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EMP Threat
Steps to Take…   

Q. I keep hearing Iran may go ballistic. How would the nuclear effect of an EMP attack harm America? And should churches and Christians prepare for an EMP attack? Just how are we supposed to do that?


Years ago your question might have sounded like one of those fringe topics. But, not any more…

World Net Daily

About five years ago, Joseph Farah of World Net Daily warned that "intelligence sources say Iran is not only covertly developing nuclear weapons, it is already testing ballistic missiles specifically designed to deliver an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack against the U.S" (WND 2005).

Wall Street Journal

I remember it because in the same article, Strom quotes a Wall Street Journal author as saying, "No American would necessarily die in the initial attack, but what comes next is potentially catastrophic. The pulse would wipe out most electronics and telecommunications, including the power grid. Millions could die for want of modern medical care or even of starvation since farmers wouldn't be able to harvest crops and distributors wouldn't be able to get food to supermarkets" (Strom 2005).

Newt Gingrich

Furthermore, at that time former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pointed to a bulletin mentioning that Iran had already test fired ballistic missiles from a merchant ship in the Caspian Sea.

Given the above reports, I think churches and Christians should absolutely prepare for an EMP attack in the same manner we should all have basic preparations in place for any disaster.

Just Trust God?

Of course we should always trust God for our provisions. However, it is irritating that some Christians back off from common-sense preparation by saying, "We just need to trust God." What they have effectively done is to place the burden of wise preparation upon the rest of us. This is a form of presuming upon God. It is also in direct violation of Romans 13:1-4:

"The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good" (v. 4, NLT).

In our case, the Dept. of Homeland Security is one of our nation's authorities - servants of God for our own good. When citizens who have refused to prepare according to this department's suggestions, have no water, no medical supplies, and their cars don't run, they will be reliant upon those of us who did spend the time and money to help insure survival for our (and their) families.

Adequate Supplies

The writer in Proverbs 21:20 says, "There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise. But, a foolish man swallows it up." Ryrie explains that "the wise man plans and saves for the future, but the foolish person squanders what he has" (NASB 1996, 998).


Proverbs 6:6 warns, "Go to the ant, O sluggard. Observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest" (NASB). Ryrie notes that the ant "has no physically-present leader, yet it works with initiative, diligence, and foresight (in contrast to the sluggard)" (p. 976).

Effects of EMP

Think of it this way. An EMP attack would likely damage electrical power systems, information systems, and many forms of electronics. Teller machines wouldn't work. Banks and brokerage firms would lose electronic data. Gas pumps would shut down. Lights would go out. Many cars wouldn't work - they would stop abruptly even on highways. Water faucets would stop bringing water to homes. Microwave ovens and refrigerators wouldn't work. Heating and cooling systems would shut down. Elevators would stop. Hospitals would have no power. Sources say it could take weeks or even months to recover from such an attack.


Preparing for an EMP attack includes putting together a disaster kit - which according to Homeland Security should include:

Water and water filter
Canned and dry foods not requiring refrigeration
Battery radios kept in metal boxes or filing cabinets
First aid kits
Cleaning supplies such as towelettes, toilet paper, and waterless soap
Extra supply of prescription medications
Spare cash and change

There are several books and online resources concerning how to put together a disaster kit. There is also a recent television series available on DVD called Jericho. It concerns the survival of a small town after a nuclear holocaust. Some might find it informative as well as entertaining.


A final warning comes from Proverbs 22:3:

"The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it."

We have been warned time after time that terrorists wish to harm the United States. We have also been strongly encouraged to compile an emergency kit for our families. It would seem to be the prudent thing to do in these circumstances.


Source Cited:

Strom, Ron. 2005. EMP attack: What to do to prepare. World Net Daily. 21 May. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.as?ARTICLE_ID=44305 (accessed May 21, 2005).

Ryrie Study Bible, NASB. 1996. Chicago: Moody.

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