Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): The Boogeyman in the Circuit Board

  1. GPS1504
    There are many catastrophic events that could take life as we currently know it and stomp it into something utterly unrecognizable. One such event is an electromagnetic pulse, which is a sudden burst of electromagnetic energy, or EMP. This may be from a source that is natural or man-made and can be caused by scenarios such as high energy explosions and a sudden fluctuation in the magnetic field.

    Depending on the size of an electromagnetic pulse, the damage caused by it could be extremely far reaching. So much so, in fact, that the entire planet could theoretically be jeopardized. If such a large event were to occur, it would transport society and life as we know it back in time. EMPs will zap the power grid, causing incidents where voltage surges uncontrollably and electrical fields change frequently to the point of instability. As the grid fails, it will take along with it the electronic devices we have come to know and love, making them permanently inoperable.


    With grid failure due to an EMP comes serious consequences for humanity. Power may not be restorable, so modern conveniences like cell phones and internet will become a thing of the past. Along with them, communications, banking, and transportation will become unreliable. Heat, air conditioning, even the water piped into your home will all be gone, leaving you to find a way to survive should you not already have one in mind.

    An electromagnetic pulse is not technically fatal to humans, at least not directly. The situations it spawns, however, could ultimately lead to death. Without ATMs or credit cards to buy food and no operable grocery store registers at which to check out, starvation becomes possible. Without operational pharmaceutical companies, the medicines some need to live will not be available again. As sanitation suffers, so will those unequipped to deal with decontamination.

    In the end, an EMP will simply be an avenue through which humanity, as we are used to it today, will perish, and the scariest aspect of this is that an EMP can be created by our fellow man.

    Because the possibility of an electromagnetic pulse does exist, it is one more thing you should keep in mind when prepping. Some useful tactics for EMP survival include:

    • Stock lots of water, already bottled along with a purification method for continued water collection.
    • Store non-perishable foods that are uncomplicated to prepare and eat. During the whirlwind adjustment period, cooking will probably not be a forte.
    • Stay as healthy as possible. The fewer health issues you have, the better off you will be. Attempt to live a fit life and rely on medicines as little as possible. Also, once transportation is done (an EMP will fry the electronics in some vehicles under some circumstances-- check our forums for more on this), your body will be all you have, so make sure it is capable of getting you were you need to be, whether it is on foot or bike.
    • Remember that solid state electronics such as TVs, radios, and computers could be a thing of the past in the event of an EMP, so buy some books, puzzles, and other non-electronic forms of entertainment.
    • Traditional lighting may not work either, so be sure to have candles, matches, and flashlights with lots of batteries stocked.
    • Home alarm systems will also no longer work, so plan on defending yourself manually. Choose a method and practice using it.
    • Remember that an item like a Faraday cage may protect your electronics, but with no grid to power them, you will have to find alternative means of doing so. Even then you will have to deal with the failure of everyone else's electronics disabling communications contact.

    In truth, prepping for an EMP is not going to be tremendously different than prepping for most anything else. The list of necessary supplies will be very similar; it is the expectation for after the fact that will change. While a societal rebuild may come sooner with different types of scenarios, an electromagnetic pulse is going to be a much larger, longer lasting setback for which you will need to be mentally and physically prepared. You can still grow food and provide meals for your family, but it is being cut off from the rest of the world through a lack of communication, sanitation, and medication that may get to you in the end. Think about what you need now and be sure you will have it should the threat of an EMP become a reality.

    Whats your thoughts on EMP? End of the world or overrated? Tell us below.

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