutely no other option, below, you can find the best advice I can offer.
Water is sold out across the state. But, your taps are running just fine, right?
Fill every container you can get your hands on with tap water so that you have something to drink. It’s likely that you can still buy containers that will hold water. Get Mason jars, pitchers, canisters…whatever you can find to hold water. Then fill ALL of them, immediately. Use empty soda bottles or water jugs, too.
Fill one-gallon Ziploc bags with water and freeze them, allowing room for expansion. Not only will this provide drinking water, but the ice will help keep your food safe for longer.
When the storm is about to hit, fill sinks and bathtubs with water. This can be used for sanitation.
Fill prescriptions for any essential medications immediately. Plan for at least 2 weeks of medication to be on hand in the event that pharmacies are closed after the storm
If there’s anything available, buy food that doesn’t require any cooking. At this point, you can’t afford to be picky. Get enough for at least a week, preferably two.
Keep some cash on hand, preferably in small bills. If there is a regional power outage, you won’t be able to use a debit card or credit card during the aftermath. I suggest keeping several hundred dollars if you can.
There are shelters set up all across Florida for those who could not evacuate. You can find a list here. Florida governor Rick Scott said that if you need help you should ask now, because, “we can’t save you once the storm hits.” Particularly if you are in a manufactured or mobile home, there is practically zero chance it will be able to withstand winds of 180 mph or greater.
If you must stay in your home…
Secure anything outside that could become a projectile. (Barbecues, bicycles, outdoor furniture.) If you can’t secure the items, bring them inside.
Clear your rain gutters and downspouts. This will help reduce the risk of flooding in some cases.
Trim trees. If you have branches hanging over your home, remove them if you can. If you can’t, do not use the room beneath the branches for shelter during the storm.
Turn off propane and outdoor utilities. If recommended by officials, turn off the utilities to the house. If the power goes out, turn off your breakers to avoid potential surges.
Unplug appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer. Set those at the coldest setting to keep your food safe for as long as possible in the event of a power outage.
Board up your windows to reduce the risk of injury from flying glass. Keep curtains closed for added protection. Do NOT tape them – see the video below.
Secure exterior doors. While it may not be sufficient, you can use a bar or place a large piece of furniture in front of them.
Close all interior doors.
Find the innermost, sturdy part of your home in which to take shelter during the worst part of the storm. Stay away from windows and skylights. A downstairs closet, hallway, or bathroom may be the best option. If you have a basement, this could provide the most safety. Shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture.
In a high-rise, floors 3-10 are considered to be the safest. Above and below those floors, people should evacuate or take shelter between those floors.
Watch for storm surges. If you’re near the coast, 10-20 foot storm surges are expected. Not only can these cause tremendous structural damage, but if you are caught in one, you could drown or suffer serious injuries by being slammed around by the water.
Don’t be fooled by the eye of the storm. There is a lull during the eye of the storm that can deceive people into believing that the worst is over. Unfortunately, high winds are likely to pick back up again shortly, so don’t be caught off guard. This lull can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes.
The following video has some useful tips.
And here are more expert tips from Hurricane Joaquin, a Category 4 hurricane that hit the East Coast in 2015:
The aftermath is dangerous, too.
Once you’ve survived the hurricane, you must take care to survive the aftermath. As we saw during Hurricane Harvey, a disaster of this level is the gift that keeps on giving. You must watch for:
Irma is not expected to hit Georgia and South Carolina until Monday and Tuesday, respectively. This means there is still a possibility of ordering some items online. (See this hurricane guide if you have more time to prepare.)
Any tips from those who have weathered a hurricane at home?
Please share your advice in the comments section below. Your suggestions could save someone’s life. Due to the extreme nature of this situation, I urge you to be civil. In other words, if you’re a jerk, I’m deleting your comments.
Very best wishes to those in the path of danger. Please keep us posted when you can.
ReadyNutrition Readers, we are becoming “long in the tooth,” so to speak, regarding the current world events. Some of this article will mention points previously covered, but only in relation to the “big picture” of E&E…that’s the acronym for “Escape & Evasion.” In the end, no matter how secure your fortress, be it Castle Greyskull or Mount Olympus II, you may have to leave it for one reason or another: fire, radiation, severe flood/hurricane, or the IHM (Incredible Human Mob).
The first thing you need to do is establish your immediate location and route to where you intend to flee if you must. There are several different types of maps that you should consult, if not own outright, and they are as follows:
Local atlas/road type of map with streets and metropolitan areas readily identified
Topographic map: preferably military (DMA, or Defense Mapping Agency is your source) of the immediate area
Maps from the State/Federal Forestry services for your area
Once you have these resources, then you can accurately identify your route out of there, and your new location to hide/hunker down. There are some avenues you should specifically consider on your E&E. Let’s go over them:
Railroad tracks: most of the time, railroads must make their tracks accessible for repair/refitting trucks and equipment. This usually involves a “built up” area that holds the track, sloped off and then followed by a large “bare” stretch that can hold a vehicle, almost akin to an unpaved “secondary” road. THE KEY TO THIS IS A SUCCESSFUL RECONNAISSANCE! You don’t want to drive along such a route and parallel the tracks when the time comes for the first time…only to find you must stop at a railroad bridge that is about a quarter of a mile long…so you don’t do the “Nestea Plunge” into a two-hundred-foot gorge. That’s a bad thing. You need to know the whole route…all the way to your final destination.
Rivers: What direction do they flow, in relation to your destination? East-West, or North-South…it makes a big difference and will be specific to your location. Also, are there any large bodies of water such as a lake or a bay or such in your immediate area?
All the Roads to your Destination: You need all of them…the highway, the road, the firebreak, the dirt trails…every possible conceivable route by vehicle. Then you need to prioritize them…in numerical order of preference…as to the route you want. You also must find points where these connect. For example, you may have as your #1 route an “Interstate Highway 66,” but the bridge is out on part of it. Where is a jump-off point to #2, #3, or #4 that you can use? All this needs to be meticulously planned and written down.
Because you may die or be taken out of the picture, and your family will have to appoint a new or temporary “leader” and follow your directions out of there.
Airports: It may just be that you’ll need to fly out of there, either by your own hand or with someone else as a pilot. It may behoove you to know where the nearest aircraft and the nearest pilot (friendly to you and your cause) can be found.
Major Harbor points with access to open ocean: self-explanatory, but once you go there, do you know what you’re looking for? Types of vessels that can hold you and your family, and your entire vehicle?
When you conduct the E&E, will you be taking your entire family with you at once, or will you rendezvous at a location to continue onward? This second option would mean that each family member traveling separately will need a plan of their own, and then to link up with you to continue the overall plan. We are now going to pose a series of questions to help you assess where you are at this point in time.
There are some skills that will need to be assessed and then brought into play. Do you know how to pilot a boat? Do you have such a boat available for your use, if the time comes? If not, the moral dilemma: will you commandeer one? How about seamanship, regarding the open ocean? Do you have any experience, and do you know how to navigate using only a sextant and compass, without electronic aids? Do you know how to fly, either VTOL (as in helicopters) or fixed wing aircraft?
Regarding a driven route, do you have at least 3 good viable routes planned for use, with connecting points and checkpoints to enable you to switch from one route to another easily and fluidly? What are you driving, and how much gear/supplies/equipment will you be taking? More than one vehicle? How about fuel?
One thing I’ll tell you about that will be a tremendous help if you can swing it. A mini bike, all the way up to say a 200-cc dirt bike. You can throw that bad boy in the back of a pickup and then use it to scout and perform reconnaissance on an area ahead of the “main element” of your family. Although great on gas, motorcycles are not the most efficient way to get out of dodge as a family, unless you’re one of the Hell’s Angels or a family of Evel Knievel-type daredevils without a lot of gear.
Plan refueling points, rest areas and hide spots (to hunker down) along the way on your routes. All this planning needed to be done a while ago. If you’ve planned it out, then good job. If you haven’t, then this article may be something to stimulate you to act. That is the whole point: preparation promotes a good follow through. The key to success is being able to act decisively when the time arrives. You’ll have to go with your observations and go with your gut on it, according to the situation, making changes and adaptations as you go. Keep in that good fight, and plan your route to get out of Tombstone before the gunfight at the OK Corral begins. JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
For many people, the word “Prepper” brings a vision of camouflage, a scary and frightening survivalist who is waiting for the end of the world. However, most Preppers are very ordinary people who do not stand out in a crowd. They are doctors and plumber, attorneys, carpenters, and teachers with a Wi-Fi hidden camera. Most of them have no camouflage!
So who is a “Prepper”?
Although there may be as many definitions as there are people involved in each movement, the basic definition is that a Prepper is the one that stores the equipment, supplies, and food in case of an emergency. That emergency could be a massive natural disaster such as hurricane or tornado, forest fires, or gas leaks that require evacuation of the neighborhood or anything up to a major collapse of the country’s power grid. Preppers also take seriously the threat of knowing how a terrorist can affect the power grid or nationwide supply network that keeps our grocery store’s shelves stocked.
Preppers will usually have several weeks to a year’s supply of food provided, as well with flashlights, blankets, Wi-Fi nanny cams, water filtering systems, and a portable backup generator. These are people who are not profoundly affected by a multi-day power outage or a large source of broken water that causes a run on bottled water at the grocery store.
Who is a ‘’survivalist’’?
Usually, a survivalist is a hard core Prepper who, in addition to being prepared for a natural disaster, is very concerned about a breakdown in law and order. In addition to Prepper’s concern about ‘’SHTF’’ (Shit Hits the Fan) scenes, Survivalists are interested in “TEOTWAWKI” (the end of the world as we know it) and “WROL” (without the rule of law) situations. Survivalist considers the social order as being very fragile: it depends on an increasingly efficient state welfare system, which has to accommodate more than 44 million Americans on food stamps. They understand that if America’s extraordinary debt is not continually recycled by foreign countries willing to purchase out T-bills and bonds, we could be hyper-inflated like Zimbabwe and Weimar Germany that could cause massive civil unrest. Dangerous times and great risks require precautions, and Survivalist considers their personal safety and that of their loved ones important. A Survivalist will have firearms and usually a concrete plan of “hunkering down” or “bugging out” if law and another breakdown.
What can we learn from Preppers and Survivalists?
It would be difficult to find a Survivalist who is not a Prepper, and likewise, most Preppers have thought about survivalist and protecting themselves. Everyone would greatly benefit from thinking about these two groups of people and what can be learned from them.
If there was a power outage for more than two or three days, what would you do? If the governments (city, state, and federal) could not care for the Hurricane Katrina victims, what does this tell you about being prepared? Did you think that if you don’t have a plan, a natural gas leakage, train derailment, power outage, or terrorist attack could turn your family into a refugee? You may be surprised at how little preparation it takes to give yourself lots of peace of mind as you are positioned to meet disaster head on.
Rachel Stinson has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estates, restaurants and electronics stores with respect to pricing and people involved and can express her opinions in an unhesitant, engaging manner for all matters.
The devastation of the Texas coast has been sobering, to say the least, and has brought about a new found focus in the preparedness community to get more families prepared for disasters. While Hurricane Harvey was an extreme case, what we can take away from this ordeal is that you cannot always foresee every given turn of a disaster and by being fully insulated from disasters you will find yourself in the best case scenario.
We all live in an area that sees some type of disaster: flood, wildfire, earthquakes, droughts and other extreme weather scenarios. As well, not enough can be said about preparing for personal disasters like job loss, which do not always give warning.
In response to this ever-growing need to prepare, Ready Nutrition is gearing up for a month of preparedness. Each week, we are going to bring you preparedness materials you can use to get prepped for all types of disasters. We’ve done this before in our 52-weeks to preparedness series, but this will cover more information in a shorter amount of time.
As an added incentive, we will be giving away preparedness products and books to Ready Nutrition readers. All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment in one of our weekly National Preparedness articles about what you feel the most important aspect of being prepared is in the bottom of the article. It could be commenting on the most important preparedness items, some lessons you learned personally from a disaster, situations you witnessed during a disaster or preparedness ideas people may not always think of when preparing.
As a community, I hope you will spread the word to folks who might need an added push to start getting ready or who do not know where to start. Having a more prepared community will reduce the initial shock of a disaster.
Here’s what we’ll cover in the Crash Course in Preparedness
Week 1:The Survival Basics – This will cover how you should make a plan and getting your beginning preparedness supplies in order, tips, as well as valuable skills you should learn.
During this first week, we will be giving away a preparedness manual and a 72-hour kit at the end of the week to a lucky winner! All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment.
Week 2: Medicine, Sanitation, and Disaster Disease Prevention – Following a disaster, sanitation, hygiene and medical care are often at the forefront of needs. We will dive into more details on immediate threats that occur in the wake of disasters, what you can do to be ready and how to avoid these aftermath scenarios when they occur. As an incentive, we will give away a sanitation kit and another preparedness manual.
Week 3:Reinforcing Your Survival Plans Using Long-Term Strategies – During this week, we will focus on how you can reinforce your preparedness plans and add additional preps so they extend into longer-term scenarios. Some of those far-reaching events are biological and chemical disasters, mass casualty health, longer-term food needs and more. As well, we will delve into long-term security measures you can use to protect your home and belongings.
To better prepare for these type of events, one winner will get a gas mask as the giveaway prize of the week to add to your preps and The Prepper’s Blueprint!
Week 4: Getting Your Community Prepped – We’ve heard the term, “It takes a village.” Well, when a disaster strikes, it really does take the binding of a community to get through. Disasters are an undeniable part of life, but a prepared community is more resilient and can withstand longer-term scenarios. Having a large group of prepared individuals will help the general public thrive for longer amounts of time because each home has the supplies and skills it needs to keep going. Moreover, communities should provide skills training to help the general public learn critical survival skills for long-term survival. And that is just what we will be discussing in week 4.
A few months ago, I co-hosted a webinar with the folks at SunOven on how to cook with the sun and was amazed at how many uses the SunOven had in an off-grid environment. You can read my review of them here. Our gift on our final week of National Preparedness Month is one of these dynamic SunOvens complete with a homesteading package. Remember all you need to do is sign up for the Ready Nutrition newsletter and leave a helpful comment in the article.
Let’s Do This!
Whether you’re preparing for a short-term disaster or a long-term disaster, you have the same basic goal. That goal is to be self-sufficient and have the ability to care for yourself and your family independently during an unforeseen event.
As an added incentive, if your local church is interested in starting a preparedness course for its congregation, I would like to send a free copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint to them to help get that endeavor going. 1 manual will be sent to each church. I have 20 books that I would like to send so please contact me through my Facebook page with a church address. The first 20 churches get the books!
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.
This weekend, North Korea conducted their most powerful nuclear test ever, with what was believed to be a hydrogen bomb in the northern part of their country. The explosion was so massive that it triggered a man-made earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale. If North Korean sources are to be believed, the bomb tested was a powerful 100 kiloton weapon.
But that’s not all. To take the massive threat to an entirely different level, the North Korean state news also warned that a powerful hydrogen bomb could be detonated at a high altitude to create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) capable of taking out parts of the American power grid. (PS: They have two satellites orbiting over the United States that could potentially carry out such an attack.)
Knowledge is power, so let’s break down this information with some explanations.
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What is a hydrogen bomb?
A hydrogen bomb has some similarities to an atom bomb, but works using an opposite chemical reaction and is far more powerful. Both hydrogen bombs and atomic bombs are nuclear in nature, so after the initial blast, there would be deadly radioactive fallout and environmental issues.
An atom bomb is what was used by the United States against the Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan during World War 2.
Nuclear fission produces the atomic bomb, a weapon of mass destruction that uses power released by the splitting of atomic nuclei.
When a single free neutron strikes the nucleus of an atom of radioactive material like uranium or plutonium, it knocks two or three more neutrons free. Energy is released when those neutrons split off from the nucleus, and the newly released neutrons strike other uranium or plutonium nuclei, splitting them in the same way, releasing more energy and more neutrons. This chain reaction spreads almost instantaneously. (source)
To give you an idea of the power of an atomic bomb, Hiroshima was hit with the power of 15,000 tons of TNT, while Nagasaki was blasted with the destructive power of 21,000 tons of TNT.
A hydrogen bomb works differently.
Nuclear fusion is a reaction that releases atomic energy by the union of light nuclei at high temperatures to form heavier atoms. Hydrogen bombs, which use nuclear fusion, have higher destructive power and greater efficiencies than atomic bombs.
Due to the high temperatures required to initiate a nuclear fusion reaction, the process is often referred to as a thermonuclear explosion. This is typically done with the isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium) which fuse together to form Helium atoms. This led to the term “hydrogen bomb” to describe the deuterium-tritium fusion bomb. (source)
Hydrogen bombs (H-bombs) have been used before.
The first hydrogen bomb was exploded on November 1, 1952 at the small island Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. Its destructive power was several megatons of TNT. The blast, timed at 19:15 GMT, produced a light brighter than 1,000 suns and a heat wave felt 50 kilometres away. The Soviet Union detonated a hydrogen bomb in the megaton range in August of 1953. The US exploded a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb on March 1, 1954. It had a fireball of 4.8 km in diameter and created a huge mushroom-shaped cloud. (source)
An h-bomb is expected to be 700 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, during which more than 150,000 people died. But they didn’t die all at once. Many of them suffered terrible, lingering deaths of agony. Here is the breakdown of this from a UCLA report.
Very large numbers of person were crushed in their homes and in the buildings in which they were working. Their skeletons could be seen in the debris and ashes for almost 1,500 meters from the center of the blast, particularly in the downwind directions.
Large numbers of the population walked for considerable distances after the detonation before they collapsed and died.
Large numbers developed vomiting and bloody and watery diarrhea (vomitus and bloody feces were found on the floor in many of the aid stations), associated with extreme weakness. They died in the first and second weeks after the bombs were dropped.
During this same period, deaths from internal injuries and from burns were common. Either the heat from the fires or infrared radiation from the detonations caused many burns, particularly on bare skin or under dark clothing.
After a lull without peak mortality from any special causes, deaths began to occur from purpura, which was often associated with epilation, anemia, and a yellowish coloration of the skin. The so-called bone marrow syndrome, manifested by a low white blood cell count and almost complete absence of the platelets necessary to prevent bleeding, was probably at its maximum between the fourth and sixth weeks after the bombs were dropped. (source)
Now, multiply the above by 700 times and you’ll have a good idea of the horrifying affects of a hydrogen bomb. If it were to strike a major population area in the United States, the death toll would be astounding.
This video shows a comparison of actual atomic and hydrogen bombs.
How large of an area would be affected by a hydrogen bomb?
According to the website National Terror Alert, created by the DHS, these are the distances at which the destruction would occur, using the Hiroshima bomb as a point of reference.
1 Megaton Surface Blast: Pressure Damage
The fission bomb detonated over Hiroshima had an explosive blast equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT. A 1 megaton hydrogen bomb, hypothetically detonated on the earth’s surface, has about 80 times the blast power of that 1945 explosion.
Radius of destructive circle: 1.7 miles
12 pounds per square inch
At the center lies a crater 200 feet deep and 1000 feet in diameter. The rim of this crater is 1,000 feet wide and is composed of highly radioactive soil and debris. Nothing recognizable remains within about 3,200 feet (0.6 miles) from the center, except, perhaps, the remains of some buildings’ foundations. At 1.7 miles, only some of the strongest buildings — those made of reinforced, poured concrete — are still standing. Ninety-eight percent of the population in this area are dead.
Radius: 2.7 miles
Virtually everything is destroyed between the 12 and 5 psi rings. The walls of typical multi-story buildings, including apartment buildings, have been completely blown out. The bare, structural skeletons of more and more buildings rise above the debris as you approach the 5 psi ring. Single-family residences within this this area have been completely blown away — only their foundations remain. Fifty percent of the population between the 12 and 5 psi rings are dead. Forty percent are injured.
Radius: 4.7 miles
Any single-family residences that have not been completely destroyed are heavily damaged. The windows of office buildings have been blown away, as have some of their walls. The contents of these buildings’ upper floors, including the people who were working there, are scattered on the street. A substantial amount of debris clutters the entire area. Five percent of the population between the 5 and 2 psi rings are dead. Forty-five percent are injured.
Radius: 7.4 miles
Residences are moderately damaged. Commercial buildings have sustained minimal damage. Twenty-five percent of the population between the 2 and 1 psi rings have been injured, mainly by flying glass and debris. Many others have been injured from thermal radiation — the heat generated by the blast. The remaining seventy-five percent are unhurt. (source)
But it isn’t just the initial blast you’d have to be concerned about. The radioactive fallout would affect many more people further away from the blast during the first week.
1 Megaton Surface Blast: Fallout
One of the effects of nuclear weapons detonated on or near the earth’s surface is the resulting radioactive fallout. Immediately after the detonation, a great deal of earth and debris, made radioactive by the blast, is carried high into the atmosphere, forming a mushroom cloud. The material drifts downwind and gradually falls back to earth, contaminating thousands of square miles. This page describes the fallout pattern over a seven-day period.
Wind speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: due east
Time frame: 7 days
Distance: 30 miles
Much more than a lethal dose of radiation. Death can occur within hours of exposure. About 10 years will need to pass before levels of radioactivity in this area drop low enough to be considered safe, by U.S. peacetime standards.
Distance: 90 miles
A lethal dose of radiation. Death occurs from two to fourteen days.
Distance: 160 miles
Causes extensive internal damage, including harm to nerve cells and the cells that line the digestive tract, and results in a loss of white blood cells. Temporary hair loss is another result.
Distance: 250 miles
Causes a temporary decrease in white blood cells, although there are no immediate harmful effects. Two to three years will need to pass before radioactivity levels in this area drop low enough to be considered safe, by U.S. peacetime standards.
*Rem: Stands for “roentgen equivalent man.” This is a measurement used to quantify the amount of radiation that will produce certain biological effects. (source)
So, as you can see, a hydrogen bomb puts the destruction at a whole different level from the nuclear warheads that people expected where Kim Jong Un’s most devastating weapons. And sadly, this isn’t the only risk.
Could an H-bomb detonated at high altitude take down the American power grid?
Something that could potentially be even more deadly during the long-term is a hydrogen bomb that is detonated at high altitude, which would cause an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could devastate the electrical grid across a wide geographical swath.
And this weekend, Kim Jong Un directly threatened the United States with such an attack.
The news Sunday morning that North Korea had launched what appeared to be its sixth nuclear test and most powerful one to date is troubling enough.
But a statement from the rogue regime took things to a whole new level. The North said it had tested an H-bomb that was “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals.” (source)
In such an event, part of the United States could lose power indefinitely. Our infrastructure and devices would not be repairable. Everything would require replacement, which could take several years.
NOTE: For an excellent, non-sensational resource, I recommend anything written by Dr. Arthur T. Bradley, a NASA scientist and recurring speaker over at Preppers University. He has written numerous books and articles about the threat of an EMP. His book, Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms, is a must read for anyone concerned about the possibility of this type of attack. In it, he dispels many rumor and myths about such an event and replaces them with facts based on his research with NASA.
It’s important to note that North Korea does have satellites that would be capable of an atmospheric detonation that would cause an electromagnetic pulse. In fact, two of the were over our country as recently as last month. At the time, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security and chief of staff of the Congressional EMP Commission, warned:
“The EMP Commission has officially been warning about those satellites especially now that the (intelligence) community admits that North Korea can miniaturize warheads,” Pry stated. “Our argument all along has been that they could make weapons small enough to put on those satellites that pass over the United States on the optimum trajectory for an EMP attack on North America.”
“And they would obviously be a basis for a surprise EMP attack if North Korea wants to commit aggression against South Korea. Or to blackmail us if we were going to intervene to deliver on our security guarantees for Japan, South Korea or the Pacific.”
Pry said the satellites are orbiting at the “optimum height for putting an EMP field over all 48 contiguous United States.”
Pry warned that deploying satellites for the purpose of an EMP option against the U.S. “is exactly the kind of thing that he (North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) would do. It would make strategic sense to do it. We do know that Kim Jong Un is a risk-taker.”
Pry surmised that the North Koreans may be utilizing the satellites for an attack plan pioneered by the Soviets during the Cold War to attack the U.S. with an EMP as part of a larger surprise assault aimed at crippling the U.S. military.
Unlike the Soviet plan, Pry opined, the North Koreans may be seeking to use an EMP attack to target “our electrical grid and our civilian critical infrastructure. And they only need one weapon to do that.” (source)
Zero Hedge reported on this worst-case scenario event:
However, it would probably lead to an unknown number of indirect deaths as hospitals and essential infrastructure lose power.
“The idea of an EMP attack is to detonate a nuclear weapon tens or hundreds of miles above the earth with the aim of knocking out power in much of the U.S. Unlike the U.S. atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, such a weapon wouldn’t directly destroy buildings or kill people. Instead, electromagnetic waves from the nuclear explosion would generate pulses to overwhelm the electric grid and electronic devices in the same way a lightning surge can destroy equipment.”
In the worst possible scenario, regional power grids could be offline for months, potentially costing many deaths as people would eventually start running out of necessities like food and medicine. Lawmakers and the US military have been aware of the EMP threat for many years, according to WSJ. IN a 2008 report commissioned by Congress, the authors warned that an EMP attack would lead to “widespread and long-lasting disruption and damage to the critical infrastructures that underpin the fabric of US society.”
In a report published last month, the Hill noted that the North could choose to carry out an EMP attack on Japan or South Korea as a more politically acceptable act of aggression. Such an attack could help the North accomplish its three most-important political goals, the Hill said.
“North Korea has nuclear-armed missiles and satellites potentially capable of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. EMP is considered by many the most politically acceptable use of a nuclear weapon, because the high-altitude detonation (above 30 kilometers) produces no blast, thermal, or radioactive fallout effects harmful to people.
EMP itself is harmless to people, destroying only electronics. But by destroying electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures, the indirect effects of EMP can kill far more people in the long-run than nuclear blasting a city. In this scenario, North Korea makes an EMP attack on Japan and South Korea to achieve its three most important foreign policy goals: reunification with South Korea, revenge upon Japan for World War II, and recognition of North Korea as a world power.” (source)
Conventional wisdom tells us that North Korea would be incredibly reticent to live up to its threats of launching a missile strike, nuclear or otherwise, on South Korea, Guam, Japan or elsewhere because the retaliation from the United States would be immediate and ferocious, effectively destroying the country and killing all of its leadership.
However, if Kim Jong Un’s first strike is a successful EMP attack against North America, this would largely shut down the ability of the U.S. to respond. While some elements of U.S. military infrastructure have been hardened for resilience against an EMP strike, there is no standardization across the board. Plus, civilian infrastructure is hardly protected, if at all. The United States and Canada would be in the dark and sitting ducks.
A handful of national security experts and legislators in the U.S. have attempted to sound the alarm about this troubling vulnerability but have largely been unsuccessful in getting regulations in place. The utilities industry claims it’s not its problem, but that of the military’s, something experts firmly dispute. (source)
Of course, a miscalculation by North Korea could lead to a ground strike instead of an atmospheric one, leading back to the first scenario we discussed. Really, with things so volatile, you should be preparing for all possible scenarios:
Is the United States discussing a military response?
General James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, has suggested that a military response could be imminent.
“Our commitment among the allies are ironclad,” Mattis said. “Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.”
Mattis called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to “take heed” of the UN Security Council’s unanimous position against North Korea’s nuclear program and again stressed the US military’s position.
“We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so,” Mattis said. (source)
Don’t be distracted while the United States digs itself out from under the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and holds its breath watching the uncertain path of Hurricane Irma. As devastating as those storms are and could be, we may have even more dire things to worry about.
Do you have knowledge about nuclear weapons?
My research comes from a variety of experts cited on the internet, but it’s purely theoretical for me. Do you have more information?
Please weigh in below in the comments section. Your information is very welcome. Please let us know where your knowledge comes from. (Do you/did you work in this field? Do you have a military background? A scientific background?) We’d love to hear from you.
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