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EMP Expert Shares Message of Hope, Says Working Together as a Community is Key

Military historian William R. Forstchen, Ph.D., considers himself an optimist by nature, even though he has written extensively about the catastrophic impact of an EMP strike and has spent nearly two decades urging national and local governments to heed his warnings.

“In the first hours, people will be relatively civil to each other … but at what point does that start changing?” he said in a recent interview. “Within about 24 hours, it’s going to start to get squirrely, and the big factor right at the start is water.”

Widely considered one of the foremost experts on EMP attacks, Forstchen is the New York Times bestselling author of the One Second After series, a fictional exploration rooted in the cold, solid facts of how an EMP strike above U.S. soil would impact society. There are now four books in the series, which should give people hope that survival is possible, with the right measures and mindset in place.

“The component of my [first] book that was so important … is the realization that the only way we’re going to get through this as a community is by working together as a community, helping those who need help … and then planning realistically for how we’re going to get through the next six months, the next year, and still have food on hand, water supply, medication, etc.,” Forstchen added.

The latest book in the series, Five Years After, follows protagonist John Matherson as he contends with new threats to the fragile civilization that he helped rebuild.

In Five Years After, the Republic of New America has all but collapsed into regional powers, and the world at large is struggling to remain stable as regional conflicts ravage the post-EMP landscape. After several years attempting to lead a quiet life, John receives word that the President is terminal with cancer, and John is asked to take over the reins of government.

Pulled back into the fray, John struggles to hold the tottering Republic together. Facing threats on multiple fronts, he races against time to stop another EMP attack on the former United States and China, putting years of progress at risk. With so much of his work under threat, John must find the strength within to start over, so that he can save the country and the people that he holds dear from even greater calamity.

Forstchen’s depiction of a post-EMP society throughout his One Second After series is rooted in years of extensive research, and he has long been advocating for greater awareness and preparation against an EMP strike, which he considers a very real threat. His goal is not to alarm, but to prompt proactive measures to protect the American public.

“We’ve got to live our lives; we’ve got to enjoy ourselves … don’t make this the obsession,” Forstchen said of the topic of EMPs. “But it should be out there. You should be thinking about this and doing some basic planning.”

About the Author
William R. Forstchen is a New York Times bestselling author and a Professor of History at Montreat College, in Montreat, North Carolina. He holds a doctoral degree from Purdue University with a specialization in military history and technology. He is the author of more than 50 books, including the One Second After series that details the realistic effects of an EMP strike.

He is a noted expert historian and public speaker and has been interviewed on FOX News, C-SPAN and many others on topics ranging from history to technology and cultural issues, to space technology development, to security threats.

For more information about the One Second After series, please visit

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