Congress has already acknowledged the very real concern regarding a likely type of attack on the US homeland called EMP or Electromagnetic Pulse.

empThe idea being that should such a device detonate in our atmosphere above our country, it could potentially destroy delicate circuitry found in almost all modern electronic devices ranging from phones, cars, thermostats, appliances to even hospital devices just to name a few. With estimates that place the mortality rate of such an attack upwards of 90% after the first year, few have stopped to consider the repercussions for those who have prepared for such an event or are left standing after such a massive die-off occurs.

It seems that even the most basic of tools now days have electronic components that would be permanently damaged rendering them useless which means those who survive must rebuild without their benefit.

People busy with their smartphones in New York cityFor the unprepared, obtaining resources of any kind will be particularly difficult. All our modern cities require that food, clothing and the other necessities of life be brought in. Since transportation will be limited to vehicles prior to the introduction of computer hardware, there are few kinds of vehicles left which makes this kind of travel very “expensive.”

You would think that since the majority of the U.S. population after the first year would be dead, that the competition for resources would be less. In truth, most all those resources will have been used up or hoarded in the immediate days, weeks and months following the attack so anyone left won’t likely have much to work with. But the most valuable resource isn’t money or gold or coffee (ok, maybe coffee) or gasoline. It won’t even be food or water or ammunition. With so many of our lives being ‘plugged-in,’ our photos, memories and ability to research and problem solve is dependent on an infrastructure that will no longer exist. It will be knowledge and experience that we will be most desperate for.

The survivors will need a way to provide for themselves the basics of shelter, food and water.  This means how to garden, the best time to plant and how to ensure you have a good crop and what to do if the plants get sick. Or what if you get sick? How will you heal yourself without appropriate training? Wasn’t there a Facebook post about some herbfbm that was considered a heal-all? Was it garlic or was it turmeric? Do you know if it is ok to drink water from pond? What if a fish died in the water? Could you build a shelter and do you know how to make it structurally safe to survive the elements? Could you make soap or know what parts of an animal are ok to eat should you find one? What if you or someone in your group got pregnant? Google is not available and the dwindling libraries of our childhood have been quietly disappearing and even if you found one they would no longer likely carry this kind of information like they once did.

The likelihood of you running into a farmer-hunter-doctor-mechanic-lumberjack-blacksmith would be pretty low. Even if you did they probably aren’t looking for another mouth to feed or for you to slow them down. Communities will of course play an important role in survival but there will be huge gaps and holes in knowledge and experience in any group that manages to survive since the majority of the population will have died. Those to make it past the one year mark after such an attack will be the young and physically fit, or the lucky, or the ruthless or those who took action to be prepared.

gcLearn skills and be as self-sufficient as you can. Build a library with real books on all sorts of subjects that were written for the layperson in mind… and read them. Diversify your skill set and be as well rounded as you can. Be useful and involved with your community. If you are a member of a survival group or live in a small community, work with them to learn as much as you can and be willing to share your knowledge and experience. If not, join a class on canning or survival gardening and make friends. These will be the connections and relationships that not only will enrich your life but will serve as your survival group because it will be your friends you turn to for help and at least you know these friend have skills.