Let’s face it, when SHTF, your choice is to bug in or bug out. For those who are already in a more rural or isolated location, bugging in makes sense. But for those in an urban environment, or even those who live just outside a large city, the need to bug out at some point after SHTF is a real possibility.
Of course, the ideal way to bug out is in a vehicle and thus it’s what most preppers plan to do. But what if the event that causes the S to hit the fan is an EMP? How does that change your bug out plans? Have you already thought of ways to get around after an EMP?
1. EMP-Resistant Vehicle
There’s no doubt that bugging out on wheels is the ideal method when SHTF. And for those who can plan way ahead, EMP-resistant vehicles are a good option.
Although there is still some controversy over how much the electronics in vehicles will be affected by an EMP, it’s probably smart to take a better safe than sorry approach with your BOV.
There are no guarantees but when it comes to choosing an EMP resistant vehicle look for older cars (pre-1980’s) because they are generally less expensive to buy and have less electronic parts that can be impacted by an EMP.
Get an SUV or pickup trucks that is manual shift with a carbureted engine instead of fuel injection. 4WD vehicles will be a necessity after any SHTF situation due to the various incidents that will cause roadways to be blocked or impassable.
If possible look for a vehicle that runs on diesel as it will be more available after an EMP and in a pinch, diesel vehicles can be made to run on alternative fuels like used cooking oil.
Good Options for EMP Resistant Vehicles Include:
- Jeep CJ or CJ7 Off-road
- Volkswagen Type 181 aka the “Volkswagen Thing”
- Harley Davidson MT350e
- Toyota Hilux N30
- Land Rover 90/110
- Jeep Cherokee SJ or Jeep Cherokee Chief S AMC SJ
- International Harvester Scout
- 1984 Chevy Trailblazer or the M1028 CUCV
- Toyota Land Cruiser J40
- Military HMMWV
2. Boat / Canoe
Depending on your location, one of the ways to get around after an EMP could be by boat or canoe. Check the rivers, lakes, and large streams in your area to see if any of your alternate bug out routes after an EMP be faster by water.
Keep in mind that you will still need to have a plan for a viable way to get your boat or canoe from your home to the water. Prepare your gear and supplies with waterproof clothing and waterproof bags to make sure you can withstand an accidental capsize if it occurs.
3. By Horseback
Our ancestors traveled long distances on horseback and using horse-drawn wagons. For preppers who are already caring for horses, bugging out on horseback or horse and wagon might be one of the very viable ways to get around.
If you choose to travel by horseback, your bug out route should include locations that will have fresh water, grass, or other grains your horse can eat to maintain their energy.
4. On Foot
Of course, one of the more common ways to get around after an EMP is on foot. Bugging out on foot can be physically demanding in any situation and even more stressful following an event like an EMP so consider your level of fitness carefully.
The biggest issue with bugging out on foot is the limitation on the amount of gear and supplies you can carry. This is compounded for families with young children who are not yet able to walk or elderly with limited mobility.
If you are bugging out on foot, consider using something like a covered Mormon handcart to help carry supplies, young children, or even the elderly. These hand carts were used somewhat effectively by the Mormons to journey from the East to Salt Lake City in the mid-1800s. You may want to modify the wheels, so they are better able to navigate rougher terrain.
Another one of the ways to get around after an EMP is by bicycle. You want to purchase a quality bike to start off with. You’ll want to spend significant time riding it so that you are comfortable riding long distances. Some bicycles are collapsible and can be stored in the trunk of your car.
Add different safety accessories and aftermarket parts to your bike to make it more durable and consider run flat tires or flat stop liners on your bicycle tires as described in the video below:
You can even add bike racks for storage and even bicycle panniers so that you can carry as much gear as possible on your bug out. Families with young children can attach a pull behind child carrier.
If your motorized scooter survived the EMP, by all means it’s another of the good ways to get around after an EMP. But if not, even those scooters you push with one foot can be better than being on foot.
Make sure your bug out bag is lightweight and as balanced and as evenly packed as possible, so you can wear it on your back without losing your balance. Practice riding it and pushing with either foot rather than just your dominant foot, so you can alternate legs when one gets tired during your bug out.
For those that have mobility issues, you can prepare a wheelchair ahead of time to be a better than nothing way to get around after an EMP. In most cases if you have a loved one with severely limited mobility, you will want to bug in if possible.
But if bugging in is not an option for any reason, you can modify a manual wheelchair to assist in a bug out situation. One of the ways to do this is to install a flat free insert as described in the video below.
You can also equip your wheelchair with all terrain or off-road tires in advance so that it will move easier over a wide range of terrain. Even though those with mobility issues may not be able to carry their own backpack, you can add wheelchair pannier bags to help carry some of their gear.
Which Mode of Transport Will You Rely On?
To make sure that you’ve chosen the best ways to get around after an EMP, consider your own personal situation, your level of health and fitness, and your ability to carry adequate food and supplies.
All of these preparations will increase your ability to not only get around after an EMP but to adapt your plan and take advantage of other ways to continue to be mobile if your original transportation plan is thwarted in some way.
Born and raised in NE Ohio, with early memories that include grandpa teaching her to bait a hook and watching her mom, aunts, and grandmothers garden, sew, and can food, Megan is a true farm girl at heart.
For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of ten is learning everything she can about preparedness, survival, and homesteading.