Imagine a powerful EMP blast casts darkness in our cities. Is your EMP survival plan ready for this?:
- Across the affected area, planes and helicopters would helplessly fall from the sky. While the panicked masses leap from their dead cars and tried calling 911 on their dead phones.
- The police would have no organized way to respond. The firemen would have no idea where to go. Our paramedics would be virtually immobilized and the Internet would vanish.
- All the money in your bank accounts would be lost. Chaos and anarchy would slither out of the masses, slowly at first, but with increasing intensity and speed…
An Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) as described above, is a very real and terrifying threat. It could come from one of our international enemies, or from a natural phenomenon.
An EMP is a burst of electromagnetic energy. It can disrupt and destroy electronic equipment and even entire power grids. Cars, computers, engines, lights, satellites, trains, planes and anything else that requires electricity is vulnerable.
EMP’s aren’t uncommon either. Solar flares release magnetic energy that could easily create this effect on Earth. Lightning strikes are electric pulses powerful enough to cause physical damage. And perhaps most frighteningly, weaponized EMP’s are relatively easy to make and exist all over the world.
What do you do? How do you survive? When all emergency services are disabled, and law-enforcement has been brought to its knees things could get ugly fast.
That is why it’s so important to create an EMP survival plan for such an event. Premeditate the chaos.
This way, if (or more likely, when) an EMP cripples our cool survival gizmos, gadgets, and communications you are ready to cope with the impending turmoil.
EMP Survival Preparation
Different theories describe the effects of an EMP with great variation. Some say any and all electrical equipment will be rendered useless, instantly, and without exception.
Others assert that while powerful, an EMP would not knock out everything electric. There would still be some functioning cars or radios in existence. In either case, your preparation is correlated to how easily and how long you will survive in a post-EMP world.
This is by far the most important part of building your plan.
Start Collecting Non-Electric Goods and Gadgets
First, get a bicycle or a horse. While there may still be a few cars leftover from an EMP blast, they will probably be rare, and they will certainly make you a target.
Solar ovens and propane stoves will be your best bet for cooking food (aside from a campfire).
Hand powered water pumps, manual can openers, and grain/meat grinders will also prove extremely useful.
Brainstorm, and think of ways to replace necessary tools with non-electric options.
Everything in your fridge is going to go bad in a matter of days or weeks. So plan ahead and start a collection of your favorite canned goods, dehydrated foods, anything that has a long shelf life.
If the effects of an EMP blast last long enough, food will start to become a dangerously scarce resource.
More frightening than this, water will also become VERY rare. The machines that are responsible for pumping clean, fresh water up through pipes and into your home will have likely died in the EMP, so make sure you’ve got enough H2O to kill a herd of camels.
Get A Bug Out Bag Prepared
A Bug Out Bag (BOB) is going to be your best friend.
When things start going south, it is smart to have a bag packed. One with all the necessary go-items, so that you can get-the-hell-out without the hassle of packing bags.
Here’s our comprehensive guide to building your personalized BOB:
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You would also be wise to gather a Bug Out Group (BOG) before an EMP disaster scenario.
This way you can put together an A-Team of your favorite people, and your most useful friends – but remember: be cautious whom you include. Some people are better at weighing their group down than helping out.
Finally, pre-plan with your group and identify a Bug Out Location (BOL).
This doesn’t have to be where you will settle down; it just has to be a rendezvous point at which you and your BOG can reconnect, outside of the chaos.
A deserted location on the outskirts of town would be my choice, but you may choose to meet up at someone’s house, or at a prominent building.
The BOL is all about meeting up with your BOG, so make it work for you.
Self-Defense Will Help Keep You Alive
It’s no secret that human beings can be violent and ruthless in nature, especially when there isn’t an authority there to enforce the peace. So to make it through this, you will certainly need to get your hands on some weapons, ammo, and cojones.
To supplement this, don’t forget that guns need ammo and cleaning, and blades rust and dull.
Prepare for this and make sure that you have a healthy backup supply of ammunition, gun oil, and whetstones.
Having weapons is great, but they do you no good if they just decay into uselessness.
Buy or Build a Medical Bag
This action can fall under the section about BOB’s, but it wouldn’t do any harm to get yourself an excellent, highly personalized medical bag full of personal meds, over the counter meds, and trauma gear.
Here is an extremely thorough guide to creating exactly such a med bag.
Building Tools Are Going To Be Very Important
Whether you plan on posting up at your home, bunkering down at someone else’s, or creating an entirely new life out in the wilderness, owning a good collection of building tools will be invaluable.
Fortifying homes against potential intruders, repairing damages, maintaining structures, and building new ones all require tools. If you don’t have a good collection going when the EMP strikes, you will eventually have to go scavenging for them.
Fire and Light
Heating systems, gas fireplaces, stovetops, ovens, light fixtures, and flashlights cannot be relied upon in EMP survival. It’s back to the Stone Age with us!
You will never have enough matches or lighters. Buying a gas lantern is highly recommended. So is stockpiling fuel (though, fuel goes bad after a few years so be careful how long you keep it sitting around) and buying MASS amounts of candles.
If an EMP strike occurs, people will be cooking over fires and enjoying candlelit dinners for a while…
Collect Barter Items
If every computer in America dies, it’s possible that all the money people have saved in banks will simply disappear with the data. The economy will crash like it’s never crashed before.
Cash and coin will be as useless as electronics at that point, so what will people do?
Revert to the barter system! Vices like candy, cigarettes, alcohol, cannabis, and pornography will suddenly skyrocket in value.
Even if you are clean and sober, it could do you a lot of good to have a surplus of these things hidden up your sleeve.
Matches, lighters, ammunition, weapons and canned foods would also serve well for this purpose. But you need those too, so it’s better if your barter items are “wants” instead of “needs”.
Of course, if you were to collect all of these recommended materials in preparation for an EMP, it would be very expensive, and it would take up your entire garage.
There’s no way you are traveling very far with all of that gear – especially when motorized vehicles will likely all be ruined.
Keep this in mind. If you want to GTFO as a part of your EMP survival plan, prep lightly and take into account the fact you’ll be moving. No single plan works perfectly for everyone, but everyone can perfect a single plan. Also, remember no plan survives first contact.
Also, remember no plan survives first contact so be flexible and have a plan B and C.
Life After The Blast
Verify What Happened
No one wants to be the person to pack up and blast off in a frantic, panicked shuffle, armed to the teeth and loaded with non-perishable food, over a short-term routine power outage.
Indicators are not proof. So before you take any drastic measures, run through a checklist, in order of importance:
- Vehicles, dead?
- Lights, out?
- Phone lines and phones, dead?
- Flashlights, unresponsive?
- Computer, fried?
If in fact, what just happened was an EMP don’t be afraid to talk with your neighbors. Just don’t freak them out. The last thing you need on top of an EMP disaster scenario is a wild and agitated neighbor in a full panic-stricken freak-out.
Bring up the subject lightly, and without sounding distressed. Avoid elaborating on the catastrophic consequences of the situation. Instead, focus on making an ally by offering advice.
What To Expect
Honestly, no one knows for sure. It could be totally underwhelming. The lights may just flicker, the clocks reset, and everyone just goes on with their lives without even really noticing.
Or, it could be the beginning of an era of prolonged anarchy. A meltdown so dark and powerless it pulls the plug on humanities electrical power grid entirely.
What we do know is this: though the effects and intensity of an EMP blast could vary, the potential for a very large and highly effective EMP exists, and it isn’t small.
Our sun is a HUGE source of energy, and if it releases a sizable solar flare in the direction of Earth we could expect the worst.
Similarly, the technology to build an advanced EMP weapon is not unknown. China, Russia, and the U.S. all have the technology, and it’s believed that North Korea does as well. This technology is only going to become known my more countries over time.
If an enemy of America had the means to build and deploy an EMP weapon (and got angry enough), we could be facing a sinister future.
The Next Step
Do you leave or do you stay? The question is not an easy one.
The power might be back up and working in a few days or possibly weeks. Do you want to try and tough it out from the comfort of your own home?
Or does this seem like a permanent situation that is getting worse?
Personally, I am drawn to the wilderness.
The cities will, without a doubt, be the most dangerous place to scrap out a living. Grocery stores will be pillaged and water will be incredibly scarce. People will get more dangerous every day that goes by without law and order.
This might be avoidable in the wild. By escaping for enough into nature, you give yourself the freedom of space and peace, and a chance to survive the EMP chaos on your own terms.
Natural water will still be running, animals will still be there to hunt and trap, fruits and veggies will still be there to grow. You and your group can collectively work to build a community, and protect each other.
But of course, you can’t take everything with you if you escape into the wild. This is one of the biggest drawbacks to abandoning your home in an EMP survival scenario. Greedy looters will probably ransack it as soon as you’re gone.
Anything you choose to leave behind, you forsake.
So the choice is both a personal one and a circumstantial one. Just make sure you think it through before making any drastic moves.
Whichever route of EMP survival you choose to take, the next part is extremely applicable:
Now, if there is still a semblance of society after an EMP blast knocks us back into the Stone Age, don’t go destabilizing the situation by looting and pillaging.
If people are still using money or some form of credit, USE IT TOO. This is important and not trivial. Just because there’s no power and no organized police to control us, does not mean we must act like animals.
By all means, try and keep life as normal as possible, play along with everyone who also plays nice. However, feel free to be ruthless to those who do not play nice.
Regardless, when our society crumbles and collapses without electric power you are going to have to scavenge.
Just like in zombie apocalypse movies or fantasy video games, you may have to venture outside of your safe zone in search of necessary supplies.
In which case, here are some brief guidelines on what is useful to collect:
- Any canned or otherwise non-perishable foods.
- Bottled water, and water containers for storage.
- Water filters.
- Vegetable and fruit seeds (to put down some roots and grow your own fresh produce).
- ANY WORKING COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT
- This one is particularly important because it is possible for some radios to survive an EMP. If there are a few that are in working condition you could potentially communicate with the government or other people and exchange information. Communication equipment is as important as food, water, and shelter in an EMP survival scenario.
- Fuel and fire-starter.
- Weapons and ammunition.
- Books and games (entertainment will be invaluable).
- Bells or chimes (these can be used as crude alarm systems if set up on strings in a yard or on a porch).
- Soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, disinfectants, and other useful hygiene/cleaning supplies.
- Bicycles, bicycle tools, and bicycle parts.
- Cooking supplies and utensils.
- Trash bags and other storage devices.
The Final Word
“I know not what weapons WWIII will be fought with, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
It is terrifying to think about an EMP disaster that renders our society lawless and brings an advanced nation to its knees. But it is not an illegitimate fear.
Of all the threats facing our western world today, it is hard to conceive of one more ominous than a massive EMP attack.
In the case of a severe EMP blast disabling our society, it will be those who prepared, planned, and premeditated the event that who will survive.
It will get ugly. It will be hard. And it will sure as hell, change the world forever.
So make sure your EMP survival plan is well-rounded and flexible.
With a bit of luck, we’ll never have to put our EMP survival plan into real action.
It would be a Dark Day indeed if ever this situation realized, but besides hope and luck, the best thing we can do is: Plan for the worst and praying for the best.