How to Survive an EMP

An EMP or electromagnetic pulse attack is one of the most realistic threats to modern society. This site, post apocalyptic survival strives to provide the most relevant information on realistic, possible apocalyptic threats and naturally EMP’s are high up on the list.

Imagine suddenly being thrust into a world where your electricity suddenly stopped working for a period of months, if not years. Modern industrial society lives and breaths electricity and 90% of the crap you do in your daily life requires it. The military particularly is reliant on electricity for daily operations and the lack of electricity causes a break down in communication and functionality between the military and the government.

How to survive an EMP green imageWith a country like America, where guns out number citizens at least 3-1 and armed citizens are behind every blade of grass, a foreign military understands that the only possibility of successful invasion is the complete destruction of communication.

An electromagnetic pulse attack can cause the type of communications and electronic damage necessary to make an invasion of a country possible and history suggests that power hungry individuals will do anything necessary to achieve their goals.

This is why people should be think about how to survive an EMP attack because it is an extremely likely event as far as apocalypse survival is concerned. Crazy people will do anything necessary to conquer, and an EMP attack is a great equalizer for a less well-equipped country. Having the capability to invade a well armed country like America requires such unethical and grandiose tactics as an EMP strike. It is the only way China could ever invade American soil and so it is a serious threat that should be addressed at length to be fully prepared for post apocalyptic survival.

What to expect from an EMP attack?

You would suddenly lose power after an EMP attack, the lights would go out and could potentially be out for weeks, months or even in a terrifying scenario, years. How long would your water supply last or even your food supply? Your faithful debit card would no longer work and you would be stuck with essentially the cash you had on hand. An EMP attack would destroy daily life on a large scale and it would leave most unprepared people completely helpless.

emp blast area rangeThe financial system, transportation system and medical system would all suffer serious blows. Survival for average people who never considered apocalypse survival a likely possibility would be extremely slim. The electronics and devices that most people have come to rely on have severely crippled their abilities to survive primitively without the right preparation and gear.

A single EMP attack could disable all modern electronics in the United States, eliminating communications, food, water, transportation, medicine distribution, and our financial system. You will need to recognize the scenario and be prepared for the ensuing catastrophe. Tragically, those who have not prepared most likely will not survive.

Natural EMP disasters are also possible.

So you don’t buy the fact that a foreign government would set off a nuclear explosion high in our atmosphere? An EMP strike could also happen naturally. The sun lets loose solar flares all of the time and if they are big enough they can create a natural EMP damaging or destroying most if not all electronics. It has happened before in the 1800′s and the solar storms recently are becoming increasingly violent.

It is highly likely that an EMP will be caused by the sun itself and modern society is more vulnerable than ever to an electromagnetic pulse because of our intense reliance on satellites and electricity.

How to Survive an EMP.

Ok, for this EMP survival guide we are going to assume you have already read the post apocalyptic survival guide because all of those skills and tools are applicable and I will not re-discuss basic survival here. To survive an EMP attack you will of course be benefited by having all of those regular survival skills mastered this will just cover the applicable, specific aspects of EMP survival.

As always, you have to keep a supply of food and fresh water in your home for any disaster and make sure that your rations cover every member of your family. If you are not sure how much you should store, visit ready.gov and check out what our super awesome government has to say about it.

Electricity will probably not be restored for a very long time, which means no running water because the pumps won’t work. Remember that.

Form a plan with your family and friends for a meeting place should SHTF and make sure all of the people you know and love are aware of this location because communication will be impossible after the EMP. There is safety and security in numbers, as long as those numbers are people that you completely trust. Human beings aren’t solitary animals and surviving in groups is the natural behavior of humans.

Unless you have a very old car, there are probably electric chips used in your car that will be destroyed rendering your car useless so definitely be prepared to walk on foot or bike to your location.

Get quality boots if you don’t have them because your ass will be on foot more than ever.

Keep cash on hand,  cash in your bank isn’t gonna do shit for you if you can’t withdraw it. It is just common sense to have cash stored at home and even with your bug out gear. Cash probably won’t be worth shit after a while but in the beginning stages cash is king and people are so attached to money that it will be useful for a while.

How to shield your electronics from an EMP attack.

Ok great, basic survival out of the way now you need to focus on shielding important electronics from an EMP attack. Most people recommend building a Faraday cage to protect your stuff and their is a great resource on building a Faraday cage here.

A Faraday cage is basically a mesh structure that blocks electronic waves, like the front of your microwave for example, the mesh in the microwave door stops (most) of the electronic radiation from leaking out of the microwave.

If you are lazy like me, you can avoid building a Faraday cage by buying a galvanized trash can and keeping important survival electronics in it at all times. Keep your whole bug out bag in the damn thing if you get one that is big enough to fit in it.


Life will be a lot easier on you if you have working electronics like a crank radio flashlight or other useful survival gear that would normally get fried by an EMP. Two more ultra useful items after the EMP ( if you kept them in the galvanized trash can) are a solar powered battery charger (cheap as dirt and effective) and a solar power charger that has USB slots. These are the two models I purchased for my bug out bag:

With this set up you are in pretty good shape to shield your electronics and provide power to them after the EMP. Shit maybe after the EMP you will start reading books again so it won’t be all bad. Make sure you check out the apocalyptic gear section for some of the ultra useful books that would help you in any survival situation.

Particularly books like Where There Is No Doctor and the other manuals that provide you with information on edible herbs and food acquisition they should be in everyone’s library because no matter the apocalyptic disaster that occurs, they will provide timeless, useful information to get your family through tough times.

Remember a EMP attack from a foreign nation or a solar flare is not the end of the world. Nothing is the end of the world until you are dead. Surviving the apocalypse is as much about your mentality as anything else.

Never give up, never give in and keep your powder dry.

 

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About Guest

Judah Hamilton is a apocalyptic survival expert. He is a political strategist, inventor, author, avid reader and corporate hack. In his spare time he is a welder, sheet metal fabricator and primitive survival skills expert. All of this aside, he is best known for his drunken, whiskey-induced rants on a variety of topics on post apocalyptic survival.com.
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2 Responses to How to Survive an EMP

  1. Ken says:

    I have my electrical/electronic items stored in a steel cabinet in the garage. Is this sufficient to protect from an EMP, or is a galvanized container necessary?

  2. mark says:

    Some years ago I read that an EMP would only fry operating equipment. Electronics (including cars) not running or turned off would be Ok. Was that not true or are modern electronics more susceptible to EMP now?

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