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Here Comes the EMP Blast – Will You Survive?

It has been well established by military experts, congressionally-commissioned studies, and intelligence reports, that an attack on our country by electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is as close to an inevitability as any possible mode of attack. It is also the consensus of all that an EMP burst centered 250 miles over the center of our country would virtually destroy the power infrastructure, knocking the USA back to the pre-electrical age.  The dirty little secret is that most EMP aftermath assessments, propagated by these experts, project a population survival rate of between 10% and 20%.

The reports by these experts are very clear in their predictions of the scope of destruction in the aftermath of an EMP attack. Following a well-targeted burst, an electromagnetic field will rain down and will be immediately drawn into electrical lines within its line of sight. The cascading effect of the intricately linked power grid will overload distribution and transformers in all directions, from the target center to both coasts.

It is projected that resumption of the power supply couldn’t even start for several months to a year. Most all battery-based technological devices, including computers, cars, and communications will stop. All production and delivery, including food, water supplies, manufacturing, and medical supplies will cease. Many of these findings don’t hide the shocking projection that as much as 80% of the population will perish over a two to three year period due to starvation, disease, murder, and suicide.

What the reports don’t describe (and this is the crux of the whole matter for us) is the cold, dark world of survival facing a population of 350,000,000 starving citizens. Even the prospect of hunger is enough to turn law abiding, conscientious people into contemptuous criminals. In the history of societies where hunger reigns, lawlessness remains.  As starvation takes its hold, in just a matter of days or weeks, there will be no home, farm or mountain retreat that will be defendable from a continuous onslaught of assaults.

Is there any chance of surviving a direct EMP hit?

Even the most ardent The End of the World As We Know It TEOTWAWKI preppers may be ill-prepared for the EMP aftermath. Unless there is at least a two to three year supply of provisions stockpiled into a well-equipped doomsday bunker, 35 feet below the surface, chances of survival are greatly diminished.

Assuming that the chance of survival for non-preppers is slim to none, there are steps that can be taken ahead of time that can improve survivability for resourceful preppers. The cost and effort required for creating absolute invulnerability is prohibitive for most, however, each step can take survivability up a notch. For most TEOTWAWKI preppers, it’s a matter of re-imagining the unimaginable and taking the added measures they may have only considered. Those skilled in the tactics of evasion and concealment, with the means of doing so, stand the best chance.

Consider where you live. Within a matter of weeks your home will become a target for looters and refugees.  Even the most fortified house can eventually be overrun. Homes located in suburban tracts and rural locations should be considered highly vulnerable.  Small, close-knit, and well-armed communities located on large bodies of water can provide a collective defense against all but the most massive groups of intruders.  A home in the close proximity of a military base would be a target of last resort as long as the base remains active.

How deep can you hide? A house or retreat stocked to the hilt will be no match for marauding neighbors and gangs unless it exists in the very most remote locations or 30 feet below the ground. Evasion is the best of all survival tactics and it must be applied for at least 6 months to a year to allow for the thinning of the hungry throngs. Where it’s not practical to build your own shelter or cave dwelling, there may be a better opportunity to combine resources with other preppers in the construction of a remotely located bunker. Consideration for surviving the travel needed to get to the bunker needs to be a priority.

Shield your electronics. In a post-EMP-blast world, there will still be uses for certain electronic devices such as your HAM radio. You do have a HAM radio don’t you?  Even computers and satellite phones will have eventual application. Battery-operated medical equipment may be essential for some.  While many preppers have taken the measure of insulating rooms from electromagnetic pulses, a simple investment in a Faraday cage may be enough to protect your equipment. Materials such as Mylar™, aluminum foil or copper mesh can all be used as a protection shield as well.

Study pre-electric society. High-tech knowledge and skills will become virtually useless.  Studying the skills and applications of the most recent pre-electric society (the late 1800s) would be more essential.  The obvious need for this knowledge is for establishing a life without electricity. In the long run, as the underground society emerges, such knowledge and skills will be valuable as a currency.

How much is “enough”? Assuming you have the capability of hiding or defending your food storage in enough time, storing enough food and provisions to survive an apocalyptic, post-EMP world is problematic for most because it requires a lot of space and shelf life.  Foods requiring refrigeration will only last a few days.  Many canned foods such as stews, beans, fruits, soups, and sauces can survive well beyond their typical one to two year expiration date, but they should be treated like gold and shelf-managed based on expirations.  Dried beans, legumes and grains can last the duration. A variety of rice is always a good staple. Oatmeal is also a durable, nutritional food. Dried wheatberries keep forever and can be ground to make your own wheat. Honey is always thought of as a great, long-term survival food.

Possible food lists are too much to cover here. The key to storage is recognizing that heat and air are your biggest enemies. Having a method to seal grains in a vacuum and cool storage is essential.  Water will be a critical issue.  The best way to store grains and beans is sealed, ideally under an inert atmosphere (nitrogen) or vacuum, and in a cool place (e.g., root cellar).

Water is a critical issue. How much is enough? One gallon of water per person, per day, is considered a minimum, so do the math. Creating a renewable water source is as important as being able to store a year or more of supply.

Increase your health IQ. For people with medical issues, the prospect of depleting necessary medicines is potentially life-threatening.  Most medicines have a limited shelf life and are not available in large supply.  The best preparation for long-term medical care or needs is preventative health care.  Increased knowledge of nutrition and natural remedies can be life extending and increase the quality of life in the bunker.  Understanding how natural herbs and oils can mimic the healing effects of pharmaceutical compounds is essential to treating or preventing the onslaught of ailments and disease. Your food list should be prioritized for nutrition and building immunity.

Some would consider a quick death by the direct hit of an incinerating, nuclear bomb blast to be more preferable and, ironically, more humane than living in the aftermath of the more sinister EMP blast. Who would consider themselves “lucky” to be a survivor in such unfathomable conditions? It’s perhaps those with the will to continue in such a world and the foresight to prepare for it.

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© 2008-2014 Off The Grid News


  1. EMP will mainly effect only electronics, If I recall correctly. Anything with power “to it” will be fried, and will not be coming back, including the power grid, your cars, medical equipment, life support etc. If you have a pacemaker, you could be in for a brief shock followed by permanent silence.

    However, and some of the engineers out there can correct me, if your equipment is not hooked up to electricity it will or may survive. Put a switch on the red cable of your car battery and turn it off every night and you may save your car. Many appliances keep power to the computer boards that now operate them and cannot be turned off, an EMP event is going to get them. A “Dry” car battery will survive. Add the acid to it the next day and recharge it with a solar charger and you may be back in business. A dry battery will last a long, long time, and has no charge to it. Also, I beleive that something that can be started with a pull string may also work, but you will likely have to change the battery as mentioned.

    The real bad thing is that most EMP events are the preemptory event of a Nuclear explosion. The EMP is the least of your worries then.

    • Collinsm,
      Actually there are three pulses that result from an EMP. The E1 pulse will fry electronics wheather they are plugged in or disconnected. This pulse creaters a wave of electricity at 50,000 volts per meter or more which destroys the semiconductor junction in electronics. The E2 pulse is similar to a lightning strike and can be protected using the same measures as lightning protection. The E3 pulse is a result of the nuclear explosion heaving/pushing the earth’s magnetosphere into space, away from the earth. As the magnetoshpere returns to its previous location a large current of DC electricity will be generated within runs of conducotors of more than a few feet because a large magnet, the size of the earth’s core is crossing the wires. The E3 pulse is similar to the ground induced currents (GIC’s) resulting from a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). In 1989 a CME caused a power outage to Canada’s Hydro-Electric power for half of a day and literlly burned out a high voltage transformer (300,000 volts) in New Jersey. The threat is real, the danger from the masses without provisions is frightening . The US power grid is already stretched to its capacity and cannot handle fluctuations let alone mild GIC’s as the Hydro-Electric incident displays.


      Jesus is Lord and is returning but should He tarry in my lifetime I will be prepared to protect and provide for my loved ones. God can and does provide, even for the sparrow, but I don’t see sparrows flying around waiting for God to drop worms and grain into its mouth. The sparrow must still prepare its nest and provide for its young. Either way I am ready… MARANATHA

      • I am am a prepper, but also an end-timer. I think we are careening toward the brink. But, before the end-times prophesies begin to unfold, I believe that the superpower that is the United States will be brought to her knees, if not worse. (Having said that, let me clarify that I am a VN vet (and proud of it), an Eagle Scout, a deacon – I am not an America-basher. I believe that we live in the greatest nation everknown to man. Yes, I am an “exceptionalist”, too.) I sincerely believe that if the Lord of Abraham, Jacob, and Issac would destroy the nation of the OT Israelites, his “chosen”, will He, who never changes, look the other way on this country that He has so richly blessed and protected? – Look the other way at our unfaithfulness to His precepts, guidance, and love? I believe that He will make us an example to the world, as He did with ancient Israel.

        I am speaking to “believers” here. if II Chronicles 7:14 is to be believed, we, who claim Christ, are the reason for our current predicament, NOT the atheist, the agnostic, the Muslim, the Buddist, Hindu, etc. Tough pill to swallow, isn’t it? The “promise” in these verses is also our “deliverance” from what we currently see unfolding before our eyes. Important as the preparation for what we see coming is, I think that our highest priority should be, collectively and individually, as the “Body’ of Christ, to fall on our faces before Him, seeking His face and begin being “salt” as we have been commanded. I pray that the Lord in His Grace will allow this to happen to save this nation.

        Ah, yes…., Maranatha!

        • I just wanted to say that it is too late in God’s Judgement for Him to stop now. We are already in it. God has been so merciful for so long since the millions of babies that have died. America as wonderful as she can be has become a whore in her spiritual life. We have become lazy, arrogant and greedy. The Laodician church.
          The Lord loves us and He wants us to survive. We must like the sparrow do what we know we should do. We can’t hide our heads in the sand and expect God to protect. He has given us the weapon and now we must use it. Our brains. He will, however extend his mercy and grace for those that obey Him. Like Joseph, we are to stock up, when we know that the bad years are coming. We will use a lot of the resources to help others and win them to the Lord.

        • I have believed for a long time that the end times are coming & have already started as evidenced to what is happening now. I have always been prepared for not being able to go to the grocery store in case of an emergency. Also have alternative power, candles & oil lamps. Having just moved to a smaller home, I’m still getting settled & plan on putting in a garden this spring. I had a large garden at the other house. I also will make my shed into a storage for my root veggies. I had subscribed to Country Side Magazine during the Y2K time. And, have discovered Backwoods Home. Much better magazine for getting ready for the unknown. Very happy to have found this website magazine. I think it will help me be more prepared than ever before.

        • S L U
          I couldn’t agree more. I think that every word you speak is the truth, a hard truth for us to accept. We need to do what the Lord says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, and pray for His mercy for our land, for our childrens sake. He has blessed our nation so much and look what we’ve come to.

          • Thank you so very much for your clear, easy to undnrstaed instructions. I appreciate all the tips, advice and helpful code that you offer, that I would not be able to do on my own. Thank you thank you thank you ♥♥It's odd that Blogger doesn't have this feature in it. It just makes sense to have it.

    • Good point, @COLLINSM, an EMP occurs whenever a sudden blast happens, such as dynamite going off; it’s why you have to turn off cell phones and 2 way radios when entering a blasting zone, due to EMP’s that occur there. The larger the blast, the larger the EMP. I’d like to know what is required to make a “Faraday cage”. Anyone know?

    • A switch on a car WILL NOT protect the “electronics” in the vehicle….
      An EMP is transmitted through air; any and ALL items with a PN junction will be fused, if not protected by a Faraday cage. A car IS NOT anything close to an effective Faraday cage.

  2. An interesting scenario. Let me through a cog in what you all have to say. I agree that the world is going to end but it will not follow the theories postulated by all of the so called ‘experts.’ The heavens are going to collapse with a thunderous bang and the elements are going to melt in the intense heat…not of a nuclear explosion but at the command of Almighty God. He spoke this world into existence and one day HE, not the ruskies or the chinks or anyone else, HE will speak it out of existence. So the real question you must ask yourself isn’t whether or not you have an adequate food supply or a good underground shelter but it is this; Are you ready to meet Jesus Christ who is coming to judge the world? His power dwarfs anything you can conceive of in your wildest nightmares. Will you rejoice to meet Him or will you be calling for the mountains to fall on you and for the rocks to hide you from the face of Almighty God? Jesus said; ” in Mark 13:35-37 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”

    So while I agree that it is good to be prepared for natural disaster, no amount of weapons or food or super bunkers will save you from Jesus Christ the Judge. The best thing you can do right now is fall before the Throne of God in humility and repentance, pleading for His mercy and grace, asking Him to grant you a new heart and a new spirit and new life in Jesus Christ so that you will be ready when He comes again to receive His own unto Himself.

    Are you ready?

    • Yes, Michaell, I am ready! If EVERYONE had God in their lives and were ready to meet Him we would have nothing to fear now would we?

      • I want my sons to know there are astulobes. An absolute Savior who died for them, absolute forgiveness, absolute love, and absolutely only one way to know God–absolutely only one true God. It seems anything can change these days if there is enough consensus including our Constitution. I’ve graduated two sons of 3 and I have found the years after high school graduation – age 25 to be the most critical, where we need to bathe them in prayer the most. I’ll have 30 yrs of homeschooling in when I finish. 8 more to go.

    • Do you think God will choose to destroy this planet over the 10 Billion other planets in our solar system? The Bible doesn’t say anything about destroying the universe just the sky and the earth itself the way I read it.

      I personally thing its always great to be prepared, but what about these verses?

      “‘By myself I do swear,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘that by reason of the fact that you have done this thing and you have not withheld your son, your only one, I shall surely bless you and I shall surely multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand that are on the seashore; and your seed will take possession of the gate of his enemies. And by means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves.’”—Ge 22:16-18.The words of Jesus Christ to Jews who opposed him: “If you are Abraham’s children, do the works of Abraham,” indicate that, not those descending through the flesh, but those having the faith of Abraham are accounted by God as Abraham’s seed. (Joh 8:39) The apostle makes it very specific when he says: “Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s seed, heirs with reference to a promise.”—Ga 3:29; Ro 9:7, 8.Consequently, God’s promise, “I shall surely multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand that are on the seashore,”

      “So how many grains of sand are there in the world? You could start
      off by trying to guess how many grains of sand there are in a spoon of
      sand. Use a magnifying glass to count how many grains fit in a small
      section. Then, count how many of those sections fit in your spoon.
      Multiply the two numbers together to get an estimate.
      “Using this same principle, plus some additional information,
      mathematicians at the University of Hawaii tried to guess how many
      grains of sand are on the world’s beaches. They came up with
      7,500,000,000,000,000,000, or seven quintillion five quadrillion
      grains of sand.” That’s a 75 with 17 zeros following!

      Why would God’s math be so far off if he came next year? Have we even gotten to one cup worth of sand with the worlds total population throughout recorded history?

      Then there’s this:
      Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Matthew 24:34

      Which makes no sense unless you read a lot into it.

      GO FISH!

      Jesus explains that the reason he speaks in parables is so that no one will understand him, “lest . . . they . . . should understand . . . and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Matthew 13:10-15

      I wish God would have just started us all out with a great memory of being with him and five minutes of guidance, and a simple talk of right and wrong, – just before we were born. Something that we could remember for a lifetime and lead us into a path of righteousness our entire lives.

      Then he wouldn’t have to said most people to hell to burn forever in the lake of fire. The Bible says he didn’t build hell for us, but for Satan. I guess he figured why not? When he saw the sins of mankind, might as well torture them forever too.

      I guess Hitler tortures for a moment, but with God its forever!

      If your a devout Christian, hearing that is a bit like finding out your spouse who has always encouraged you to do good, is secretly into bondage, witchcraft, and is a paedophile. Always telling you to do right, but secretly more evil than you could possiblity imagine.

      I makes you want to puke, I know it certainly does me, after decades of trying to ‘live right’.

      Just some thoughts that have been troubling me…

  3. Wow, great piece! My wife and I have been talking alot lately about emergency preparedness and stocking up. What a crazy scenario that would shake the foundations of the USA and our “your way right away” culture. As Christians, we know somewhat of what to expect in the imminent future. God help us!

  4. What about solar backup? Won’t the batteries be fried as well? Or the converter. I see a lot of talk about getting set up with a solar unit, but if that is not going to work should I look elsewhere for power.

    • Thanks Halmic, even though I work with this stuff the engineers explanation is indepth, scary, and serious and of course doesn’t even get into the Nuke effects and ionizing the Van Allen belts etc. The average joe must understand it is going to be bad on an unfathomable scale.
      I think a solar backup would be energized by the electronic wave or the flash and be fried. All crops planted will be destroyed every partical of dust in the ground will be radiated to a toxic level. But still, throughout every scenario we plan, there are survivors.
      This subject is very complicated and people need to study it. I think the best plan for power in the EMP/NUKE scenario is to expect to be without it. As well the Hiroshima bomb was a firecracker compared to what can be produced today.

      • Thanks, I now know to wire some cnmeonpots off the board. How does someone solder with an unplated perfboard? Connections and wires go in the holes and are held in place with solder? I want to use an outlet for a step down transformer. How do I know how much current will be drawn? I have a 120V to 12.6V 3 wire 3 amp transformer that I want to turn into an AC supply. This video helped me realize I do not need a perfboard at all, just a mount for the transformer and the fuse and the switch.Thanks.

  5. It seems that what we struggle with most is the concept of not having use of all our electrical devices. An EMP will not just take out the grid; there’s a good chance it will take out all the electrical wiring in our house as well as anything plugged in. Even if we have a working solar generator, wind turbine, magnetic generator, or whatever; will we have anything left to operate? So, while having backup energy sources may be the ticket to surviving an economic collapse, learning to live without electricity is essential to surviving in a post-EMP world.

  6. Right on, everyone. Good posts, all. Having the right people with you is everything. Even the Indian couldn’t survive without his tribe. That’s the hard part; finding the right ones around where you live is really tough. I’m having a hard time because I’m so busy with everyday concerns, as I’m sure most of us are.

  7. New poster here. very interesting thread. I have read many times about scenerios concerning post EMP times. The biggest thing I see coming after the event, is getting used to living like they did in the 1800’s. I’m thinking of the early settlers to the west, who went looking for a new life. Some of them “city folk” who never lived on a farm, and had to learn on the run. If they made it to a new territory, all they had was what they could put on a horse drawn wagon.
    After they find their new homesite, they had to worry about the locals, who didn’t like the idea of new neighbors. So, after spending every waking moment working to provide food and shelter, they had to worry about the “savage” redman killing them in a turf war. Sounds a little familiar doesn’t it? The daily struggle just to get by must have been tremendous.
    I think the learning curve for a “Little House on The Prairie” lifestyle, will be a tough job. Some will make it, some will give up. Just think of it as camping out forever, with a better tent. Tough times ahead.
    Have a great day, and don’t stop prepping, we are, truly running out of time.

  8. I know that no one really knows what is or is not going to happen however, from a science prespective,
    how long does a flair last? how long would items need to be cashe or protected? min,hours, days,weeks?? longer? do we feel it? generally speacking-EVERY thing that uses ANY curent A.C./D.C. batterys too are gone with excption: 1980 or older autos (motors) and tube type radios….
    automobile alternators?? starters?

  9. I’m just a reading teacher – not a scientist –
    I still don’t understand all the electrical stuff.
    I can store food, but where to hide it? If I dig a hole….a hurricane comes/tornado …. won’t the rains/floods soak the ground and ruin it? Days later maybe dig it up and then what???
    Hope I’m not doomed.

  10. Just a few facts,
    Air startters are NOT effected by EMP, and Diesels will still run (no ignition system). This makes a good scrapyard project for not only a vehicle but a power plant too. See at
    Also generators not hooked up can be protected in a well grounded heavy duty steel shed, along with batteries, other disconnected electronics should be safe too. Be sure to use rubber (spare tires that can also be used on the air starters) to insulate the floor beneath batteries. Grab as many generators (don’t forget the regulators) from the boneyards as possible, as these WILL make great barter items. Also, alternators from boneyard trucks and ambulances have much greater AMP output than cars, if you can find them at a cheap price, stock up on them too.

  11. So I guess with EMP’S all solar panels are knock out as well?

    • Yup.
      Unless the solar panels are shielded PRIOR to the event, they will be fried to a nice, even, crispy lump of congealed silicon.

  12. What about the Tesla Magnetic Generator?

  13. Great conversation as usual on this site. We purchased a LP run generator as backup power for our son’s medical needs. Since it is outside would a Fareday cage around the unit protect it? We have several storage batteries and also an inverter. We have been looking at purchasing a solar generator as an “extra source of power”. However after reading the above information it appears that all of our attempts to provide for our families needs may be toast. Let me ask this question does an EMP blast affect insulin pump’s and other medical devices that may be inside our bodies? Is our government doing anything to protect us or are we truly on our own. What ever happened with “star wars”? We spent a lot of money on a belief that we could knock down enemy missiles before they could hit America.We’re doing our best to be prepared,but adding something like an EMP blast, biological or nuclear attacks, taxes what this pepper is able to do. It also scares the **** out of you. How much money is being spent of defense? It’s good to know that there are many who still hold on to their faith and look to God for guidance and direction. Thanks for letting me have my 2-cents. Take care of yourselves. Southern Patriot

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  16. Yuk bloody awful hate the religious fiction here – next

  17. this article made me think there is no reason at all for me to prep. there is no way that I’m going to be able to build a 30 foot underground bunker. I cannot do that by hand and I don’t have the money to pay someone else to do it and this article said if you don’t have that you will die so what is the point of my saving all this rice and beans etcetera besides if I paid someone to build a 30 foot underground bunker I could live in for months or years, wouldn’t the crew that built that bunker come back and kill me when end times happened? I think I’ll read articles which give me usable advice that I and most people can actually follow.

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