Preppers must be ready to deal with a wide variety of survival situations — from relatively common natural disasters through to rare events like electromagnetic pulses generated by solar flares.
This article will take explain the causes of EMPs and 12 actions to take in the event of an EMP.
Large Solar Flares — powerful geomagnetic solar storms with solar flares can cause large-scale EMPs.  The most recent one occurred in 1859. Man-made Devices — A variety of man-made devices can cause an EMP.  The fast switching action of electrical circuitry, gasoline ignition systems, electric motors and digital electronic circuitry can all cause an EMP. Power Surges —A surge in electricity on a power line can cause a brief EMP that damages unprotected electrical equipment.
Non-nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (NNEMP) — weapons specifically designed to generate an EMP.
Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (NEMP) — The detonation of a nuclear weapon can create an EMP.  Additionally, when a nuclear weapon is discharged at high altitudes, it can produce an EMP with a greater amplitude. E2 is a slower EMP which lasts between one microsecond to one-second after the event.  It is easier to protect your devices against this form of EMP, however because the E1 impact may have already damaged surge protectors, E2 can also be problematic. Very large EMP events like a lightning strike, ESD or NEMP can generate a very large EMP that disrupts a wide geographical area. Planes may crash from the sky.  Without communications, electronic controls or a navigational system it becomes very hard for planes to land safely after an EMP. In such a chaotic environment, your survival skills will be put the test very quickly.  Here are some tips for survivalists planning to survive an EMP. A solar flare may not disable your vehicle, but a NEMP probably will.  Determine how much damage the EMP has done. If you are bunkering down, your survival plan should include a few options for heating and cooling.  If an EMP has damaged the electrical grid and your electrical appliances, suddenly your options are greatly reduced! Don’t even bother trying to get your modern car going if a large EMP strike has occurred — chances are it will be seriously damaged.  Use a mountain bike for getting around quickly. If you are bugging out, get to the gas station fast!  Unless you live in a rural area, you have approximately an hour before cars begin lining up to the gas station and people begin panicking. Pharmacies will be one of the more dangerous locations to visit later on, so this needs to be done within an hour of an EMP event. Take inventory of your food supplies immediately.  Ration your food based on a worst case scenario, just giving yourself enough to meet your nutritional requirements.
If the EMP has been a major event that has caused social upheaval, prepare your home for the inevitable scavengers that will come around looking for food.  Prepare your home’s defenses and make sure your weapons are ready for self-defense. The key to prepping for an EMP strike is to act quickly and understand what is going on before anyone else does!  Get any additional supplies you need and enact your survival plan. For more pictures of the world's major cities gone dark, check out the following creative photo series. As the world has become dependent upon the technology which we use from day to day, there has been a substantial amount of concern about the security of such technologies. It would be reasonable to believe that there are great methodologies in place to ensure that life can continue on without disturbances. However, although the individual platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google have measures in place to secure their software, there is virtually nothing in place currently to secure the actual electronic elements of our nation.
Because our infrastructure has a large gap in its electronic securities, there can be what is called an EMP attack. Most items which are dependent upon computerized electronics would fail to work, or in a best case scenario reset them to their default manufacturing state.
Granted, you may have a birth certificate and a social security, but if an EMP attack occurs, how is such information verified? And being as that the government is not known for just taking us at our word, there will be no real way to tell who is who. Those which performed the attack could easily infiltrate the United States as citizens so long as they have the (easily forged) printed documents. Where I am sure that emergency backup will be used in a no power situation, there will be millions which will be without power indefinitely. Air conditioners (in hot weather) cannot regulate the temperatures for the elderly and so man will perish due to heat stroke. Hospitals will not be able to use essential equipment like defibrillators or even electronic IV systems.
Yes, most vehicles can have the electronic system bypassed to run strictly off of the compression elements.
However, most people do not know how to perform this task and so those vehicles which are dependent upon sophisticated electronic systems and push to start electronic ignitions will find themselves without a means of transportation. Only individuals who are living off the grid and harvesting their own produce will be able to have fresh fruits and vegetables. Because the produce in grocery stores is kept fresh by refrigeration and electronic monitoring systems, an EMP may disable such systems. At minimum, the EMP will shut off the power not allowing the refrigeration process to work. Possibly one of the greatest threats of an EMP would be that we would have no communications. Where it is true that direct contact can be made with letter and such, strategic planning as well as news reports and updates would be stopped. If all the technology is wiped out and individuals are forced to live of the land as a result, those which are preppers and survivalists will have the highest probability of survival and the least amount of hindrances to their existing lifestyle.
Those which are dominated by their electronics and mobile devices will see the highest rate of fatalities. Those which have learned bushcrafts, firecrafts, and other such needed skills will be those which are most threatening to the government. It can be predicted that an EMP will force survivalist to go deep below the grid in order to survive. If an EMP were to occur, there would be several other catastrophic disasters which would occur as a result of it.
Immediate Martial Law – Under the guise of trying to maintain and restore order an EO would be implemented almost immediately giving the president full power. Financial Collapse of the economy and a cease to foreign relations – As our money will be unavailable import and export will cease.
National Plague – The center of disease control in Atlanta, Georgia is very likely to have a breech in the containment as most of these are based upon computer based systems. Being as how power, refrigeration (which keeps a great deal of the diseases dormant), security, and power are all based upon sophisticated computers, an EMP would put the nation at risk for several plagues. Radiation and Nuclear Meltdowns – where I would hope that these systems have a backup source to regulate and monitor them.
Take into consideration what happened in Japan and multiply that by all the plants which are in the Nation. Our autos and other modes of transportation will be the most noticeable initial casualty as the result of an EMP strike. Keeping in line with the disruption of transportation, planes will fall from the sky as their electronics completely fail them. The third largest impact that you will notice is in the availability, or rather LACK of available medical care. Familiarizing yourself with basic medical care such as breaks, sprains, deep cuts, rashes, colds, and flu will also be important.
I ran an EMP scenario through my head about 3 weeks ago while sitting in the market parking lot. Among the "must read" books is Lucifers Hammer.Todd,the small engine would run,if it had points instead of electronic ignition. Good thoughts, and agree with most points, however find it hard to believe that terrorists could completly coordinate with a major snow storm during holiday break of congress.


Christine, Just as an exercise in potential futility, I checked the Farmers Almanac on the most recent storm Utah just had. Does an EMP destroy the electronics of a device if there is no power at all going to the device??? And now here is my question: I read Luzifers Hammer in German, but I could not get Alas, Babylon in German so I don't know what it has to do with the SALT? Please note that the name you use in the "Name" field above will be the name displayed on your comment.
But what if the magnetic field created is very, very strong when it passes the wire? What if the magnetic pulse is immeasurably strong? The voltage and current generated will be extremely large. Perhaps large enough to damage the wire, especially if that “wire” is microscopic and lying on a printed circuit board.
Given a strong enough magnetic field, microelectronics can be destroyed by this electrical burst. Completely burned out.
During the initial energy release from a nuclear weapon a large electromagnetic field in the form of a “pulse” radiates outward.
Unlike the radiation released during the nuclear explosion, EMP is not particularly dangerous to people. Since EMP travels line of sight it can cover a very large area if the nuclear detonation occurs high in the atmosphere.
Though the EMP magnitude diminishes with distance, it may still be strong enough at thousands of miles to fry most microelectronics.
This makes the nuclear EMP a near perfect weapon for a terrorist, rather than a conventional military force.
Aside from nuclear weapons there are EMP-generating devices called “explosively pumped flux compression generators.” These devices use a combination of electromagnetic physics to generate large pulses of electromagnetic energy. The basic concept is to generate a electromagnetic pulse in a coil surrounding a metal core using current from a capacitor bank. This change in core geometry causes a compression of the electromagnetic field momentarily before the whole thing shorts out and is destroyed. How about a city like New York or Los Angeles, with 8-10 million people suddenly finding themselves in a pre-industrial world without power? If an electrical cable has a grounded external braided shield, the electromagnetic field will not penetrate the shield.
Faraday discovered that electromagnetic fields will not penetrate a metal cage made of copper or other good electrical conductors. When all sides of the cage are connected as one—there is no electrical differential potential. Also, if you wish to use multiple layers of foil, place a layer of insulation between them, something that won’t conduct electricity.
Now that you have all your devices protected when the terrorist EMP event strikes you’ll be ready. You quickly retrieve your fully functional cell phone from the foil and trash can Faraday Cage. Bottom line: The power is out and it’s going to stay out for a very long time (maybe even years). EMP Diaster Prep Option 2 – Store a complete, disassembled home electrical power generation system inside very large Faraday Cages. Most people don’t have the resources for grid-independent electrical systems that work today. However, if you do end up going with EMP Preparedness Option #2, you’d better be prepared to defend it. By the way, you EMP disaster prep Option #2 guys, I would wait until long after the attack before assembling your system.
An EMP blast from a single nuclear device at 20 miles altitude will cover a large portion of the US with EMP.
An enemy doesn’t have to destroy the entire nation to destroy its society and kill off large portions of the population.
Even the US Government admits as many 9 of 10 Americans could die within one year of a crippling EMP attack on our homeland. There are simply too many people, and too few with survival skills, for a majority of our nation to survive with no electrical power for a year. The skills our great-great grandparents called everyday life we now call survival and prepping.
Here’s some additional information for those who need to work on their water storage plan. Perhaps a budget-friendly variation on your Option #2 would be having a spare circuit board (or two?) for a portable generator. Let’s just say that your solar panels do survive and EMP attack and only your inverter fries.
However, the amount of damage any device or appliance or electrical system takes is dependent on how large the EMP strike is and how close you are to it.
If you have an RV, then all of the appliances, and furnace, will run off of either 12V or Propane.
Yup, the radio signal cut off is a simple but effective test to ensure you’ve got it right. This is very important: Purchase a gravity filter (around $50) and get a couple of five gallon buckets and a spignot.
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Larger EMP events can cause high voltages and currents in electrical devices, causing them to  malfunction or be destroyed. At its simplest explanation, an EMP would cause a major override to surge protectors and to electronics nationally.
Even devices which do not work off of electricity would be affected as the EMP would disrupt radio waves as well as satellite communications. We are already seeing martial law strategies being implemented in cities with have suffered natural disasters, if there is a catastrophic event executive orders for a national state of martial law is probable.
If I was a nefarious terrorist, I would plan an EMP strike for a freezing snowy winter day affecting most of the country AND during a late time of day that would most affect rush hour. Just think what would happen if you were commuting home on the freeway and all of the sudden your vehicle, as well as all of the other cars around you, had all of their electronics stop functioning.
At any given time there are well over 5,000 non-military airplanes over the air space of the U.S.
If you can hobble your way to a hospital from the site of the freeway catastrophe, you will inevitably find the facilities in chaos, overflowing with panicked patients and medical personnel. First of all, have your auto supplied with preparedness tools: first aid, water, coat, some food, etc. At least this way your spouse or family and friends will have some peace of mind knowing that you will try to get to that location. While an EMP won’t send us back to the 19th century in all regards, it certainly would in terms of medical care. I also really liked how the books “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank, and “One Second After” by William Fortschen helped me through some mental preparedness in this exact type of scenario. I would hate to be resonsible for abscounding the mode of transportation someone else is rightfully relying on.
Have you ever heard that recording of the "blonde" who called On Star because she was "stuck" in her car and needed the doors unlocked?


This was a thought for me when they started talking about Health Care reform, but the more I think about it, the more I'm impressed upon to learn. My Mom and I are always trying to find 19th Century Tech at yard sales and discount stores.
My cousin Cindy, she lives in Chattanooga Tennessee, gave me the link to your site and I am so happy that there are people who think the same way as I do, but here in Germany everybody thinks, that something like an EMP would never happen in Germany!? What is the salt good for, I know that my question sound funny, but I would be very thankful if someone of your community could explain it to me. This is because those detonations do little damage to the enemy and cause very little fallout. One EMP preparedness survival technique is simple EMP protection otherwise known as electrical shielding. If you know something bad is coming, place your valuable electronics inside a sealed cardboard box and place that inside the trashcan. And presto, you have one of the very few functioning cell phones in the Northern Hemisphere. Plan to revert to an 1860 agrarian society with the sort of survival skills our great-great-grandparents knew. Solar and wind are your best bet—since you won’t be able to get gasoline or natural gas. Any good terrorist or even a state sponsored enemy threat will be smart enough to allow us to install our spare power system trying to bring things back online. You need to have a large food stockpile, a water storage and replenishment plan, skills to constantly replenish your food stocks. You need regular amounts of food and water resources to survive and you need to be able to defend these precious resources from others. Not forever, sure, but for a long time, you’d have fridge and battery-recharge capabilities.
The good news is you can pull out your spare faraday caged inverter and boom…your solar panel power is back in business. The systems that generate power are in danger but so are all the technologies that harness this power. You can find instructions online on how to assemble this basically inexpenstive water purification system that will last quite a while. To add to that timing, I would plan it to occur while Congress was out of session for the Christmas break. Your car radio will not function or provide you with any information to figure out what went wrong.
Their backup generators will be useless in most cases as they typically operate with some electronics. If you allow your mind to think about and mentally participate in such scenarios, you’ll have a more sound Mental Preparedness to solve the problems in comfort now, rather than in chaos later. I have added more items to BOB in case I have to walk (pain meds).Still need to ad a lighter weight back pack to put less in out of BOB as my BOB is too heavy to carry 5 miles.
I agree that hot wire skills are also a good component for the Mental preparedness category. We have a couple of ole boys here that go to yard sales and travel around town, going camping, shopping and all kinds of stuff.
However, if one were detonated at high altitude the EMP would travel outward crossing everything in its line of sight.
Would you want to blow up one city or detonate it high enough to wipe out the electrical systems for thousands of cities?
Since all sides of the cage are electrically connected to each other, there is no induced electrical current. Devices held inside the cage are protected from induced currents which can damage components. Especially one they do not plan to use immediately and then take extraordinary precautions to store it all. Regardless of the abundance of injuries that will take place all over the nation, no ambulance, tow truck or life flight will be available to heed your call for help. The medical supplies such as bandages and medicine will be exhausted within a couple of hours, not to mention the medical staff.
Heels are great for partying in, but they make it pretty darn hard to hike in the snow 15 miles should a survival scenario come up. I did a 3 month test on the eggs it works great except it seems you have to be real careful with the yolks. Seems more like something you used to hear your boring physics professor talk about…right? Within 24 hours after an EMP, if not sooner, virtually every household in America will be without water. That being said, some lifestraws and other small purification systems will help you on the go. And like a synchronized swimming team, all of the autos that were made after 1970 would simple stop operating. Even without that, picture being one of the casualties stranded in the O’Hare or JFK Airport with no lights, no food, and no way to get out of town to your family.
Can you imagine being in the middle of a life-saving surgery and suddenly have the power go off without even so much as a warning beep? In addition to the obvious tools in your car, you MUST be prepared to defend yourself as well. We can't be prepared in everything but knowing we have done the best we can in several areas will help us.
THe book explores our reactions in extreme situations, and offers help for improving our responses. To me, this is the biggest challenge the Amish face, but you can learn them and throw in a bit of firearm training. Sure they might travel another few feet—until they slammed into another car that suddenly stopped operating.
Strengthening our testimony will help us stay calm when it all hits the fan so we do not become a part of the panic.
No matter how many 'scenarios' we might run, our brains know it isn't the real deal - how can we help our most important resource when it is? When the spigots stop producing, which is immediately after the attack, people will begin to drink water from the ditches, lakes, streams, rivers, and any other source they can find. Imagine this scene on your jam packed freeway on the way home from work or while running errands. I finished Alas Babaylon a few months ago, after which I went immediately out and bought another big bucket of salt!
Also, there are many videos, especially on this site, that can teach basic survival skills. Now picture that scene duplicated throughout thousands upon thousands of bustling cities throughout the country. When you’ve lost access to communication or news and your cars have suddenly stopped, you will KNOW it’s an EMP folks.



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