As preppers, most of us are aware of the dangers of an EMP attack. Unlike most of the population, we’ve usually stockpiled at least some EMP-proof items that will keep working after a nuclear-powered surge of energy has fried everyone else’s stuff.
Most importantly, we have the mindset to survive. We’re mentally prepared for things going very badly wrong. When disaster strikes we should go into response mode instead of panicking.
Even preppers can’t just carry on as before though. If an EMP attack comes, we need to know how to react. Here’s what you should do if an enemy – or the sun – switches the lights off:
The chances are you’ll realize an EMP has hit right away. If you’re at work or shopping, lights will go off and screens will shut down.
If that happens, look out the nearest window; if life seems to be going on as normal everywhere else there could be an electrical fault in your building.
If everywhere you can see is affected there’s a good chance an EMP attack or SME (solar mass ejection) has taken down the power.
Your priority now is to get home, as quickly and safely as possible.
If you have cash on you and you pass any stores that are open and look quiet, you could take the chance to stock up on food and other essentials.
Related: If You Don’t Have These 7 Items, You Are Not Really Prepared
But don’t go out of your way to do that, and don’t take any risks. Stores will quickly become targets for looting.
Check For Fires
When you get home, immediately check for any signs of an electrical fire.
If anything’s actively burning that will be pretty obvious. But check all your appliances for signs of damage in case anything’s caught fire and then died down.
If anything looks scorched or distorted, immediately disconnect it and put it outside.
Be Ready To Shelter
If there’s been one EMP attack there’s a very high risk of a follow-up, either another EMP or nuclear (which has its own EMP hazard). If you have a fallout shelter make sure it’s stocked with everything you need. Here is a guide on how to build an underground bunker for only $400.
If you don’t, prepare a fallout room with an inner shelter. Equip it so you can stay in the inner shelter for 48 hours after a nuclear attack, and in the fallout room for two weeks. Stay close to it until you feel the danger of a follow-on strike has passed. It is likely to be a matter of hours.
If a nuclear weapon detonates nearby, you need to be able to get into the fallout room within five minutes. Meanwhile you can get on with the rest of the things you need to do.
There’s no guarantee that any electronics that survived the first attack will also survive the next one, so do what you can to isolate things.
First, pull the main circuit breaker for your home. EMP can generate very powerful surges in long power cables, and tripping the breaker will isolate your equipment from these.
Next, unplug everything you can. If you have Faraday cages put everything you can in them.
If your bug-out plan involves a vehicle, now’s the time to make sure it’s still running.
If you don’t need it immediately, protect it from follow-up strikes (and thieves!) by disconnecting the battery and removing fuzes to break electrical circuits.
EMP generates current spikes in wires, but breaking circuits limits what those spikes can get at and could prevent damage.
With the power out, there’s no way to predict how long mains water will keep flowing for. If it’s still working when you get home after the attack, take the chance to collect as much as you can.
Fill the bathtub (and cover it, if you can). Fill every container you can get your hands on.
Bottles, jerrycans, old milk jugs – anything that will hold water. When they’re all full start on pitchers, saucepans and buckets. Again, cover them if you can.
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All water that comes out the faucet after an EMP attack needs to be treated as potentially contaminated, because the treatment equipment will probably be down. So make sure to filter, boil or chemically purify it before drinking or cooking with it.
Secure Your Food
If an EMP attack takes down the power, it’s likely to be off for a long time. It certainly isn’t going to come back on before the food in your freezer has thawed and things in the refrigerator have started to spoil.
If you have a generator or other independent power supply get it running as soon as you think the danger of another strike has passed. If you have coolers, load the contents of the freezer into them; pack in any ice you have.
Don’t put food from the fridge in with the frozen stuff; it will just raise the average temperature in the cooler and thaw it more quickly.
Instead, keep the fridge closed as much as possible to hold the temperature down as long as you can, and eat what’s in there first.
Then eat as much of your frozen food as you can while it’s still safe. Frozen meat that’s thawed will be fine in a cooler for a day or two, unless the weather’s hot, but be very careful.
A case of food poisoning in a crisis can be lethal, especially as diarrhea and vomiting will dehydrate you and force you to use limited water supplies more quickly.
Your chances of survival go way up if you know what’s going on. After an EMP strike, information is vital.
You need to know if there have also been nuclear attacks. If there have you need to worry about fallout.
You need to know how bad the damage is, so you have an idea of how long it will be before services start to get restored.
In a crisis the government will try to broadcast information by radio, so make sure you have a couple of cheap FM receivers in your stockpile. You can get a battery-powered FM radio for less than $10. If you have more than one that gives you a backup in case the first one is powered up when another EMP strike comes in.
Keep Things Calm
An EMP attack would be a terrifying event. The electricity we all rely on so much will be gone, and might not be turned back on again anytime soon.
Nuclear war will be a very real fear. An enemy that’s carried out an EMP strike has already shown they’re willing to use nuclear weapons, and they might just decide to put the next one on a city or airbase instead of detonating it in space.
It’s important to stay calm and encourage your family to do the same. Get as much accurate information as you can. Discuss the situation honestly but calmly, and discourage panic or wild speculation about what could happen. As bad as an EMP is, you can survive it.
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I’ll go to a local bar and have a drink
So your not prepared, cause that’s what I heard. If you were you would have a stockpile of booze at home and the means to make more. Better get on It dude!
Lol ok I think you missed the point
On the news – Multiple substations in North Carolina taken out by gun fire causing 40,000 people to lose power. Hmm? What’s up with this?
if you’re out & about when the nukes start hitting – survive the blasts – better use the time available before the fallout begins to find a deep hole and see about some supplies >>> not going to do you much good to get home with a fatal dose of radiation …
back in the olden “survivalist” days our chief concern was a nuke attack – good practice to road game “what’s nearby” – what direction(s) would the flash come from – best route home …
one thing we kept handy was a manhole cover mover – still the best immediate underground cover there is >>> it was simply a couple of large spike nails connected by wire – one end got snaked into a cover hole and the mover provided the leverage to pop and drag it free …
since the old days – the communications & power utilities have gone to bolted down hatches – usually 5/8″ hex head – not the worst idea to keep a ratchet & socket handy ….
Can you please explain why getting underground is important after the flash?
fallout radiation – the most probable nuke killer after the blast itself – most dangerous is the inhalation of radiated particles >>> some good dense protection and regulated air for a few days will make all the difference in dodging the very worst ….
When stating that you get home asap, well think about life in America unlike countries where the majority of people live in or near cities you could walk home.Most people around here must commute which means if an emp is set off it’s gonna be a turkey shoot where you will never be able to walk home.
Interestingly its about 20-25km distance for most small townsites on the gold fields walk out of Perth Western Australia to Kalgoorlie. Half a day’s travel on horse, a day’s travel on foot.
And you can’t walk that day after day after day without preparing your body a little.
There is no particulate fall out from a EMP nuclear device.None.
The bomb is detonated at high altitude (20-50 miles) so as to spread the E1 Gamma rays over the largest area of the earths
You may see the flash but your body will feel nothing.No piles of
ash that were crispy critters. An EMP is designed to destroy our
infrastructure.The deaths will come later.
Most things will work after a emp….
A questionable statement. Soviet studies in the 60’s say quite a different story.
If most includes manual toothbrushes, shovels and paintbrushes then maybe your correct.
If your speaking of devices that use electricity your comment is poorly thought out (if at all).
The 1962 Soviet Nuclear EMP Tests over Kazakhstan.
Most cars will be fine…..
The power lines will be the bigger issue.(which is a concern for everyone )
We don’t know about automobile vs EMP either.
EMP Effects on Vehicles
Read carefully, you’ll see that the “Testing” the EMP power level was slowly ramped up until it affected that vehicle. All testing was stopped well before any vehicle was damaged, a few needed some minor effort to restore one Pickup truck was towed to a repair shop.
I looked up the EMP power used. WELL Below the EMP of Operation Starfish and that was a small NOT Designed as an EMP weapon nuke.
Current known EMP weapons produce far higher levels of EMP effect.
Also, most reports show that steel automobile bodies had some protection BUT how many of the new vehicles are made of steel?
Frankly given the loss of grid power (YOU Do accept that the grid will fail from EMP, yes? Or does the Torah tell you different?) fuel for the vehicles will soon be in short supply. That assumes you have some way to steal (err Salvage) fuel from the gas stations (along with every other person in the area, the firefights should be epic).
In the chaos of a full on EMP attack (BTW Chinese and Russian doctrine is several EMP attacks over 24+ hours) do you really think leaving home to joyride around a good idea? EMP is why I have folding bicycles in my car. I want to get HOME ASAP before the normies start wondering if something more than a power outage occurred.
Walk at 1-2 mph or bicycle at 10+ easily. Your call. If my car somehow keeps running, then that’s a blessing.
20-50 miles will only cover a small region, however detonating at 300 miles altitude will cover all of the US except a remote NE corner, half of Canada, and half of Mexico. Any country with evil intent meaning to do real harm to us would do this. And yes, the deaths will come later: it has been estimated that 9 out of 10 Americans will die within the first 12 months due to several reasons. Patients in hospital’s ICU wards will go first, insulin dependent, patients needing medication to live, victims of violence and riots, then hunger and dehydration will take its toll and, depending on what time of year, hypothermia could claim many. That among a few of the reasons. So basically, the unprepared will die, and even some of the prepared.
Refreshing to read a knowledgeable comment.
The thinking is 2 well placed nukes, HEMPs, will set us back, as a society, a minimum of roughly 100-200 years, depending on who you read. And if an aggressor nation was still able to, detonation of a second set at about the 3-4 month mark would be devastating for the remaining resilient population. Why? Because most assumptions are that scenario will play out in 24 hours to a month. If it hit at the 3-4 month mark, or longer it will devastate a broad swath of in-use emergency equipment. And that may not be a feasible scenario, very possibly the bad actors, and others, will slug it out and reduce everyone’s arsenals to slag. And yes, depending on who you listen to the estimate is between 75-95% dying between the 12-18 month mark. First time i saw that number i was shocked by how high it is. Need to be prepared to hunker down and quietly just survive for 18 months before venturing very much farther than your immediate needs require. Hopefully, you can be somewhere NOT in a major urban area as that will be a horse of a different color. Still survivable, but harder and very tough to manage on a day to day basis.
You better have some cash on hand, and you better take that cash and hi-tail it to the store and spend every dime on prepper items, log term food items and such before everyone else figures out what’s going on. You should already have A LOT of prepper items, food water and meds on hand anyways, don’t know why people wouldn’t have those things the way it’s been for the last 2 1/2 years. Get home and keep your mouth shut about what you have but be willing to talk to neighbors about what’s going on and what they think it might be. Always be ready. No other way.
first combat nuke blast since 1945 – only thing you’ll find at any store are looters – better hope they aren’t SHTF opportunists and decide they don’t like your face ….
I stocked up Jan 2020. Maybe not as early as some people but far before the average citizen.
Do you remember those hand held manual calculators? You may need one of those before heading to the store! Because very few people can add anything up without the cash register doing it for them. Much less giving you any change back! Great people but young kids don’t have a clue! (Just Sayin)
So you’re saying that the state of education in the US is so abysmal that nobody can even do simple addition and subtraction on a piece of paper. Well, looking at a lot of the comments on this site, I’d have to agree with you. If you’re in an EMP situation, just grab what you need, round up generously and forget the change. That is, if you have cash…if everything is out then your bankcards aren’t going to work either.
Torah Observant? WTH, just eat Biblical CLEAN food, not that hard.
Thank you for this helpful info. I know nothing about surviving an EMP. Now I know a little that can be very helpful. It is important to take positive action in an emergency. That in itself is calming and can give space for the deeper intelligence to begin to work.
You will be wise to read up on EMP threat and what can be done to survive.
Have cash will carry, perhaps for a few days at best. Hold back coins because silver, copper, and zinc are medicinal metals. Nickel is iffy and all can become toxic, but nickel is used in cavities and so on. A few melted together can make a good arrowhead. As price gouging becomes common, money will disappear. Hang onto coins because once things relax, they’ll be used as money, again. Paper, unlikely. It’s fiat, not the real thing in the real world. niio
Hurry man!! It’s not too late but getting close.The general population will most likely figure out what has happened in 48 hrs.or so.
We will then see the worst come out in our fellow man.
What do you think the torah is
A good emp proof faraway cage ,that is probably in your house is your microwave. Unplug and put your precious devices inside.
I am curious what stores you will find thst will take cash. I have experienced major power failures and all the staores shut down because their computer based cash registers were dead. They didn’t reopen untill they acquired generators to power the equipment.
Hush don’t disturb their normalcy bias.
Folks within an hour of a full-on power outage almost every store will decide to shut down and send their folks’ home. No sense paying folks to stand around in the dark. THAT and their employees will be getting worried as the power outage AND Cell Phone Outage and the Radio outage and want to head home ASAP.
I figure from watching people react to other emergencies that you have about an hour before people start acting badly. And it will get worse from there.
Don’t wait until the disaster strikes to “Buy with CASH” (as some folks advise) Long term prepping supplies. Stores will be closing and locking the doors (some owners will post guards from my discussions with them).
If you have long term food at home and by the grace of our Lord, they are never needed WHAT’s the Problem? You just eat them.
Common sense mixed with a little sociology… hurrah!
A lot of preppers talk about practicalities and make plans for what they will do. There needs to be a lot more contemplation of what OTHER people will do.
John, you might be right regarding BIG chain groceries stores. Recently I was driving through Mid Atlantic states and at one point I made a pit stop, in the middle of nowhere( small community), where the gas station was close to highway. Got gas and some junk food. I had to pay cash. Due to recent floods, the computer didn’t work. The cash machine worked manually.
So depends of a lot of things. Including location. I think the worst will be the loss off power.
And regarding preppers. I have a coworker. He’s something lese. Few of us, were having lunch(at work), and the prepping subject came. One of my coworkers asked another one if he is prepping. The guy asked, said that he is. He said that he just bought another AR15 and a lot of ammo for it. He said he knows a lot of leftists that don’t believe in fire arms, but have a lot of cash and food. Personally, I am a firm believer in fire arms. It doesn’t make any sense to prepare with H2O, food and equipment, if you can’t keep it.
May I humbly suggest y’all read one of the best books on the subject -“Lights Out” by Ted Koppel, it was published a few years ago and it highlights how unprepared the US is to survive an EMP, whether natural, or man-made. His research reveals many facts that you will find VERY USEFUL in your prepping.
SIGH, I had hopes you’d not feed the Troll Raven and his many personalities.
Folding Bicycle. Carried in your daily driver. Been mulling on that for months now. Glad you mentioned it. Need to dig into that deeper. WAS thinking of an electric bike, but they have circuit boards for controlling various functions and some sort of circuitry in the battery module as well. 26 Miles is about a days walk for me as it’s very hilly here. Meaning unless it’s a very early in the day start, walking in the dark is gonna be a fact of life on the way home. A simple bicycle would change that whole equation vastly for the better. I’m betting that i should brush up on my cycling and shooting skills though, neither is hard to do, but both at same time can be challenging.
Find shelter as quickly as you can … because in about two minutes after the burst we’ll return fire … and whether we retaliate or not, others will fire out of self-preservation … then everyone will probably fire out of panic. Cascade effect. Likely all within the first 2 hours. And walking around outside, for about two weeks, is gonna be a really bad idea too. After all, it’s nuclear war, not a camping trip or movie script. And being stubborn about it won’t mean a damned thing. Nukes won’t care.
Meh this military you be lucky if they could get anything to work. Thus major players won’t do it. Why not just do it from within and blow up several sun stations and make the same effect.
the military confrontation would begin LONG before an EMP orbital nuke could be exploded – and a direct missile attack gets answered immediately >>> the premise behind the PAW novel One Second After is a total joke – use of a nuke in any way almost guarantees a worldwide exchange >>> it’s why a Chinese attack in the Pacific or Iran starting a religious conflict against Isreal tempts humanity’s survival ….
If SHTF turns into all out nuclear war, or even a chunk of, only a very small percentage of working class people, including me, will ever make it back to home base. Even with a functional vehicle and clear enuf roads to make it, and those are BIG assumptions, no way i can get home inside of 20 minutes and that’s running in the triple digits in a few stretches. Sadly, all preps would be for naught. But to be with God will be worth all the trials and tribulations.
been reading this site for ages but cannot figure out what NIIO stands for, please enlighten me
The first thing you should do is find a candle, or an old military angle flashlight; cause if EMP occurs at night, dark gets darker. If in the day, it’s gonna get dark. Find something that will actually give you light, oil lamps, candles cause those overpriced LED flashlights aren’t gonna work. Anything with a chip not protected in a homemade faraday cage is toast. It’s dark and you need light to see everything else you need to do in the even if this.
not sure whether to laugh at the naivety of the responses or worry about the people that would depend on you – hard to believe sometimes that this is supposed to be a prepper site ….
If all power goes down, including cell and internet, panic will almost immediately ensue.
Honestly I don’t think anyone is going to be at the register to ring up what you want to buy because they will be too busy trying to get home or get stuff just like everyone else.