Where Not To Be During an EMP

James Walton
By James Walton January 8, 2017 00:00

Where Not To Be During an EMP

Whether expelled from the sun or emitted from a high altitude nuclear blast the electromagnetic pulse has become one of the great super villains of our time and rightly so. These weapons can change the entire game.

Imagine a world near total convenience and dependence forced into self-reliance. If close to 100% of the electronics stopped working some would adapt. Others would fall into a pit of despair. There are many experts that paint horrifying portrayals of this situation unfolding here in America. Here are 10 Faraday Cages you can make at home to protect your devices.

In our everyday, convenient, lives there are places we go that seem safe. In the event of an EMP these same places could become coffins. I want to discuss some of those locations and the reason why they are so treacherous.

You will see in some of these scenarios you could follow steps to aid in your survival. In other situations, you may just be out of time.

HOSPITAL ICU

With monitors, breathing tubes and the many other accoutrements that would be in place to keep you alive the most terrifying place to be when an EMP strikes would be in the intensive care unit. For most this would be an area of recovery for those injured or healing after surgery.

Your access to medication and care would go way down since the hospital would be thrust into turmoil. There would be emergency evacuations going on as well as a whole host of calamity. It would be easy for patients to be forgotten.

Depending on your condition you might just die right away but for those seconds without air or whatever else is keeping you afloat you would suffer. If you were better off than others around you the prospect could be a much more terrifying one. As you would hover just above death until you were discovered. If you were discovered.

Related: The Only Way To Get Antibiotics When SHTF (Video)

IN A CROWDED SUBWAY

The calamity of the subway is too much to deal with on a good day! The subway cars are powered by electricity as are the doors and the lights.

Hundreds if not thousands of people would be on those cars. They would be packed in like sardines and when that car stops and the lights go out an incredible level of panic would ensue. People would push and shove and there would no doubt be a few casualties from trampling and crushing.

When you take your seat on the subway stay close to exits and be sure you understand how to use them. This will give you first dibs on the exit. Also, use your phone or flashlight in your EDC to shed light on the situation. This would lessen the panic.

Related: Some Thoughts on EDC-Every Day Carry (Do You Even EDC Bro?)

ON A BOAT IN THE OCEAN

There is somewhere between 12 and 13 million registered boats in the nation. For many this is the best version of relaxation available. Whether it’s heading down river or out passed the continental shelf, boating can be a tremendously rewarding experience. Though these machines run on the same kind of electronics as anything else.

During an EMP strike boats could also be rendered inoperable just like any other type of electronic. Just imagine for a second if you were 10s of miles off the east coast. Suddenly you would be subject to the ebb and flow of the tides. Your powerful boat does not have masts and sails to return you to the sandy shores of the homeland.

No problem though, right? The coast guard would be out to rescue you, wouldn’t they? Not if their boats were also inoperable. You could be stranded for days, weeks or even months depending on the direction of the ocean. You may have a small survival kit on your boat but how are you going to get clean water and food for weeks under the searing sun. What about the battering waves of a storming ocean?

You would have to fish for food and create some sort of still in order to remove the salt from your water. Creating a solar still could work if you had the proper materials aboard.

IN ANY KIND OF AIRCRAFT

You are going down. Plain and simple. Americans are flying all the time. The disaster that would occur if something like this happened at any time during the day or night. There are an estimate 4000 commercial flights in the sky at any time. This does not include private flights or military in the air. It would be like a nationwide bombing effort as these planes fell. Some plains have a level of protection against solar EMP’s.

If you were on one your best bet would be to remain calm and follow the directions of those more experienced than you. In most cases the trauma of the crash would kill you and it might be better that way. You wouldn’t want to be drowned or trapped under debris and burned alive by jet fuel.

Read the safety manuals provided when you board a craft and take note of the various exits. These could become your only way out if you do survive a crash.

NEAR A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

Per the energy information administration:

There are 61 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 99 nuclear reactors in 30 states in the United States.

We all witnessed the very real consequences of nuclear power in the Fukushima reactor disaster. We are ill equipped to handle a disaster of this magnitude. In fact, we are ill equipped to hand a disaster at all when it comes to nuclear power. How do we cool 99 reactors when we failed to cool one using the OCEAN?! More interested about this subject? Here you can find the US Nuclear Target Map.

Or take a look at the map of US Nuclear Power Plants:

us nuclear power plant map 2

If you are living or staying in close proximity to a nuclear power plant be sure to get as far away as possible in the event of an EMP attack. How would you know? Glad you asked. This link: Nuclear Power Plants will tell you the location of all the power plants in your proximity. You just need to click on your state.

It’s hard to imagine a version of the world like the one you would see following an EMP. It would be abandoned and hollow. The surviving souls that wandered this partially incinerated and partially radiated landscape would be in a desperate struggle for survival.

You may also like:

You Will Not Survive an EMP Strike Without This

EMP Myths and Facts. What’s BS and What’s True?

Top 10 Vehicles for Your EMP Survival

7 Things That Will Survive an EMP

10 Things to Have Ready before the Huge EMP!!!

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James Walton
By James Walton January 8, 2017 00:00
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58 Comments

  1. gremlinone January 9, 16:54

    One thing is perfectly clear – I do not have enough of anything stored, especially ammunition. One thing I Know I have enough of – CAN OPENERS! Think I’m joking? Try opening a can of food when you are hungry WITHOUT USING A CAN OPENER. You’ll get the idea real fast. BTW – there is a way to do it, and I have it with me all the time.

    Reply to this comment
    • DBAtwill January 9, 19:50

      Rub the top (or bottom) of the can on the sidewalk. It’s not that hard to open a can without a can opener.
      Look on YouTube for the video.

      Reply to this comment
    • John K January 9, 20:27

      I saw a YouTube where the guy just turned the can upside down and scraped it back and forth on the sidewalk for about 20 to 30 seconds. It ground the seal off the top of the can and he just peeled the lid off. Just use your environment around you. My swiss army knife has a built in can opener as do most multifunction knives. I have a couple of P-38 can openers hanging off a shelf and one on my keyring from my old Army days. Plus the old standard can opener for when I feel lazy. 🙂

      Reply to this comment
    • TwistedOne January 9, 21:06

      I’ve been buy ammo on sale since 1990, about 100-200 rounds a month. I recently bought a high powered pellet rife, ammo is very cheap for 1000’s of rounds, It passed my major testing by dropping a deer and turkey with it loaded with the hollow point pellets, so in a pinch it could drop a human if need be. So should I run out of ammo for any of the AR’s, AK’s, 9mm’s, 45’s, shotgun shells, HMR’s and 22’s, at least I’m still eating and defending!

      Reply to this comment
      • Finnigansmom January 9, 22:03

        Very interested if you can tell more about the pellet gun !! Thanks !

        Reply to this comment
        • TwistedOne January 9, 22:28

          Finnigansmom

          Like anything, it depends on how much you want to spend, a Big Bore .308 air rifle I’m waiting to be delivered was over $1000, the one I dropped a deer with was a .50 version and that one ran about $900 when finished setting it up. They’re are soooo many types out there now because they’re starting to get popular for prepper’s and competition shooters. You can just Google them and find what fits your needs and budget. The cheaper ones are great for rabbit and tree rats and I’m sure if you pop someone in the nads with it they would think twice!

          Reply to this comment
        • Graywolf12 April 13, 14:03

          Go to Remington.com, or places like Carbela.com. I buy ammo from Cheaper than Dirt.com. My Remington pellet gun is a break open to cock, so no CO2 cartridge. It shoots a standard pellet over 1000fps.

          Reply to this comment
      • BamaGrits January 13, 19:49

        I have been doing the same as you for years (back when ammo was available & affordable)! A few years ago I bought a high powered pellet rifle to replace my BB gun for shooting squirrels etc., (to save my ammo). I still have my BB gun as it does kill squirrels but OMGosh at the power of that Pellet Rifle so I’ve been stashing away lots of different kinds of ammo for it! Don’t underestimate THIS BACKWOODS COUNTRY GAL in being prepared for most anything that could happen as well as being SPOT ON ACCURATE with my weapons…whatever that may be at the time of need! I also keep many cans of Wasp & Hornet Spray all over the property for personal protection as it will drop one or several marauders with one swoop of spray to their face (up to 20 ft) & put them on the ground in agony while I fetch my BACKUP arsenal to finish my business! Gotta do what I gotta do as this ole world has gone BAT SH*T CRAZY!!

        Reply to this comment
        • Enigma January 14, 06:34

          The principal difference (unless you’re using CO2 propellant) between a spring-driven BB gun and a pellet gun is projectile weight. A .22 pell is much heavier than a .177 bead. A rifled .22 pellet rifle is also more accurate.

          For surprising assailants, an available boar-spear, war-axe, or sword trumps any distant weapon. A dead invader will not only no longer trouble you, he (most usually a he) will never trouble nobody ever again.

          Reply to this comment
      • Meathead February 5, 15:27

        I’ve been doing the same since 1998. Buying in bulk when it is on sale helped build the stockpile quicker. I’ve even bought ammo in popular calibers that I don’t own just for bartering.
        I have two 1200 fps pellet rifles and a crossbow in case I have to be silent.

        Reply to this comment
    • forecast March 25, 00:54

      you can open canned food without a can opener. rub the can back and forth on flat cement with pressure. the lid will separate from the can. But, I prefer to have can openers, so I have many, as it is less work.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 29, 23:08

        Back in the Old Corps, if we didn’t have a p-38 can opener with us or didn’t want to wait until the only one the fire team had got to you, we opened our c-ration cans with the point of the WWII bayonet. Put the point in the middle of the lid. Hit the back of the bayonet with the palm of your hand, turn the can 90 degrees and repeat. Open up the cross you have made in the can with the flat of the bayonet and fold back the four pieces of lid. That’s why I like bayonets from WWII and prior. They were actual fighting blades intended for serious use. They won’t bend if they hit a major bone and they take a sharp edge. You can use them to dig in hard dirt without hurting the blade although you will have to resharpen it after such use. The hand guard is large enough to keep your hand from sliding forward onto the blade if you do hit a large bone and the knob on the back of the handle is large enough and heavy enough to put a dent in the thickest skull.

        Reply to this comment
      • Meathead February 5, 15:35

        The military P-38 and P-51 can openers are great and easy to transport in your pocket. I have a P-51 on my key ring.
        They are available and inexpensive at any Army-Navy Surplus store and can be ordered from Amazon, eBay, etc.

        Reply to this comment
  2. Russ January 9, 18:26

    You also wouldn’t want to be in any kind of elevator, let alone a high rise or deep shaft mine elevator.

    Reply to this comment
    • Enigma September 21, 19:24

      Testify. Anyone who had been in a high-rise elevator during a power-outage understands.

      Preppers who are truly canny will depart metropolitan areas now, before any real societal challenges arise. Anti-First-Amendment rioters are very small potatoes when earthquakes and hurricanes are on offer.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Wannabe January 9, 18:27

    From now on I will stay out of the icu, off the subway, never go boating again, never fly and stay away from my local nuclear plant. Lol. Well, I guess it is good to know how to help survive if an emp happens while In these places.

    Reply to this comment
  4. PB- dave January 9, 21:54

    guessing antique cars and magneto type small engines would be fairly popular ? …..along with a siphon hose 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  5. Stepcof January 9, 23:10

    They are planes not plains and their engines will continue to run. Only the fly by wire aircraft (newer aircraft) will loose operational control of the engines. All airplanes will not just drop out of the sky. They may loose some or all of their navigation ability though. Carry a handheld GPS in a Fariday bag.

    Reply to this comment
    • Linda S January 10, 13:31

      It’s ‘lose’, not ‘loose’.

      Reply to this comment
    • Vlad the Impala January 10, 13:52

      It’s Faraday.

      Reply to this comment
    • Stepcof January 10, 20:38

      LOL, that’s too funny. That’s what I get for being such a pedant and not proofreading myself. Thanks for the correction.

      Reply to this comment
    • RifRaf January 11, 05:57

      What happens to the fuel pump?

      Reply to this comment
      • Stepcof January 11, 06:11

        They’re engine driven.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck May 29, 22:58

          Not all fuel pumps in newer cars are engine driven. The 2003 Honda Odyssey’s fuel pump is located in the gas tank and is electric. I had a 1994 Ford Explorer and when starting up, if I waited before I hit the starter position I could hear the fuel pump running. It was under the hood but not engine driven. If the rest of the electrical system in your car is fried, your fuel pump will be also. I don’t know enough about all the cars on the road to make a blanket statement, but I know from owning them that those two I mentioned have electrical fuel pumps.

          Reply to this comment
    • drscot May 29, 15:41

      Remember the ol’ story, “He who points a finger at someone has three pointing back at himself”.

      Reply to this comment
    • Meathead February 5, 15:43

      I was a Naval Aviator for 22 years.
      There is an average of 9,728 planes — carrying 1,270,406 people in the air over the United States at any one time. Modern civilian and military aircraft rely totally on computers and WILL fall out of the sky.
      Not only will the passengers be killed, so will those in the immediate impact area.
      Not gonna be good!

      Reply to this comment
  6. MMG January 9, 23:52

    As per subways, I was in one in NYC during the blackout of 2003. People handled it rather well actually. Doors were opened manually and we got to street level pretty quickly. No one got hurt on my train. Aside from a plane, I agree with ‘Russ’ that an elevator would be my pick for worst.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Countess January 10, 03:02

    What about those with pacemakers?

    Reply to this comment
    • C. Davis January 11, 09:12

      As I wrote in a different article, you don’t need to worry too much about your Pacemaker… they are pretty much EMP – proof.

      In the article you’ll find an answer from a doctor who is also a prepper:

      ”I have been a medical scientist working with pacemakers for 36 years, and I think I can give a definitive answer! The hermetically sealed can will indeed be a pretty good Faraday cage so no direct damage from an EMP. A bipolar system with, say, 5mm electrode separation will, with a major high-altitude EMP generating ~25 kV/m in the northern US, deliver a voltage pulse to the circuitry of about 900V – this won’t damage a pacemaker, they are designed to cope with external defibrillator voltages. A UNIPOLAR system, where the electrodes may be 15cm apart, will generate a bigger voltage, maybe 4-5kV, to the generator, and this could be damaging.”

      Here is the link if you want to read more: http://www.askaprepper.com/emp-myths-and-facts-whats-bs-and-whats-true/

      Reply to this comment
  8. Jean-Michel January 10, 12:46

    Bonjour à toutes et tous et bonne et heureuse année 2017. Pour ce qui est de l’EMP je n’ai pas à m’en faire. Etant cardiaque j’ai un peace-maker et en cas d’EMP je ferais parti des premiers à mourir!

    Reply to this comment
    • C. Davis January 11, 09:10

      Bonjour Jean, as I wrote in a different article, you don’t need to worry too much about your Pacemaker… they are pretty much EMP – proof. Here is the link: http://www.askaprepper.com/emp-myths-and-facts-whats-bs-and-whats-true/

      In the article you’ll find an answer from a doctor who is also a prepper:

      ” I have been a medical scientist working with pacemakers for 36 years, and I think I can give a definitive answer! The hermetically sealed can will indeed be a pretty good Faraday cage so no direct damage from an EMP. A bipolar system with, say, 5mm electrode separation will, with a major high-altitude EMP generating ~25 kV/m in the northern US, deliver a voltage pulse to the circuitry of about 900V – this won’t damage a pacemaker, they are designed to cope with external defibrillator voltages. A UNIPOLAR system, where the electrodes may be 15cm apart, will generate a bigger voltage, maybe 4-5kV, to the generator, and this could be damaging.”

      Reply to this comment
  9. Jim K January 10, 22:52

    Depending on the boat. Many of the older ones would be fine as would sail boats. Non fly by wire a/c would also be good. I would not want to be too far away from home, like on vacation 2000 miles away with nothing but my clothes

    Reply to this comment
  10. forecast March 25, 00:52

    you can open canned food without a can opener. rub it against cement back and forth with pressure and the lid will separate from the can.

    Reply to this comment
  11. forecast March 25, 01:02

    I have learned that air can be turned into water. You can buy a commercial version: Atmospheric Pure Water Generator hr-77 or buy the digital book World Water War. I bought the digital teaching tool and am gonna be building one soon.

    Reply to this comment
    • Look-out March 25, 01:15

      Also got over a gallon a day from my De-Humidifier !!!

      Reply to this comment
      • forecast` March 25, 01:27

        thank you. that is interesting because the digital download, at first glance I believe, mentioned a part needed was a De-Humidifer. It claims to do 10 gallons a day. The commercial version I believe claims 50 gallons a day.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck May 30, 04:37

          But doesn’t a dehumidifier require electricity in order to operate? If, as I suspect it does, then when the electricity goes out there goes your supply of water. Time to fall back on Plan B or Plan C or even Plan D. You do have back up plans, don’t you?

          Reply to this comment
  12. Enigma September 21, 19:38

    On the boat item: real ocean-going sailboats with Marine diesel engines will be fine in an EMP situation. Except for any added radios, GPS devices, navigational computers, and 12VDC-120VAC converters.

    Always have recent paper charts aboard stored so they won’t get wet. (Rolled and wrapped with food-wrap plastic works.

    You could try keeping a Marine radio and a handheld GPS in a metal handtool box. (Don’t forget batteries / 12-VDC chargers for all handheld units stored in a ziploc baggie.)

    Yet there may not be that many people with whom to speak (if you’d want to at all) and some GPS satellites may not function.

    Reply to this comment
  13. TinyToo December 29, 17:08

    “If you are living or staying in close proximity to a nuclear power plant be sure to get as far away as possible in the event of an EMP attack.” Question is: How far away from the plant do you have to be to be safe?

    Reply to this comment
    • Enigma December 31, 10:26

      Chief danger from a nuclear power plant is meltdown and outgassing, as at Fukuyama. If plant operators aren’t stupid like Japanese ones were, they’ll slam in control rods and prevent any real problems.

      Before deciding to flee any event, you need to know the prevailing winds and water flows for your area. Generally in North America, being circa 30+ miles NW of a nuclear or chemical plant will be OK. Don’t forget chemical spills danger. Surface waters downstream may be contaminated.

      Real problem unlikely to be direct exposure, but aftermath. E.g., dangerous to drink animal milk after a radiation release. Radioactive metallic salts get on grass, animals eat grass, their milk afterward contains radioactive isotopes. So will their internal organs.

      Reply to this comment
  14. forecast January 2, 23:31

    the biggest issue I see with nuclear is that the plants must have power to keep the plants cool. If they can not be cooled they will go off, the power plants and such that is. This would normally occur about 2 weeks after an emp if power isn’t restored. The generator needed for a nuclear plant is so huge that most roadways are not equipped to take the weight or width of one. And, there are very few out there to do so. An emp attack could equal a nuclear attack within 2 weeks. There is not much that can be done in this equasion except prayer

    Reply to this comment
  15. drscot January 3, 03:20

    I beg to differ with you, especially if you are located on the distant perimeter of such a nuclear plant. RLH is a sometimes very effective means of escaping the devastation in the event of an EMP attack. Are you not familiar with the RLH protocol? You must commit it to memory because once it is upon us it will be too late to employ other methods. RLH is simply “RUN LIKE HELL!” Sorry, just couldn’t help myself!

    Reply to this comment
  16. Enigma January 7, 09:04

    Those thinking that they can outrun dangers must do prior research on which particular locales may be safer than the area(s) with which they’re familiar. And they must do periodic updates on that research, and replans based on that data, for things change.

    Nuclear contamination frightens people, because it may be unseen. However, chemical contamination may also be unseen; when electrical power is suddenly removed from industrial plants, facilities which sequester chemicals and dangerous gases likely stop working. Either immediately, or when something else fails.

    Years ago I worked at a complex near Mobile (AL) which made (probably still does) massive quantities of substances both innocuous and dangerous. Its outputs and byproducts were peculiar; one dangerous product was pure H2O2, and a byproduct was flamed-off hydrogen cyanide. That last is an invisible mass killer.

    You should not only know what is occurring in your area, but also in those locales to which you may flee.

    Reply to this comment
    • drscot January 8, 04:54

      Lighten up. It was a joke!

      Reply to this comment
      • Enigma January 10, 16:32

        Hundreds or thousands of ways to die, so few to live on.

        My ironic jest: This Cosmos of Hate first delivers its ‘grades’, then perhaps some lessons. You may learn a lesson if you survived that ‘grade’.

        Reply to this comment
  17. forecast January 16, 00:07

    If power plants use nuclear energy and they lose power after about 2 weeks those plants will explode and the wind will carry the debris where ever. There are nuclear power plants all over. I am not fearful knowing this. There are some things a person can prepare for. In the event of this happening, it is hard to prepare. I like to do what I can because I don’t believe in outside assistance but, this is something I probably won’t be prepared for. That being said I do celebrate Passover, and the Bible states Passover will protect you from the 7 deadly plagues coming. So, if a emp/nuc attack is a plague, I am safe. If not a plague, I will have an issue.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Enigma January 17, 18:30

    Nuclear plants: it depends. If operators are intelligent, they may form survival communities around plants and leverage energy outputs for advantage in a new order.

    If said operators are smarter than Fukushima ones, they use emergency diesel power to reinsert control rods and do an orderly moth-balling. Then plant just sits until someone comes who knows how to do a restart. Out of fear, most folk will avoid except for looting easily-portable stuff around edges.

    Greedy folk and desperate communities certainly would have their eyes on those diesel gensets. But they’re relatively huge.

    What got the Fukushima folk in trouble was that tsunami, which only occurs along certain coastlines. Earthquake zones like SoCal also vulnerable.

    Radiation releases hardly like Biblical plagues. A plague more usually transmissible from creature to creature, like Yersina Pestis.

    Reply to this comment
  19. jim February 9, 06:34

    Your comment that all airplanes are going down in the event of an EMP event is simply false. All commercial airliners are designed with major EMP protection of their systems.

    I know this because I was involved in designing such protection for one of the components intended to be used on commercial airplanes.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Enigma February 15, 07:24

    Who posted that all commercial aircraft would stop working after an EMP?

    Hard to predict which systems might stop working; would depend on their interdependency. ‘Fly-by-wire’ aircraft such as Airbuses might suddenly stop obeying pilots, but there are so many variables. And sadly, simply because some components are ‘hardened’, that doesn’t mean all are.

    If you happened to be within the blast radius of a nuclear weapon, likely you and everyone else nearby would have other larger problems.

    Folk have too much confidence in human-designed and -implemented systems. Let’s suppose that a North Korean missile survives its boost phase, but does that mean then that it will survive its reentry one? Or that it will strike an intended target?

    Let’s suppose that Kim Jong Idiot’s regime targets the Seattle-Tacoma area, but does that mean their device won’t instead strike Vancouver? Or explode above Grand Rapids?

    Or, more-or-less harmlessly scatter radioactive debris across the Humboldt Current?

    The _real_ consequences may involve a nuclear exchange between Red China and the USA. Some folk are ‘too clever by half’.

    Reply to this comment
  21. hotnsweett66 April 24, 20:12

    if you have not a gun now what would be the best to buy to help you during EMP or just for food and how much ammo should you buy

    Reply to this comment
  22. hotnsweett66 April 24, 20:14

    i am on a fix income what’s the best gun and ammo to buy

    Reply to this comment
  23. Enigma April 25, 16:43

    The most practical firearm for home defense and hunting utility is the 12 gauge shotgun. Most people prefer the slide-pump mechanism with extended magazine. 12G also has the largest number of different loads, from slug to birdshot.

    If recoil force is too great, gas-operated semi-auto 12G shotguns have lesser ones. Go to a gun range which rents firearms, and try out different kinds.

    If portability and concealability are issues, then a 9mm pistol works as a purse or belt gun. They’re available in many different sizes.

    Some women may opt for the .380 (9mm Kurtz), but that’s unnecessary unless a specialized tiny pistol is somehow needed.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Tea Sipper April 28, 00:00

    I am waiting to get a printer my old one died!!

    Reply to this comment
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