What is a “One Second After” scenario?
It happens on an ordinary day. Suddenly the electricity goes off. Only it doesn’t just affect lights, microwave ovens and electric water heaters, but cell phones, landline phones and all radio and TV stations.
Cars and trains stop where they are. Airplanes fall from the sky.
It takes a while, but realization dawns. We’ve just had an EMP—electromagnetic pulse.
The effect is similar to a giant lightning bolt that cooks all unprotected electronics. Only old tube type electronics and cars manufactured some 40 years ago or more will work.
While some disagree as to exactly what will be impacted by an EMP or how wide spread it will be, there’s no way the outcome will be pleasant. It will be as if the clock were set back 150 or even 500 years. Dire predictions made before the Y2K non-event will become reality.
Could such an EMP be from a killer solar storm? Some predict a future solar storm larger than a monster event that took place in 1859.
Or could an EMP be caused by strategically situated nuclear bombs detonated high above the earth’s atmosphere? Who might have the capability to do such a thing? China? Iran? North Korea? Or some unknown terrorist group?
One way to launch high altitude nukes might be from a submarine. Do you remember the mysterious contrail that appeared to shoot from the ocean off the California coast?
William Forstchen’s One Second After is a novel set in our present day in Black Mountain, North Carolina. John Matherson, a former military man, now a college history professor finds himself thrust into a leadership position with a handful of others in the community as they maintain order and cope with their new way of life.
As events unfold, Forstchen continually reminds us of the many things that will be adversely affected in our everyday lives. Concerns become localized, and priorities will change drastically. It becomes evident how unprepared officials and the public really are.
Without modern methods of communication, communities will become isolated from one another and the world at large. Wild rumors will spread.
Municipalities won’t be able to provide water if it can’t be pumped. ATM’s and credit cards will be useless. Stores will be looted. Food will likely be rationed. Refugees will roam the countryside and towns. Roving gangs may form and reek havoc.
People who can’t get their prescribed antidepressants, cigarettes or alcohol will flip out. Hospitals and nursing homes won’t be able to keep patients alive. And what will happen when heart patients and diabetics can’t get their medications? Very simply, they’ll die. Still lmore will die from Salmonella, cholera or outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Pets will die. Under harsh circumstances, they may even be eaten.
It’s predicted that as many as 90% of Americans will die within the first year after a widespread EMP event. You and I may be among them. It’s horrible to contemplate, but we must face that possibility.
As Forstchen’s novel progresses, it will hold your interest. Characters are believable and endearing, and it will touch you emotionally when so many of them die.
Nonetheless, the story is optimistic in outlook. Community leaders pull together. Alliances are made between towns. College students are trained to become the local militia and win a deadly battle against a marauding gang.
But what will happen in our real world one second after an EMP? What happens when we wake up to the fact that our lifestyle was more fragile than we ever thought? Life as we’ve known it will have ended. The United States will be no more.
How will we cope with a situation that isn’t going to be corrected even partially for months or years? What behavior will we revert back to? How many of us who may think we’re prepared will be shocked by our lack of adequate preparation? On the other hand, can anyone be truly prepared for an EMP?
One thing is for certain. We’d better be as prepared as we know how to be. Have storage food set aside. Know where to find water and how to filter it properly. Grow a garden. Protect certain electronic items with a Faraday cage.
Get to know your neighbors. Have some sort of support network in place.
In a radio interview with Neal Boortz Forstchen says he’s not into conspiracies, but he took the threat of an EMP very seriously and stated people should be preparing for survival. He recommended having food and water on hand at home, making sure you can defend yourself from looters, and learning first aid skills, as well as survival skills in general.
Often it takes a fictional approach to introduce people to a serious subject, and that’s what Forstchen’s novel does.
This novel is one man’s notion about what could happen in the aftermath of an EMP nuclear weapons attack. Things might not happen that way. Many apocalyptic science fiction stories are just that—stories.
But read this one for yourself and begin to think the unthinkable. Then think survival.
To get One Second After, click on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.