Just following the blog for the past few weeks it seems the biggest discussion is EMP. I have to say that the idea of an EMP far enough away from Air Force One to not blow the wings off will at worst disrupt HF radio for a few days/weeks as the ionosphere recovers from being charged up beautiful aurora would be expected. commercial aircraft would likely also be not adversely affected. The EMP myth started with the day after and grew massive, how much EMP is a car expected to survive before we consider it safe for survival purposes. When we consider risk we must consider aperture and sensitivity. A radio with a 100 meter wire antenna has both a large aperture to generate voltage as well as a very sensitive detector mechanism that can pick up micro changes in the resonant voltage on a given frequency. Your cars under hood electronics has neither long runs of wire (they are also partly shielded in a nice metal shell) nor are they sensitive, in fact they are designed somewhat hardened since they are subject to proximity to several thousand volt spark discharge nearby. As always ground everything that has an antenna, surge protect everything that connects to grid power and look for long wire runs like cable TV and telephone lines.
During the megaton Starfish Prime space blast that opened our eyes to EMP only grid power was affected because of the large aperture of running lines. Even the Intel 386 processor was EMP rated and military EMP rating is for close-in battlefield bursts. It is important to point out that most of the EMP radiation reaching the ground would be longer waves
typically below 30 MHz this means long antennas to get a good resonance. The rules for shortwave radio apply to EMP, you need a real antenna to fry electronics. .I need to get further information from my old E.E. professor (who was head engineer for aftermarket ignition parts design firm, after working designing systems for the F-111/FB-111) for further info and will get back to you with more mil-spec to civilian brand EMP resistance comparison info. For everyone reading they must know losing their car/truck to carjack, nuclear strike, mutated wombat hordes, or no fuel is not the end of the world. After your no power/gas/water tests do a no car test week. Take a bike/donkey/bus/walk to work, not every scenario starts with EMP, I place EMP in the same category as dirty bomb, it has never happened but there is so much FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) surrounding the mythical EMP demon that any discussion automatically reverts to the scary movies and books you have seen.
JWR Replies: I agree that the EMP threat is widely misunderstood and misstated in the MSM. I have studied EMP off and and on for many years. (My first article on the subject was published in 1989 in Defense Electronics magazine.) The EMP threat is real, not mythical. It is true that the greatest risk is from EMP coupling to unintentional antennas such as phone lines or power lines. Keep in mind that the "antenna effect" is cumulative. The microcircuits that operate so many of our modern conveniences are installed in devices that are connected to grid power–and that constitutes an EMP antenna that stretches for hundreds of miles. It is also true that the 386 processors if the 1980s were specifically designed to be EMP-hardened. However, most microcircuits that have been made since then are very vulnerable–with gates (gaps between transistors) that are almost 1/10th that size. (To illustrate the significance of scaling on logic transistor density: The 386 generation chips had 1.0 micron width gates, 486s had 0.8 micron gates, Pentium Pros had 0.25 micron gates. The latest Pentium 4s have only 0.13 micron gates. And now 0.08 micron and even smaller gate-size chips are going into production.) With each generation of microcircuits, the vulnerability to EMP has steadily increased. The rise time for EMP is even faster than lightning. I do agree that the risk to vehicular ignition and fuel ignition systems might be overstated. However, a full scale EMP-optimized attack on the U.S. might do considerable damage to vehicular electronics. The extent of this damage will not be fully known until after we see that bright flash high in the sky. Prudence dictates that we prepare for the worst case. IMHO, each family should have at least one EMP-proof vehicle.