16 June 2010

John Robb's Resilient Communities: Could They Survive EMP?

John Robb is an author, blogger, former special ops pilot in the USAF, author of "Brave New War", public speaker, entrepreneur, and futurist theorist on "open source warfare", "resilient communities" and more.

Al Fin's cousin Abu recently looked at an interview that John Robb gave to BoingBoing.  Abu asked the question: "Could A Different US President Have Prevented What Is Coming?"  But perhaps a more relevant question might be:  "Can Communities be Made Resilient against Collapse from Many Causes -- Including EMPs?

Here is how Robb describes resilient communities:

Communities that offer energy independence, food security, economic prosperity, and protection. What are the global drivers that make resiliency important? Simply: stability, prosperity, and security is going away. You will soon find you are on your own, if you haven't already. If you do nothing, you will suffer the predations of gangs, militias, and corrupt bureaucracies that will fill the void left by retreating nation-states. If you want to avoid this fate, you can build resilient communities that not only allow you and your family to survive intact, but to thrive. __From Interview In BoingBoing

Robb is writing a book about local resilience, which will describe how to create a resilient community from scratch. Detailed plans for resilience, such as Robb is promising, are badly needed. Survival is better guaranteed by prepared communities possessing multiple competencies, than by single individuals, couples, or other small groups of limited resources and manpower.

Robb is predicting a coming economic crash that will be worse than 2008. As time goes by, Robb expects the societal fallout from successive economic collapses to grow exponentially worse, due to rapidly expanding cultural schisms in multicultural societies. On his blog, he is providing information to help in providing various sorts of community resiliency.

But take it up another notch -- further perhaps than even Robb is looking. What happens to a deeply fractured society, already in economic depression, when it is hit by an EMP or similarly destructive attack on the power grid and energy infrastructures?

Clearly if 90% of US residents could be expected to die within 1 year of an EMP attack under ordinary circumstances, far more would probably succumb within the cultural setting that Robb describes.

Individual and small group preparation for disaster is vital and necessary -- but not sufficient in the long run. For long term survival, we need prepared communities. Most collapse situations will not require something as elaborate as the Society for Creative Apocalyptology. Robb's Resilient Communities might be more than sufficient for most catastrophic disruptions. They are certainly a good place to start.

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Blogger Loren said...

John's RCs shouldn't have too much trouble. High end electronics and power distribution are the main things being threatened, and a smaller grid should be less vulnerable. And most electronics are for entertainment.

Most other purposes would be filled by other, nonvulnerable sources of energy.

Wednesday, 16 June, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

These days, electronics are in just about everything.

No one really knows what the penetration of the EMP pulses will be, because that depends upon a lot of other factors. Electronics in your basement inside a Faraday cage would probably be okay. You may want to keep some photovoltaic panels stored that way.

A stack of dry logs would probably be okay, though. ;-)

Wednesday, 16 June, 2010  
Blogger gtg723y said...

The older the technology the less likely it will be effected. While technology is used for entertainment it is also used to disseminate information, if our vast array of telecommunications were to go down for not very long periods of time people will assume the worst case scenario they can come up with has occurred and will most likely panic. In such a situation our best hope will be marshal law, once that kind of power is seized it will be hard to get it back.

Wednesday, 16 June, 2010  

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