How to Survive an EMP Attack

Disaster Scenario: Survive an EMP Attack

( – An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) can disrupt or even destroy electrical systems. In a more serious scenario, an EMP could potentially cause a grid-down of the entire electrical system. Despite what people think or say, most may not be able to handle life without electricity and specifically, electronics.

Verify an EMP

The first thing you need to do is verify the situation. Don’t panic over a simple loss of power. Check to see how far the outage reaches by trying to contact neighbors, relatives, and friends that live far away. Use HAM radio to check for any news and updates. Check the battery-operated items in your home such as your phone, laptop, or tablet. Try starting your car, if none of these things work it’s likely an EMP. If those items do work, it doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility of an EMP.

Plan for Physical Survival

Hopefully, you already have a plan in place and people designated to complete each portion of the plan. Shelter, medicines, water, and food are all necessities that need to be addressed immediately.


Locate all medications and assess their needs. Do you need to keep them cool? If so, put them in the fridge or a cooler of ice, but also insulate them in there so that when the door is opened, they don’t get warm too quickly. Plan for when there is no more ice or fridge.


Water is essential for life, an EMP won’t stop the flow of water right away. Eventually, however, the flow will stop as there is no power for it to continue. Most water pressure comes from water tanks that will eventually be empty. You might have flowing water now, but that doesn’t mean you will tomorrow. Fill every available container you can, including pools and bathtubs.


You can keep your food cool for a couple of days, but it will eventually spoil. When you eat early on, focus on consuming the perishable items. But also plan to store what you can. Consider salting or smoking your meat to keep it fresh. You can store fresh vegetables, but you can also start canning them using an open fire and the hot water bath method.


Your cash will become useless very quickly, possibly within hours of the pulse. Buy what you can while you can. Stores are likely to still take cash for a short period of time. The biggest problem is the cashiers are probably not going to know the prices of items. A good way to ensure you buy stuff is to overpay for it. It seems counter-intuitive, but again that cash is going to be useless soon anyhow. Spend it while you can, get what you can, food and medical supplies are good places to start.

Bugging Out

For some time, it may be safe to stay where you are. But eventually, you may need to bug out. If you have a survival team and bug-out location with supplies, now is the time to rendezvous at that location. You should all know the plan, and be acting on it as soon as possible. What’s the point of a team if you don’t use it? Every member should have a role, as well as knowing every role. This way if someone doesn’t make it or is late making it to the party someone can fill in for them.


Security is a must in any scenario; an EMP attack is no exception. While security at first may not seem like a big deal, it’s best to establish it ASAP. Doing so will get you into the swing of things. Eventually, people will come from different areas in search of needed items. They could come to your location. This is when security will be needed the most. Some of them are likely not going to ask nicely.

Items to Help You Survive

There are several items that can help you survive the event of an electromagnetic pulse. These items can range in anything from power sources to self-defense. Some of these items include:

  • Barter Items- Books, soap, alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine products. These all carry value, especially after SHTF.
  • Hand Tools- Eventually your home or survival location is going to need maintenance. Without power, you’ll have to do stuff the old-fashioned way.
  • Communication- Stored properly CB radios and walkie-talkies will be great to have on hand. These and HAM radio may be your only communication tools.
  • Power Source- Solar panels, wind turbines, and generators are all good sources of power. Beware though, in a world without power, if you have electricity, you’re going to become a target.
  • Self Defense- Firearms and ammunition are at the forefront of home defense, especially when your security system is rendered useless. Guard dogs can also play an important role in protecting your assets.
  • Lighting- Without power, you’re gonna resort to lanterns and candles. Oil lamps are a great way to light your area, while being wind resistant, and even giving off some heat.
  • Food- The stores will run out of food very quickly. It’s best if you know how to grow your own food. You should also learn to hunt and fish if you don’t have that knowledge already.

Faraday Cage

Easy to-build Faraday cages are used to protect your electronics from EMPs. There’s no guarantee which electronics might survive, as no one knows the extent or power of the EMP. Old microwave ovens and tightly sealed metal boxes such as ammo cans provide a simple Faraday cage. To create one you need to:

  1. Gather everything you want to put in the cage. CB radios, walkie-talkies, and crucial medical equipment are priorities. Spare electrical parts for your vehicle and your generator. Batteries are not impacted by EMPs and therefore don’t need to be stored in the cage.
  2. Determine how large you need to make the cage. Use a box or container large enough to put all the items in. You’ll want it to close as securely as possible, as any gap will render the box useless.
  3. Using aluminum foil, wrap the entire box or container. Encase the lid and box completely.
  4. Tape all seams, regular tape can be used, but aluminum or copper tape will work best.
  5. Line the inside of the box with cardboard to ensure no items touch any foil or metal tape.
  6. Place your items inside the Faraday cage. Close the lid and seal firmly. For extra security, wrap the entire box again after sealing the container.

Final Thoughts

An EMP attack is one of those scenarios that could happen at any given time, with no warning. Just like anything else in the prepping world, really. That’s why you prepare for multiple scenarios, if not all of them. Preparation is your best ally to survive, the better prepared you are the better your chances are.

What are your thoughts on the potential of an EMP attack? Reply to your email and speak your mind, we would love to hear from you!

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