how to prepare for an electromagnetic pulse (EMP)

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See also our other article: how to prepare for post emp attack
Prepping for EMP survival
How to buy a Generator
Water bob provides 100 gallons water storage
Crank lantern
Analog clock
EMP thermometer
hand crank and solar communications
all weather ambient radio hand crank
Faraday trash can
Cooking with the sun book
sun oven
EMP attacks and solar storms
Living without electricity
One Second After by William R. Forstchen
Solar Generator Kit
shield your devices from EMP with a surge protector
Movie The Trigger Effect
Overlooked Prep #1: CO Detector
Overlooked Prep #1: CO Detector
Faraday bag pouch
Hawkes Survival Forces Handbook
EMP shield
EMF meter
Radiation detection
Bath tub reservoir for hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
When the lights to out forever, then what?
Six survival secrets for atomic attacks
Original use: seal an ammo can with duct tape
EMP protect family guide
Prepping site for survivalists + preppers
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27 uses for a five gallon bucket
Prepping Supplies that are not food
Yoder's hamburger, pork sausage, turkey nd more
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Nuclear survival manual
Additional resources:
Be sure to read Ted Koppel's book: Lights Out and see the video

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Ten free preps
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We're the happiest emergency preparedness planners on the
planet and we want to share with you how to build skills and
prepare for the unthinkable catastrophe, including an EMP.

  • Go low tech. Green Beret Jeremiah Johnson, in his article at entitled "A Green Beret's Guide to EMP,"
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    rule, emphasizing its usefulness in making complex
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  • Do laundry off the grid. Having clean clothes off the grid is
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  • Interesting Fact about an Ordinary Blackout Did you know
    that the primary cause of death during an ordinary blackout
    is carbon monoxide poisoning? Get yourself a CO Detector!

Happy endings...
Above all things, have hope! Anything you do today will help you
tomorrow. As the vintage atomic guide below states: "Always put
first things first... never lose your head!"

Related articles...

  • Off grid solutions:

  • Other:

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preparedness Web site of prepping, survival,
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beauty of this yellow card is that it's impervious to an EMP Bomb
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How will communications be effected after an EMP?
Needless to say, your cell phone won't work after an EMP;
however, there is some good news. According to FEMA,"Battery-
powered radios with short antennas generally would not be
affected," by an ElectroMagnetic pulse. Preppers are not so sure
about this prediction, which is why preppers build Faraday cages
to protect their equipment, including two way radios and other

For more about two-way radios, CBs and HAM radio
communications, read:

How will an EMP effect your car?
Anything with a microchip will be effected by an EMP. Some cars
will work (those without microchips), but fuel will be unavailable
from pumps because they require electricity. Under 10% of the
cars on the road will be unaffected by EMP. These will be classic
cars and older vehicles which do not rely on electrical equipment.

  • How can you prepare your car?
  • Equip your car with a fold up bicycle so you can make it back
    home to loved ones.
  • Have the right tools in your car. Basic supplies to stock
    include blankets, water packets, and light sticks. If your car
    works, you may want to carry a hand siphon to extract gas
    from stranded cars that do not have an anti-siphon device.
    Here's a complete list of car essentials to carry.

Has an ElectroMagnetic Pulse EMP ever hit North America?
Yes! There have been several:

  • Pacific Ocean, 1962. Known as Starfish Prime, the United
    States experimented with the detonation of a hydrogen bomb
    above the Pacific Ocean and 900 miles away in Hawaii, the
    people felt it's effects including disruption of street lights.

  • Texas: March 9, 1989 an EMP struck making the northern
    lights visible in Texas. It knocked down Quebec's power grid
    and interrupted the power supply for nine hours, which
    affected 6 million people in Canada and the United States.
    Solar flares are heating up more controversy and speculation
    about the possibilities of an EMP.

  • New York: In the Blackout of 2003, a massive power outage
    impacted tens of millions of people from New York to
    Canada. The outage lasted just nine hours.

EMP Bomb Threat: who will die and who will live?
Watch this important and short video (about five minutes):
EMP Preparedness Plan #3. Plan a strategy for your
car (in case you are in it when an EMP strikes).
There are 90 microprocessors in a typical car, which means it will
likely fail. Here's what to do:

  • Stockpile car essentials.
  • Always bring food and water with you on your journey. Stash
    food and water at the entrance of your home, so you'll
    remember to bring it. Another good option is  Datrex food
    bars and Emergency Drinking Water Pouches, pictured right.
    They can withstand temperature fluctuations.
  • A vehicle first aid kit is of paramount importance.
  • Here is a complete list of car essentials.

  • Have an escape plan for your car:
  • Keep a sturdy pair of shoes for every member of the family
    in the car case you must head home on foot.
  • Have an escape vehicle for your vehicle (a fold-up bicycle) or
    even a skateboard would help.
  • Consider buying a pre-1965 Mustang or Volkswagon. Classic
    vehicles might run if they have an old fashioned carburetor,
    so if you have the ambition to own a classic car and have
    spare parts for it, the go for it.

EMP Preparedness Plan #4. Develop a family plan.
Talk with the kids about an EMP scenario and discuss a realistic
plan of action on where to meet and have a contingency plan if
the first location is not available. Schools likely will not release
children. Be sure to discuss your course of action and include the
details in your personal survival manual. In advance of an EMP,
your family should recognize the signs and take immediate
action. Siblings in school could band together with an approved
family plan of action, which may at one point include a secret
evacuation from school officials. Every family plan is different,
and depending on location, it may not be appropriate for children
to wander the streets of chaos. Pack a letter with children on the
approved plan of action, which would include meeting locations
and alternatives. Children should know to reference the letter in
the event of an emergency.

  • Discuss medicines as part of your family plan. If you take
    medicines get extras now, while you can. Asthma, diabetes,
    heart disease... Whatever medications you require, you
    must stockpile as best you can. Unfortunately, those with
    diabetes will have a more difficult consequence as the shelf
    life is rather short.

  • Mitigate your fire risks. Plan to risk of fire: own several fire
    extinguishers. Left, a fire blanket is another good prepper

EMP Preparedness Plan #5. Make changes in your
daily routine.
Do things differently starting today. For example:

  • Start now and try not to take the elevator (or you may risk
    being stuck). The stairs are healthier anyway! Escalators are

  • Avoid big cities, lest you get stuck there during the

EMP Preparedness Plan #6. Read more about EMP.
Get Fictional. Go to the movies.
Read books on EMP prepping (fiction and non fiction).There's a
long reading list of good books, including "EMP Survival: How to
Prepare Now and Survive, When an Electromagnetic Pulse
Destroys," available at the top of the page. Also, read "Solar
Flare Survival" immediate right.  Solar Flare Survival discusses
what scientists know about the Sun and how it affects our
planet, and how it can wreak havoc on worldwide national power
grids, spacecraft, and electronics. Get fictional:

  • One Second After.  One Second After, a book by has
    already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all
    Americans should read, a book already being discussed in
    the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a
    weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United
    States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the
    Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America.

  • Jericho. Jericho, the television series, is a fictional account
    of how an electromagnetic pulse fries everything with a
    circuit board at 9:02 pm, plunging the town into darkness.

  • Doomsday preppers. Learn more about a Geo Magnetic
    Storm from Doomsday Prepper Captain Bill Simpson.

EMP Preparedness Plan #7. Build a Faraday box or
Consider building a Faraday Cage, box or other container, which
aims at preventing the electromagnet pulse from destroying your
electronic equipment. This shielding device will protect your
communications essentials. A Faraday cage is shielding device
intended to protect electronic equipment from an intense
interruption of solar radiation. You won't currently find a Faraday
cage available for sale on Amazon or eBay, but construction of
plans is attainable however. Sooner or later all preppers want to
learn how to build a Faraday cage. Perfect for a rainy day project,
this is something to get started on before it's too late.

Do you know how to build a faraday cage? You can build one out
of a garbage can or an ammo can!

EMP Preparedness Plan #8: Move to the West coast,
away from all nuclear reactors.
If the grid goes down, every working nuclear reactor is a time
bomb: there will be no power to cool down the reactors! The
United States has 100 commercial reactors, most of them
concentrated on the East Coast. The West Coast is looking pretty
good as a location. California has just one nuclear power plant
operating, since the San Onofre power plant was shut down in
2013. Unfortunately, it lies in the center of California, in
beautiful San Luis Obispo. This means you mus prepare for
radiation and warfare. A Nuclear blast produces three waves of
pulses. Wind currents can carry fallout from a nuclear explosion
for hundreds of miles if certain conditions prevail. If there are
nuclear explosions, the threats toward humanity are much more
severe than just the power grid.

  • Get a Radiation Water Filter. The Flip-top Portable
    Radiological Radiation Water Filtration & Purification Bottle,
    pictured immediate left, is a necessity if you live close to a
    nuclear reactor. Removes 100% of Gross Beta, Radium 226,
    Uranium, Cesium 137, Strontium, Plutonium, Radioactive
    Iodine B1, and Radon 222.

EMP Preparedness Plan #9: Continue Prepping.
Prepper's hope for the best and plan for the worst. Hope alone is
not a strategy, which is why preppers must plan for food and
water, despite the odds or circumstance. An EMP is perhaps the
most horrible of all catastrophic conditions in which preppers
face, and yet there is always hope as a cornerstone of survival.
Do all your favorite prepper things:

  • Farm at home! Become a home agrarian because only 2%
    of the population in America currently grows food. Tractors
    would not work in the event of an EMP, so the farms would
    not be able to produce. Even if they could produce food,
    trucks would not be able to deliver. Stock survival seeds and
    equipment to grow food and sustain livestock.

  • Gather water. Set up rain harvesting systems to maintain
    the water supply. (Water may pump for up to a hundred
    days, but eventually the remaining water systems will
    become contaminated.)

  • Learn to live without electricity. If you simply shut off the
    power for a weekend and see how you get around your daily
    life, you will learn a lot. You may not have enough food in
    your garden to even make a salad for one night!

Questions about an ElectroMagnetic Pulse

What is an ElectroMagnetic Pulse?
An EMP is a silent shock wave, a surge of electrical energy that
could destroy the power grid. Quietly it would wipe out every
electrical appliance in it's path! Every unprotected battery and
electrical device would be rendered useless. Circuit breakers and
surge protectors won't work. An EMP could be triggered by a
geomagnetic event (solar flares) or a nuclear event (either an
attack or a meltdown from a natural event).

Not such a big deal, you say? Well, then imagine this very real
scenario: you're driving along to the tune of your favorite song
and suddenly there is no radio as you flip stations and your car
powers off, you assume your car has a major problem. You slam
the breaks as you notice the immediate traffic jam of other
vehicles experiencing the same problem. Everyone whips out
their cell phones to the shock of silence.

At first, people get out of their vehicles and talk with others.
Speculation sets in about what has occurred. Within minutes
everyone knows something is seriously wrong. Roads are
blocked. Panic sets in. It's every "man for himself!" People head
to the stores for food, water, fuel and survival essentials on
bicycles and by foot. Unfortunately, without power the stores will
be unavailable to calculate receipts or process money. Clerks,
managers and shop owners take defensible actions as looting
sets in.

What are the first signs of an EMP?
You may notice a burst of light in the sky. If you are touching
anything metal, such as your car keys, you may get scorched.
Cars will cease to work because an EMP would effect engines.
Airplanes would fall from the sky. All electricity would shut down,
which would in turn affect the water flow. Your cell phone won't
work. The lights may go out for good.

Want to know the first signs of an EMP? Get a RADSticker
What is a RADSticker? This postage stamp sized
dosimeter, pictured right becomes darker as it is exposed to
radiation. This invaluable instant color developing dosimeter is
always ready and with you 24/7, stuck onto the back of your
drivers license or anything you keep close, for any future
radiation emergency.
EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse)
Prepping for an EMP? Read our EMP survival guide now!

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in
which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology."
- Carl Sagan

When the lights to out forever, then what?
The electrical substations could go down permanently. Then
what? No lights. No hospital. No trucks to deliver food. No
civilization! An ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) has the power to
disrupt, damage or destroy life as we know it through starvation,
disease and societal collapse. Life will never be the same after
an EMP, which is why you need to take immediate action towards
a survival plan.
You need to prepare for EMP attacks and solar

In an ElectroMagnetic Pulse, mankind will be trapped by the
reliance on technology. Over the past decade, Americans
dependence on electricity and the power grid has changed
dramatically. Electricity started as a convenience and has
transgressed into something that our very lives depend. It's
happened so gradually that most people haven't even noticed
that this society would live in a new frontier wilder than the wild
West without electricity. A massive power grid failure could
threaten to kill as much as 90% of the population, according to
the author of
One Second After, (book pictured, left).

EMP Survival Guide

When the grid goes down, will you be prepared?
Let's be honest: preparation for an EMP isn't easy. No one really
knows how things will go down following the catastrophic event
of an EMP. Whether it's the result of an attack or a solar flare,
there are many unanswered questions. Will the devastation last a
few weeks, a few months, a few years? It depends.

Where will you be when an  EMP happens? Certainly we can
anticipate the danger...

Top Ten Most Dangerous places to be during an
Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP):
  1. in flight of an airplane or helicopter;
  2. trapped in an elevator;
  3. belted in a ride in an amusement park;
  4. trapped in the subway system;
  5. on vacation away from home or your bugout location;
  6. at school tens or hundreds of miles away from parents;
  7. in your car in the desert tens of miles away from water;
  8. hanging on to life support in the hospital or a nursing home;
  9. locked in prison or jail (or living anywhere near a prison or
  10. anywhere near a nuclear plant!

The most important thing to remember is to always have hope.
Ultimately your survival demands you hold an openness to the
possibilities! Open your mind to the idea that you will survive.
We're happy to provide guidance on how survive and EMP attack
is possible, by providing dozens of preparedness tips.

First, we'll show you the things to do immediately following an
EMP, then we'll tell you the steps you can take now to prepare for
the years following the catastrophe, which will surely devastate
mankind. It sounds rather drastic and it is, but now you know
that you must open your mind to the possibilities. Your survival is

How to Survive an EMP

EMP Survival Tip #1. Never underestimate the danger.
Your survival depends on this principle. Study the rules of survival
psychology and have an immediate plan of action following an
EMP. If you hesitate, you may be dead. Don't spend time
contemplating. You'll know by the telltale signs of an EMP (cars
do not operate, phones will not work, and all the lights are out).
In an ordinary blackout, cars will operate and cell phones will be
unaffected. Take action on the plan you've orchestrated by
reading this article. Be swift, but honorable as you will certainly
be held accountable for your actions the day society is restored.

  • In the movie, The Trigger Effect, pictured right, a mysterious
    power failure leads to the social breakdown of a major city,
    where ordinary rules no longer apply. It gives a glimpse into
    what could happen in the first few days of an EMP.

Expect anything to happen:
No one knows what lies ahead, though you hope for the best,
you've been preparing for the worst:
  • Airplanes may fall in your path and further impact the
  • Loose wires may cause shock to individuals in your group.
  • Fires may spark from the surge.
  • Carbon monoxide poisonings may happen.
  • Pathways may become impenetrable and you'll need to seek
    alternate routes.
  • War, Martial Law and rioting may be in progress.
  • Prisoners may break free from their cells.
  • Children may be used as decoys.
  • Disease may spread rapidly.
  • Food may be confiscated.
  • Dogs may be on the loose and turn rabid.
  • People may eventually eat pets, and later humans.
  • Swimming pools could be the location for mass graves.
  • Nuclear plants won't be able to stay cool and as a result will
  • Kindness may emerge from strangers.
  • Someone may save your life.
  • Anything is possible! In the Black Out of 2003, a massive
    power outage impacted tens of millions of people from New
    York to Canada. The outage lasted just nine hours.

EMP Survival Tip #2: Fill up with water.
Immediately following the EMP event, fill the bathtub with water
and use every glass, pot or container in your home to store fresh
water in preparation of water mains loosing pressure. The
WaterBob, pictured at the top of the page, is an excellent device
to maximize water storage for an EMP, earthquake or other
disaster. Filling up with water is critically important to your
survival as you wait out the event. Instruct the entire group on
the procedure in case you are not home during the event.
Children and teens should know their duties in this regard. Make
it part of the drill.

EMP Survival Tip #3: Use up all your cash.
Realize that cash has a very limited shelf life! Cash will be
useless. Preppers know this, but the masses of people unaware,
will not even consider this possibility. If you can safely purchase
food and supplies with the cash you have on hand, then do what
you can to spend every last dime! (Keep the pennies as the
copper is valuable).

Money has always been an illusion, and at the very point of crisis
is where you will have the most leverage with what you have. If
you have any paper money within your reach, cash out, if you
suspect a major EMP! Spend your cash. Buy anything and
everything you are able to buy with the possibly worthless bills.
The masses will be unaware of the breakdown of society that lays
before them. The masses will hold on to the illusion of money,
but you are smarter because you've been planning for this. Take
action to buy, but only if it is safe to do so. For example, if the
EMP event happens and you are in the vicinity of merchants who
have the power to negotiate, do what you can to get them to sell
to you even though their electronic registers do not operate. By
all means, offer merchants $20 for a loaf of bread or a brick of
cheese if you must. They will think you are crazy, but in a few
days or hours, they will understand the depth of your wisdom,
and they will wish they had the material goods in your
possession. One caveat, is to steer clear of looting and rioting
situations. At the point rioting happens, you should be well away
from the danger and with your family or group to protect your

    * Copper and nickel coins will have some value. See

EMP Survival Tip #4: Rely on your surge protectors!
Did you know that during the Solar Storm of 1889, telegraph
operators suffered electric shock? You don't want to suffer an
electrocution when a surge protector is the solution!

Surge protectors should be installed at every opportunity in your
home. In the event of an EMP, do not immediately unplug or plug
in your generator and light up the house! Even if your generator
works, you won't want to alert and attract those around you to
your preps.

EMP Survival Tip #5: Do not alert neighbors and
Play it cool with the ordinary folks around you.Do not alert
neighbors to use their cash to buy groceries. You should not
create panic or concern. Instead, show your poker face! Pretend
to "be in the dark" about the whole situation. If your friends are
your allies, then you will know it well in advance of an EMP. This
is not the time to make nice-nice, give warm fuzzies and tell the
others about what lies ahead. It is not your place to evangelize
prepping, nor to educate. The people around you will find out
soon enough. The time for survival is upon you and you must now
leverage the knowledge. While everyone is on "vacation" from the
routine work week, you will be following through on a planned
course of action for survival.

EMP Survival Tip #6: Gorge on the contents of your
Limit opening the refrigerator to keep items as cold as possible,
but do open it for consumption. Eat first the foods in the
refrigerator, then eat foods as they thaw from the refrigerator:

  • Enjoy ice cream! As silly as it may seem, you must enjoy
    the last ice cream in your refrigerator. You may never have
    the opportunity to savor this treat again! Watch the opening
    scene of Revolution and you will understand how the
    significance of this simple act.

  • Ice cubes. Ice cubes represent potable water. Transfer
    bagged ice cubes into a container.

  • Cheesecake! Be happy you've read: Ten Prepper Foods for
    your Refrigerator and have some cheesecake, along with a
    good supply of long-lasting foods stored, in addition to your
    long term emergency food storage.

EMP Survival Tip #7: Begin rationing food and water.
It almost goes without saying that you must ration the shelf-
stable food and water in your control. The only exception is to
gorge on foods that will spoil.

As gruesome as it is, know from all the prepper movies you've
watched and the fiction books you've read, that cannibalism may
come The dark age of mankind is upon you as happy as you may
try to be, food is scarce because humans require machinery
powered by electronic to generate food. If the condition of the
country is ten years or more away from

EMP Survival Tip #9: Make the decision to survive
(and always have hope)!
Realize that you are living in a world without infrastructure and it
is every man, woman and child for himself. Every hour of your
prepping has come to this very moment: and you have already
decided to live, and so you must commitment now (more than
ever) to have hope for the future no matter how bleak things may
get. Hope must be your survival vision! Have hope for a world
that gets back on the grid. Realize also that you will be held
accountable for your actions in a world that has recovered. Make
the decision to live as honorably as is feasible for your survival.

  • Read Hawke's Special Forces Survival Handbook, pictured
    immediate right, to learn more about the importance of
    having hope in survival.

How to prepare for an EMP (well BEFORE
the event):

There is a long list of TO-DOs in preparing for an ElectroMagnetic
Pulse situation, but this is the short list... Have an action plan.
Discover eight ways to get an emergency preparedness plan for
an ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) and the catastrophic power grid
failure that would ensue following an EMP.

EMP Emergency Preparedness Plan
Here are eight tips to get you started:

EMP Preparedness Plan #1. Go Analog.
Think deeply about your needs in a world without digital. In part,
this means you'll need to go analog:

  • Analog radio. Above left is the hand crank solar powered
    AM/FM weather band analog radio.

  • Analog thermometer. Digital thermometers useless! For
    around $5 you can secure temperature measurement with
    the glass analog, mercury-free thermometer, pictured right.
    It's non toxic and mercury free, but works just like the
    traditional shake down glass analog thermometer and is as
    accurate as the toxic mercury thermometers. The geratherm
    mercury free oral thermometer for temperature measurement
    is a traditional shake down glass analog thermometer.

  • Analog clock. An analog clock won't save your life, but it will
    get you back to thinking of your day in terms of routine.
    Time will still be of importance to preppers.

  • Analog soil pH Meter. Get the soil prepared with fastest soil
    pH Meter. It's analog and requires no batteries.

EMP Preparedness Plan #2. Think about fuel differently.

  • Consider buying a generator. The time to buy a generator
    is before you need one, however, do you really need a
    generator? It depends on the climate in your area and your
    location. Are you in a rural area where no one will hear the
    generator? A generator will attract too much attention in a
    city during an EMP! You won't want to invite thugs and
    intruders. Then again, you don't want to invite hypothermia
    if you live in frigid climate. Do you have other means of
    keeping warm? A generator can be a welcome prep for
    preppers who plan well.

  • Plan your fuel needs now.  
  • Learn how to store fuel. Have a backup plan to go beyond
    the fuel you can store, because eventually your supply will
    either expire or run out. Stockpiling wood and souring new  
    may be the essential part of your plans!

  • Don't be fooled to thinking that going solar is the answer.
    Going solar or using wind power are both admirable goals of
    any prepper, but an EMP is an overheating of microchips and
    components, which are present in solar equipment as well
    any electrical equipment. An EMP would disable solar panels
    because of the diodes they contain, which control the flow.
    In other words, your equipment will fry (unless you have
    them contained in a Faraday cage)! You will, however, be
    wise to have solar batteries and a solar battery recharger on
    hand for your small communication devices.

  • Plan for an off-grid life to include solar power you've
    stored in a Farady cage. Solar equipment should be
    securely stored in a Faraday cage. In the event of an EMP,
    your solar equipment otherwise will be fried. A solar cooker,
    pictured right will be extremely useful after an EMP. The
    luxury of taking a shower with a solar shower, also pictured
    right will boost morale.

  • Get cranking! A hand crank radio and flashlight is a
    necessity. Left provides radio, light and recharge!