Well, winter is coming to the northeastern US.  It’s getting colder here in NJ and any day the temperature could go down to below freezing, stay there for the next few months and pile us up with snow and ice.  I’m thinking about this because I was just on Facebook in a preparedness group, and someone posted the typical article about how an EMP will kill 90% of the east coast.  I sighed and thought about it for a moment, and then what hit me was that winter is here, and what could be possibly worse than an EMP and living in the United Soviet Socialist Republic of New Jersey?  Well, a winter executed EMP could be worse.  This would be much worse than an EMP in the spring, summer or fall seasons.  99% of the people I know and don’t know for that matter in NJ are completely unprepared for another Hurricane Sandy.  Hell, after the power came back on, you could have bought six used generators for the price of three.  People are so short-sighted.  They just think it could never happen again.

That said, I didn’t even read the article about the EMP, I simply looked over the comments.  It felt a lot like those that were commenting had not thought much about EMPs or the potential aftermath that threatens such a man-made disaster.

I’m middle class.  I pay a mortgage.  Two cars, blah, blah, blah.  I have a beautiful wife and an amazing 20-month-old daughter.  Both of whom are the center of my universe.  Nothing has been more amazing than spending time with my little family over the last couple of years.   However, reading the article headline, and the questions and comments about this article got me thinking.  What if, North Korea, China, or any other Enemy of the State decided that Winter would be the optimal time to launch an EMP attack?  Being a prepper for years, I never really gave that much thought.  Shame on me.  It dawned on me I don’t have a few things that really make sense for a winter EMP, such as a fireplace, wood stove, enough Kerosene for the kerosene heater or propane for the propane heater to last an entire winter.  This is just thinking about heat and shelter only.  It dawned on me this morning that if anything were to happen I am woefully unprepared to keep my wife and daughter warm enough during the frigid winter in the event we had to shelter in place for a long period of time. i.e. until spring or longer.  That said, living in NJ, I am not sure you would be able to shelter in place for a long period of time during an EMP event. With the lack of preparedness and short-term mindset of those thinking everything will be okay, I say that grocery stores would be empty within two days of an event.

OPSEC is another issue altogether.  One of the neighboring towns is historically lower income (not pointing fingers), but this presents a security issue for those that will be on the hunt for food and resources almost immediately. The mindset of, “take that from others that I did not previously have or prepare for,” is not lost on me.  And, I believe it is a healthy fear.  I’ll admit since the wife and I moved into a new home a few years ago, my OPSEC guard has been down a little and I have been a bit lax in this side of my preparedness.   This needs to be addressed almost immediately, next to the short term or long term heating issue.

Another thought regarding a winter EMP event would be to get out of dodge as quickly as possible.  But where?  Fall back location.  Yeah, we have one or two of those.  BOL?  Yeah, I have a location (sort of).  It is not mine, however, it is a family location, but it too is woefully unprepared for an EMP. This needs to be remedied pretty quickly as I see it., which, brings me to another thought.  The BOV with a trailer, to throw all the preps in, and gear we may need, assuming it still runs (which is another issue that must be looked at)…

You also may be asking, a trailer in the middle of winter?  Yeah, I am thinking about that too.  Thoughts are; what if there is snow on the roads, and they are unplowed?  What if there are numerous cars on the road because it was rush hour when the EMP blast took place, (if you have ever been in rush hour in northern NJ on interstate 78, 278, or route 80 you know what I mean) it could be stopped bumper to bumper traffic with zombies wandering around trying to figure out how to get home…  Hell, our Governor just screwed up a minor snow storm and the entire state was paralyzed.

All these questions from a single headline… So much to do.  The checklist is going to look something like this:

  • Procure more kerosene and wicks
  • Look into a propane heater that can be used in an area of the home where we may have to live & how to have it hooked up to a propane tank outside the home.
  • Look into propane tank that can be put in the backyard (cost, position/area)
  • What does it look like to live on the second floor of our home for an extended period of time?
  • How to increase OPSEC of the first floor & second floor of the home
  • How to have extended power on the second floor of the home?
  • Water? (so many questions here)
  • Sanitation & Hygiene (more questions)
  • Blocking light in the evening from being seen from the outdoors
  • What do we do with our knucklehead (our four-year-old dog)
  • Time to look at an older BOV than the 1990 Jeep Wrangler (old suburban, K5, etc)?  How to afford?
  • Time to look at a short term/long term fall back location BOL
  • Time to figure out how to afford a real BOL

A lot to consider, and much of which will be goal driven and related.  If anyone has ever had these questions and more, let me know what you think.  The responsibility is great, the effort is huge.

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.