In today’s uncertain times, preparing for a wide range of disasters is important. While many people have stocked supplies for a variety of situations from disease to power blackouts, one potential threat is an electromagnetic pulse or EMP. If you’re a prepper, you’re probably wondering, what is an EMP and how to be prepared for it. This event or weapon will create a small burst of electromagnetic energy that can disrupt devices and systems, potentially reaching to the electrical power grid. This event can occur naturally but they may also be caused by events like nuclear weapons.
While there are variety of scenarios in the case of an EMP, the most dangerous would be detonation of multiple EMPs over the United States. In some models, just a few EMPs could wipe out all of the power grids in the states. That is likely the worst case scenario but there could also be more localized power outages as well. In any case, having a plan in place should be a part of any prepper’s strategy. These are the key ways to be prepared for the threat of an EMP.
Stock Non-Electronic Devices
Most of the devices in our homes run on electricity so it will be important to have devices that don’t require electricity. Most camping supply stores and websites sell the basic necessities that you may want to have on hand. What exactly do you need? This is a suggested list of basic devices:
* Solar Oven
* Manual can opener
* Gran and meat grinder
* Wind-up flashlight
* Hand-powered wate pump
* Well sleeve or well bucket
These tools are going to be needed to ensure that you have access to safe food and water. You may want to have additional items as well, but these are the basic ones recommended.
Barter Items and Cash
If the power isn’t working, then your credit cards won’t be able to help you. Having emergency cash on hand is important so make sure that you’ve stashed away at least a few hundred dollars for an emergency. However, in the case of an extended outage, you may not be able to use your cash. Bartering for the items that you need will likely be the only option left.
Make sure that you don’t part with items that have a long shelf life or that are needed for basic survival. But you should also have a stock of items that could be traded to others as needed. Most people stock “vices” such as alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine-containing products, basic hygiene products, and types of entertainment. Keep a stash of these on hand to trade as needed.
The crank-up flashlight is one of your lighting options, but you’ll want to have a few other light sources available. Chemical light sticks and candles aren’t the best option. Oil lamps are actually a great choice. A lightweight lamp will work in a variety of weather conditions and they’ll burn for hours on only a small amount of oil. Use either a kerosene or clear lamp oil for the best results. Stock plenty of oil and wicks so that you’ll be prepared for at least a month without power.
A Faraday Cage
This is simply a structure that is designed to protect the contents from electrical pulses. Although you can purchase one, a microwave or a metal safe will work in the same way. It’s impossible to know which electronics would survive so you won’t want to depend on this working. However, you may be able to protect a radio, medical equipment, and spare electronic parts in this box.
If you’re making your own Faraday cage, make sure to line the metal with cardboard so that the electronic devices won’t come into contact with it. Ensure that the lid is sealed firmly and store safely. You can check on your items a few times a year to ensure that they’re still functional.
Most people use electric tools today but you’ll want to have a back-up stock of sturdy hand tools. In the case where you need to make a repair, cut down a tree, or do any other type of maintenance or survival work, you’ll rely on these tools. A hammer and hand saw are the two basic items you should have handy. Some other choices that you’ll want to stock if you have room include a hand drill and screwdriver, brace, plans, and a variety of glue, nails, and screws.
CB Radio or Walkie-Talkie
Since cell phones won’t work after an EMP, you’ll only have a few options after this event. A CB radio or good quality walkie-talkies will be an option and you may need them for your family. If you stock these items, you can keep them in the Faraday cage and they may be protected. Communications gear may be the most vital part of survival after an EMP so consider this at the top of your survival gear.
Because law enforcement will likely be extremely limited to non-existent after an EMP, you’ll want to make sure that you can protect yourself and your family. A home defense shotgun and rounds can make up the basics of a home defense system. You can also consider getting a non-electric alarm for your home, a guard dog, or even just bells to hang on the inside of entry doors.
Food and Food Production
Food is going to be in short supply after an EMP so make sure that you’ve stocked non-perishable foods. It’s also a good idea to stock what you would need in order to grow your own food. Seeds, gardening tools, and basic literature on gardening are good items to stock as well.
This list is a good overview of what you should stock for an EMP. Many of these items you may already have in place, but add any additional supplies to your prepper list as needed. The best defense is a good offense and having these stocks in place will give you peace of mind no matter what the future holds.