Required Reading

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

In the tradition of On the Beach, Forstchen is warning of dramatically dire consequences of being ill prepared for an EMP event.

An electromagnetic pulse as defined for laymen is a giant, unstoppable electrical surge.  An EMP can fry all your electronic devices.  It can come from a modified nuclear device or even a solar event.    Besides being annoyed at the inconvenience of losing all our toys,  consider that our electric grid, sewer and water, traffic controls, even air traffic are all computer controlled.  Imagine an instantaneous frying of all of that equipment and the resulting consequences.   That is the premise of the book. 

The book is frightening and written to be so.   The sociological ramifications were more frightening to me than the loss of an infrastructure.   It is dismaying to consider the reaction of our pampered population deprived of what we consider our due.  Forstchen depicts bleak behavior by the bulk of the population.   He also drives home how easy it is for decision makers to make the tough choices as long as they, themselves, are not impacted by them.  Consider the U.S. Congress and their willingness to cut benefits, as long as they aren't their benefits.  

Forstchen has a solid foundation of scientific and sociological underpinnings for his book.   It was terrifying as he used the characters to demonstrate his premise.   Our government decision makers should be required to read the book.   Our infrastructure needs protection from EMP which would be a relatively cheap terrorist weapon.

I don't spend a lot of time verifying facts when I read most fiction.   My assumption is that it is fiction so why bother.  This book drove me to the web to research what, if anything, is being done to prepare and protect our infrastructure from an EMP.   Several articles have used the number of two billion dollars to harden our utilities to survive an EMP.   Sounds like a lot of money but the unwillingness to spend that money may have dire consequences.   Things like faraday cages and surge suppressors may provide some protection for the general populace.   However considering the number of unstable countries now having access to nuclear weapons, it behooves us to spend the two billion ASAP to protect against an EMP attack. 

Forstchen's book is a call to arms,  protect our infrastructure from an EMP.

An important book although it is a very sad read.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

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