North Korea is enhancing its EMP capabilities courtesy of Russian technology, according to a recent government report by the National Intelligence Service – NIS. A North Korea EMP attack would surely spawn a multitude of fires – and millions of dollars worth of damages. There are approximately 1,000 airplanes flying over America at any given moment. An electro magnetic pulse attack would down the planes quickly, just moments after their computerized control panels fail to function. The death toll from a single plane crash above a major city would be immense, and so would the blazes it would create. Do not expect to see red flashing light roaring to the rescue after an EMP attack – only vintage parade-only fire engines would be able to roll in such a disaster scenario.
Should the power grid fail due to a cyber attack, which former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano considers likely, water pressure to fight fires will quickly become a problem, as will refueling the department’s engines and refilling air tanks.
Napolitano had this to say about the likelihood of a cyber attack taking down the power grid during a National Press Club meeting:
“Our country will, at some point, face a major cyber event that will have a serious effect on our lives, our economy and the everyday functioning of our society,” Napolitano said. “While we have built systems, protections and a framework to identify attacks and intrusions, share information with the private sector and across government, and develop plans and capabilities to mitigate the damage, more must be done, and quickly.”
Every Friday in November is Black Friday at eFoodsDirect. On November 29 you can enjoy 25 percent off all items in the online store. This is a great time to stock up on long-term food storage items for you disaster preps and to add to a life-saving Christmas gift – a fully-stocked bugout bag!
When the SHTF, what will you do when you cannot call the fire department? Thwarting a roaring blaze from swallowing up you home and carefully stored preps is one least discussed preparedness act. During a recent Off The Grid News radio show, Brian Brawdy and I talked about the very real fire dangers should a solar flare of EMP attack take down the power grid.
Off grid and rural prepping families almost certainly have a “bug in” plan for a SHTF scenario. The safety aspects of living a non-urban environment could rapidly erode if fire preps are not worked into the overall survival plan. A cabin in the woods with an adjacent barn filled with livestock and a garage filled with #10 would be reduced to ashes in less than an hour if necessary fire suppression steps are not taken both in advance and when the flames first appear.
While serving as a rural newspaper editor I went to a multitude of fire scenes. Transformer fires are not uncommon during seasonal storms, and pose a grave threat to both property and human life. A solar flare or EMP attack would most likely result in not only the destruction of transformers along the power grid, but cause fires to the electric poles – which would then quickly spread as they go unchecked. Vehicles manufactured after the early 1950s have electrical systems which would also be destroyed by an electromagnetic pulse. Not only would citizen vehicles refuses to start, fire engine would no longer be able to roll to the rescue.
Fires can double in size approximately once every 30 seconds to a minute. According to my rural firefighter husband, brush fires can be the most deadly. Dry brush and trees will be caught ablaze quickly and shifts in the wind can take move you from a point of safety into a death, even though you have not taken a single step.
There are three categories of flammable materials, Class A, B, and C. Class A flammables are common combustibles such as wood, paper, and plastic. Class B items include grease and flammable liquids. Class C blazes are basically electrical fires which often stem from either Class A or B flammables. Understanding what types of fire you are most likely to be faced with is extremely important from a preparedness planning aspect.
Fire Prevention Preps
- Fire Detectors: Purchase multiple detectors and replacement batteries and place them inside a Faraday Cage.
- Fire Extinguishers: Multiple ABC fire extinguishers are recommended. The typical residential grade extinguisher has only about 15-20 seconds of suppression agent inside. If financially feasible, invest in BC and CO2 fire extinguishers as well.
- SCBA Gear: More people die from smoke inhalation than from actually being burned from a fire. Although such equipment is expensive and an oxygen refill will not likely be possible in a doomsday scenario, a mask and an air tank might give you and your family the time necessary to escape from a building or wild fire.
- Indian Pack: These portable water pouches with a hose are also not cheap to purchase, but will allow you to put out fires in a wooded area near your home before it reaches loved ones and the shelter and preps you need to survive.
- Baking Soda: The soda smothers the flames from a grease fire before it can spread.
- Chimfex: The commercial chimney fire extinguisher and an ABC extinguisher can help save your bug-in dwelling should a fire start inside the home heat and cooking source.
- Bunker Gear: The suits firefighters wear to battle blazes. Different suits are used when fighting brush or wildland fires and typical building fires. These are also expensive, but used ones can often be found on eBay, or perhaps from local fire departments which are upgrading their gear.
Fire Preparedness Building Tips
Log cabins or small wood homes are commonplace for rural preppers. Choose instead to build a simple concrete block and house and opt for a metal pole barn and storage sheds instead of traditional wood structures. Do not forget to place fire detectors inside outbuildings.
Fire Preparedness Education
You do not have to plan on becoming either a professional or volunteer firefighter in order to sign up for the basic 40-hour class. Ask local firefighters about training sessions and community college course so you can learn how to use firefighting hand tools and how to dig fire breaks, and other life-saving tips now, before the power grid goes down and a popping and cracking transformers destroys your barn, livestock, garden, and home.