There’s been a lot of talk about EMP attacks and it’s gotten a lot of people wondering what it is, and also what will survive one of those attacks. So, let’s answer those questions.
An EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is a burst of energy that can destroy electronic devices. This can be caused by a natural event, such as a lightning strike, or by man-made means, such as a nuclear explosion blast.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of an EMP attack, it’s important to know what will and won’t survive it.
In this article, we will discuss the items that are most likely to be affected by an EMP and provide tips for protecting them.
But before we talk about each of them, here’s a quick table with all of them. You can also download a PDF checklist at the end of this article.
|Will Work After An EMP||Won’t Work After an EMP|
|✅ most vehicles||❌ vehicles with computers connected to the engine|
|✅ dirt bikes and off-road motorcycles||❌ anything connected to a charger|
|✅ batteries (not connected to the grid)||❌ main power grid|
|✅ power tools (not connected to the grid)||❌ electric cars and battery-operate vehicles|
|✅ unplugged appliances||❌ computerized motorcycles|
|✅ wind turbines||❌ computer-operated houses|
|✅ older electronics (unplugged)||❌ electric heaters|
|✅ commercial aircraft||❌ portable generators|
|✅ solar panels||❌ public water (operated by electrical pumps connected to the grid)|
|✅ non-electric appliances||❌ computers|
|✅ manual tools||❌ folks with pacemakers|
What Will Survive an EMP
✅ Most Vehicles
Conventional wisdom says that most vehicles won’t survive an EMP due to the number of delicate electronics that are in virtually all modern cars.
A 2004 study by the US EMP Commission came to the conclusion that, in the event of an EMP, approximately 10% of the vehicles on the road will stop:
Approximately 10 percent of the vehicles on the road will stop, at least temporarily, thereby possibly triggering accidents, as well as congestionReport of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack
This is an optimistic perspective, and further research is definitely needed to better approximate the disaster that will unfold. The vehicles that would come to a stop, particularly those on highways and/or speeding will most likely cause accidents.
Whether that percentage is accurate or not, here’s a list of the vehicles that are most likely to survive an electromagnetic pulse:
- Toyota 4×4 Trucks 1985-and earlier – The key factors that make these types of trucks EMP-ready are a solid front axle and a carbureted 22R motor. It’s a simple setup, but when it comes to withstanding a pulse, these will do it. And the best part is, these trucks are known to perform better under pressure.
- American-made pre-1980 trucks, SUVs, and commercial vehicles – American truck motors were built very simple pre-1980. When it comes to choosing the right type of truck to use after an EMP, follow this rule of thumb: The simpler the motor, the better. American trucks can withstand and handle the duty of a bug-out vehicle.
- Dune Buggy – These are not fun, but they are awesome bug-out vehicles that will withstand an EMP.
- Pre-1980 Jeep – Jeeps are iconic for survival. They will make great bug-out vehicles and can double as daily-duty vehicles.
- Pre-1980 Land Rover – Like the Jeep, Land Rovers have their place in the survival game for a reason. They are efficient and they can handle off-road situations when getting you from point A to point B.
- Old tractors.
✅ Dirt Bikes and Off-Road Motorcycles
Certain types of motorcycles may survive an EMP. Those would be the off-road kind, those designed to trek through the backcountry and over rough terrain.
Motorcycles are excellent choices for surviving an attack. If you plan to use a motorcycle for an SHTF type of situation, choose one that is definitely off-road and one that can be converted to diesel.
Converting a motorcycle to diesel, and using it as a survival vehicle is highly recommended.
A couple of favorites among preppers are the Kawasaki KLR 650 and the ROKON 2×2. The Kawasaki can be converted to fit your needs.
The ROKON is a bike that is designed to go everywhere and do almost everything. It’s designed to handle everything from escaping to scouting.
Primary cell and rechargeable batteries alike are, surprisingly, likely to survive an EMP with no ill effects. This is because the chemicals inside them are not affected by electromagnetic fields.
The only exception to this rule are those batteries that are still connected to an electrical grid- if your battery is plugged into a charger, for example, the surge of power will probably destroy it.
Similarly, any device that relies on batteries is not necessarily going to be destroyed by an EMP. This is a common misconception because many battery-operated devices rely on components that are vulnerable.
Knock out one part and most battery-powered devices are offline.
But even if the electronic components are fried on a device that uses a non-removable battery, as long as the battery is intact you should be able to replace it and get the device working again.
✅ Power Tools
Power tools, whether they are corded or cordless, surprisingly will fare just fine during and after an EMP.
Their electric motors are simple enough to be unaffected except by the most intense electromagnetic fields- strong enough that you probably have bigger problems!
There are two exceptions:
- Any solid-state switches will probably be destroyed outright, necessitating replacement or jury-rigging to fix;
- Any tool (or battery) that is still connected to the electrical grid, through its charger or not.
The surge of power that will inevitably flow into the tool or its power pack will utterly fry it in that case.
The same goes for most appliances in your home. If it has a simple electromechanical motor, such as a refrigerator, washer, or dryer, it will probably survive an EMP with little to no damage.
The main exceptions are those that have solid-state electronic controls- if your fridge has a digital display panel telling you the temperature, chances are good that it will be destroyed by an EMP.
As a general rule, newer appliances are more likely to have complicated control circuits and other electronic trickery. The loss of any component might deactivate the appliance or put it into an error state where it malfunctions.
In this regard, older appliances have an advantage- the simpler their internals, the more likely they are to keep working.
✅ Wind Turbines
Wind turbines are a critical part of the electrical grid in many places, and even though they aren’t necessarily hardened against an EMP, they’re highly resistant to its effects in most circumstances.
The main components of a wind turbine- the blades, generator, and tower- are all made of metal, which protects them from electromagnetic fields.
However, the control circuits and other electronic components may not be protected from the effects of the EMP, especially considering it is likely hooked up to a power grid.
If you’re relying on wind turbines of your own for a post-SHTF power supply, you should be able to count on them so long as they were not hooked up to existing electrical infrastructure.
✅ Older Electronics
Older electronics, such as tube radios and CRT TVs, are more likely to survive an EMP than newer ones.
This is because they do not have the solid-state components that are so vulnerable to electromagnetic fields. Vacuum tubes and other obsolete electronic components prove time and again to be highly resistant to EMPs.
Even if the power supply or other electronic components are damaged, as long as the tubes themselves are intact you should be able to replace them and get the device working again.
There might be a good reason to keep your old electronics instead of tossing them out just in case!
✅ Commercial Aircraft
Commercial aircraft are designed to withstand a wide variety of conditions, including EMPs. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that all aircraft be able to withstand an EMP with no loss of function or safety.
Lightning strikes are an entirely common, natural source of EMPs, and large aircraft have to deal with them all the time!
This is because the electronic components on an aircraft are critical for its operation and if even one were to fail it could lead to disastrous consequences. Aircraft are also shielded against EMPs by their metal hulls, which protect electronics from electromagnetic fields.
However, it is important to note that, while an aircraft may be able to withstand an EMP, this doesn’t mean it will be unscathed or remain airworthy afterward.
If the airports and other infrastructure needed for takeoffs and landings are destroyed by the EMP then the aircraft will be effectively grounded. at any rate.
✅ Solar Panels
Solar panels absorb nuclear radiation from the sun daily. An EMP will only affect these slightly. They’ll suffer a small decrease in power output.
They’ll still be able to power. If your home or bug-out shelter is powered by solar panels, you can rest easy knowing that an EMP will not wipe out your power source.
It’s a good idea to keep a spare power inverter and other electronic parts in a Faraday cage. The solar panels themselves won’t be affected by an EMP but the electronic components of your system can be. Better safe than sorry.
We put people on the list because overall humans as a whole are unaffected by EMPs. However, some will not be as seen in the list below of things that will not survive.
✅ Non-Electric Appliances
Appliances such as a solar oven for cooking and a wood stove or fireplace for heating your home.
Without power in your home, you need to have a manual method for washing clothes, such as a hand plunger and buckets or even a washboard with a tub and hand wringer.
✅ Manual Tools
These will come in handy. Make sure you have critical items to help you accomplish basic cooking tasks like a hand-operated can opener, hand-powered coffee grinder, coffee percolator, manual mixer, and Zeer clay pot fridge.
When an EMP causes an extended grid-down situation, you’ll need additional hand-powered items such as a hand-operated grain mill, meat grinder, and pasta maker.
Make sure you have hand tools such as screwdrivers, saws, a hammer, a hand drill, block sander, sandpaper, etc. so that you can accomplish basic carpentry tasks and make repairs as needed. A brace and bit for drilling holes and driving screws will make repairs a lot easier.
Any device (including means of transportation) that is mechanical. I.e. mechanical watches, bicycles, etc.
What Won’t Survive an EMP
❌ The Main Power Grid
The main reason why enemies launch an EMP attack is to disable the power grid.
Without power, there are no computers to maintain the military defense system, there’s no communication between law enforcement or emergency personnel, and without power and communication, the land is sure to descend into chaos.
Shutting down the main grid puts everyone in the dark. Literally. Radio darkness occurs, causing confusion and panic everywhere.
Without an emergency generator of some kind, if the EMP attack is bad enough, it could cripple the affected area for a very long time, and thus give an enemy the upper hand.
❌ Any Device Connected to a Charger
As mentioned before, any device that is plugged into a charger or other electrical grid is vulnerable to the effects of an EMP. The surge of power will destroy the delicate electronic components, rendering the device useless.
This includes laptops, cell phones, and even some vehicles that have to be plugged in for charging.
If you have a laptop or phone that is not currently in use, make sure it is unplugged and stored in a Faraday cage if you want to increase its chances of surviving an EMP.
❌ Vehicles with Engine Management Computers
Many modern vehicles rely on engine management computers (EMCs) to function properly. These computers control everything from the ignition timing to the fuel mixture and are very sensitive to electromagnetic fields.
An EMP will almost certainly fry the delicate electronic components in an EMC, rendering the vehicle inoperable. Even if the engine itself is not affected, without the EMC the vehicle will be unable to start.
This includes not just cars and trucks but also motorcycles, boats, and other vehicles with engines that are managed by computers.
The super-efficient computers that manufacturers boast about could be useless to their owners once a pulse has been unleashed. If you have a car that is computerized in any shape or form, it may not work following an EMP.
If your car has any of the following features, an EMP will render it useless:
- electronic fuel injection,
- anything computerized that controls your vehicle’s main systems,
- a PCM (also called a powertrain control module),
- ABS (Anti-locking Brake Systems) electronic ignition or keyless ignition,
- or a negative battery terminal that is grounded to the vehicle frame.
❌ Electric Cars/Battery Operated Vehicles
Electric cars are particularly vulnerable to EMPs since they rely on electronic components for both their operation and charging.
The battery, motor, and other components can be easily damaged by an EMP, rendering the car inoperable. Though the battery itself will likely survive an EMP (assuming it is not plugged in and charging) so many of the components that make these cars function will not make it, unfortunately.
Even if the electric vehicle is not destroyed by the EMP, it will likely be stranded if the infrastructure needed to charge it is also destroyed. Electric cars are a luxury that will not be an option in a post-EMP world.
In short, a vehicle that relies heavily on computers, solid-state switching, and other such intricate electronic components is highly vulnerable to an EMP as first- or second-order consequence.
Any vehicle that is plugged into a charger or other electrical grid is doubly vulnerable to the effects of an EMP.
❌ Upgraded Computerized Motorcycles
We love our Harleys and our touring bikes, but if you have a motorcycle that is computerized and 21st-century fancy, you can forget about getting the heck outta dodge on it when an attack happens.
❌ Homes that are Computer-Operated
In the 21st century, we have all these great new and innovative home appliances. They call them appliances for the home of tomorrow!
You must admit, some of those gadgets are cool. The touch screen refrigerator or the voice-activated oven. They’re cool, but will they survive an EMP attack? Most likely not. Why?
Because of the solid-state components that they’re made up of. These “smart homes” may be smart and innovative but they’ll be shut completely down during an attack.
Can you imagine spending all your prepping budget to build a smart computerized home, only to fall victim to an EMP attack and get stuck inside your house?
❌ Electric Heaters
While electric heaters aren’t as common as they once were, there are still many homes that rely on them for warmth.
Electric heaters work by converting electricity into heat, using a process called resistive heating. This conversion is accomplished with a coil of wire that is heated by the flow of electrons through it.
When an EMP hits, the switching that controls the flow of electrons is disrupted and the coil can no longer generate heat. This means that electric heaters will not work after an EMP has hit, leaving people in cold climates out in the cold, literally.
❌ Portable Generators
Portable generators are a popular backup option for people who want to be prepared for power outages. However, many of these generators are also likely vulnerable to EMPs.
The generator itself may be fine, but the electronic components that control it can be easily damaged, rendering the generator useless.
Even if the generators themselves are not destroyed, they will likely be unable to function without fuel. If the EMP hits while you are relying on a portable generator for power, you could find yourself in a very difficult situation.
The best way to protect your portable generator is to store it in a Faraday cage or disconnect it from any electronics that could be damaged by an EMP. This includes not just the generator itself but also any cords or wires that are connected to it.
❌ Public Water Supplies
Public water supplies are another critical infrastructure that could be easily disrupted by an EMP.
The pumps that move water through the system rely on intricate, multi-point control systems just full of electronic components that can be damaged by an electromagnetic pulse.
This means that if the EMP hits while the system is connected to the grid (oh, and it will be except in the most telegraphed of attacks) it will likely be destroyed.
This will certainly lead to a loss of water pressure and a shortage of water for people who rely on the public water supply. Water towers in some areas might be able to pick up the slack, briefly, but the efficacy of this is uncertain.
And let us assume that, somehow, the control system survives the event, or that authorities have the spares and the skills to quickly replaced the fried components.
It is unlikely to matter since the electrical grid that powers them is going to be “hard bent”- damaged beyond the possibility of a timely repair. This means that they won’t have any power to run on.
This is a major problem because, without water, people will quickly start to die of dehydration. Even in a post-EMP world where people are used to living without many modern conveniences, water will be, as ever, a necessity.
These are a given. Computers are getting faster and more complex these days, but they cannot withstand an attack by an electromagnetic pulse.
Most of us are aware that you can’t put a magnet on a laptop because it’ll mess up the hard drive. Likewise, just imagine what will happen when a gigantic magnetic wave hits the region. Everything computerized within the affected area will flat line.
❌ People with Pacemakers
It’s a sad truth. The electromagnetic pulse that is released during an attack would no doubt render any pacemaker useless. Though it all depends on how close they are in proximity to the initial burst.
So, knowing that so many things we rely on will fall victim to an EMP attack, what can be done?
Will Generators Still Work Following an EMP?
Possibly. Inverter-style generators are more vulnerable to the effects of an EMP, and any generator that has a computer-controlled component, uses an electronically controlled tandem connector (for joining two or more gennies), or has an electronic control panel will be toast unless protected in advance, even if the “guts” of the generator are okay.
That said, some older generators (pre-1980 or so) may have enough metal in their winding cages and other parts to physically block the effects of an EMP.
If you’re not sure whether your generator would be affected by an EMP, the best bet is to contact the manufacturer but don’t be surprised if this is something that they are unprepared to answer.
However, if you keep after their customer service department they will usually, eventually, get you in touch with someone in the engineering department that can answer your question definitively.
The question of survival is a particular challenge in the case of large, permanently installed standby
These are typically too big to make use of a Faraday cage or bag and, by their very nature, remain connected at all times to provide power on demand, and also typically make use of various circuit boards for loss-of-power detection and activation.
Protection for these units, of any size, is usually attained by the installation of voltage suppressors and transient protectors.
This is not a task for the DIY’er lacking serious electrical systems knowledge and skill. Contact your generator manufacturer or a skilled electrician for help.
If not an option, you had better plan on protecting your generator by keeping it disconnected from all electrical networks that are unshielded or otherwise vulnerable to the effects of an EMP.
Will CB and Ham Radios Still Work?
Surprisingly, yes, though with a few caveats.
CB and ham radios use simple, rugged technology that is not particularly vulnerable to the effects of an EMP compared to more complex electronic devices.
This is particularly true of sets with solid metal casings, which act in essence like a Faraday cage for the internals.
In addition, these radios are often used in vehicles which can provide some level of additional shielding from an EMP. Just the same as how a metal car body can protect occupants from a lightning strike.
However, it is still possible for an EMP to damage or destroy a CB or ham radio, so it is important to take measures to protect these devices in advance if you plan on using them following a nuclear EMP.
The single biggest vulnerability is, as always, being connected to an existing power grid. The surge of EMP energy can easily energize and overload power lines and other conductive materials, ones leading into your radio, causing irreparable damage and even a fire.
It is therefore important to disconnect any directly wired radios from their power source before an EMP occurs if you plan on using them in the aftermath.
The other major vulnerability is one most seasoned ham ops are already familiar with; the antenna.
If the antenna is connected to your set it can provide an ingress point for the EMP to enter and fry the internals.
The best way to protect your set, mobile or not, is to disconnect the antenna until it is needed. Other than that, as long as you take basic precautions, CBs and ham radios should continue working following an EMP.
Will Walkie-Talkies Still Work Following an EMP?
Generally yes, again, so long as they are not on a charger or otherwise connected to an external power source.
As with CBs and ham radios, walkie-talkies use simple technology that is not particularly vulnerable to the effects of an EMP.
Their batteries, whether disposable primary cells or rechargeable secondary cells are not directly vulnerable to an EMP’s effects. So long as they are free of any connections described above, they should remain operational.
That said, you are always advised to keep any dedicated survival comm sets in a Faraday cage or other protective enclosure just to be sure.
It is also a good idea to have a backup set of batteries on hand as even if the walkie-talkies themselves are unharmed by an EMP they are no good without power!
Will Flashlights Still Work Following an EMP?
Typical incandescent bulb flashlights will work just fine after an EMP so long as, again, they aren’t plugged into a charger or connected to another electrical grid.
The batteries that flashlights rely on are also inherently safe so long as they are not on a charger. But things get complicated when it comes to LED flashlights.
LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, and increasingly ubiquitous in flashlights, and for good reason: they are more efficient, have a longer lifespan, and can be made much smaller than traditional incandescent bulbs. But they are also more vulnerable to the effects of an EMP.
The reason for this is that LEDs are not, contrary to popular belief, little light bulbs. They are actually semiconductor devices, similar in design to the transistors used in electronic devices.
This means that they are inherently sensitive to the effects of an EMP, which can damage or destroy the delicate semiconductor junction at the heart of the LED.
Worse, many of the best-performing flashlights on the market rely on circuit boards for power control and other functions. Not good!
Now, some people say that such flashlights, if possessing an all-metal body, will be protected from the effects of an EMP by the Faraday cage effect in the same way as a ham or CB radio above. This is, however, not really dependable.
While it is certainly true that an all-metal body will provide some protection, it does not fully enclose the LED; the head and reflector assembly invariably has a glass or plastic lens that may provide an entry point for EMP energy.
The debate rages even now, and absent some seriously well-equipped laboratory testing you might be rolling the dice if you are depending on an LED flashlight for EMP preparation.
However, as with most such devices, you can protect LEDs from an EMP by encasing them in a Faraday cage, blocking the EMP energy.
How to Prepare for an EMP Attack
When an enemy decides to unleash an EMP, it’s usually when no one is expecting it. And when it does happen, even the ones who are prepared are caught off guard.
The best way to make sure that even if you’re ready for an EMP is by preparing ahead of time and routinely practicing drills. Practice a drill of what to do if an EMP attack happens:
- At home
- At work
- At school
EMP attacks are nasty and will cripple an entire city and its population. Imagine the state of panic that will arise if an EMP hits New York City. That’s a city packed full of millions upon millions of people.
They don’t call it the city that never sleeps for no reason. If an EMP hits the Big Apple, it will immediately descend into darkness.
If it happens during the day, the inhabitants of the city will not be prepared, and they will panic and panic quickly.
Subway trains, buses, and taxi cars will all simply stop working. Traffic lights and other electronic signs or devices will stop working.
Once night falls on the city and all the lights are out, chaos will reign. That’s the main purpose of the design of the EMP. To knock out the communication.
A communications breakdown leads to a breakdown in society. Turning out the lights will only make matters worse.
If you live near a densely populated metropolitan city, understand that cities with huge populations are prime targets for EMPs.
Enemies want to hit hard and hit fast, disabling as many sections as possible, so they can confuse the population and cause widespread panic and mayhem.
Plan Ahead Now
If you don’t want to get caught up with the rest of the general population then the time to prepare is now.
The key to moving quickly right after an attack is to be familiar with the signs of an EMP and be prepared to act immediately when you discern a threat.
Quite obviously, the lights will go out, and everything that is electronic will cease to function, even if they are already turned off.
If you’ve practiced your escape plan, you will have already put it into action, especially if you are caught in the city when it happens.
Dan’s note: What you can do is build a Faraday cage to keep some of your electronics.
With the right plans in place, you will have access to electronics, if they were protected in a Faraday cage.
You will have lighting, water, and ways to cook and heat your home while the rest of the area is trying to figure out what to do. If you are bugging out, be prepared to do it quickly.
The last place you want to be is in the city when an EMP strikes and get stuck there after nightfall.
Your chances of survival have lessened the longer you stay in the city. It’s best to get out of the city and as far out as possible so you can implement your other plans of action.
Mira has been prepping for 10 years. Living in the outskirts of metropolitan Atlanta with her 3 children, she’s preparing not just for SHTF events but also for everyday emergencies.
40 thoughts on “11 Things That Will Survive an EMP and 11 Things That Won’t”
“…mechanical. I.e. mechanical watches.” I bought a Seiko dive watch for just this reason. I had a couple of these when I was a kid. They went out of fashion when battery watches and digital watches became popular. However, if you take the watch off, it will stop after 24-36 hours. If you can figure out when noon is, you’ll be back in business. Also, as a dive watch, it is not NASA/Atomic clock precise. When you’re diving, nano seconds aren’t that critical.
That would be a “nice to have” but time will rapidly become virtually meaningless in a post-EMP world since few people will have a comparable timepiece. Sunup, sundown and approximate noon will be our new benchmarks. The sundial will make a quick recovery as will the number of fingers the sun is above the horizon. 🙂
A watch should be WAY down the list of post-emp necessities after water, food (gardening/cooking), hygiene, medical including suture kits, Israeli bandages, tourniquets, etc., shelter, security, clothing, light and prepped bug out bag/BOL(s) and a few others I forget at the moment.
Everybody should get one…after their critical survival needs are met.
Oscar, I dont believe that type conversion would be possible. It would be nice tho. The other question Ive had come up is outboard motors to diesel. Same problems.There were a scarce few manufactured back years and years ago but I have never found one.
Lone Wolf, good point. There is one popular manufacturer of magnetos. Almost everyone uses them on serious race cars. I think they are less than $200.00 but you could pick up a used one. On the alternator, if you dont have a Faraday Cage garage for your bug out car, the only choice you have there is to keep a spare in a Faraday cage. Pretty cheap for insurance against not being able to bug out. Average cost is around $50.00
Hey John, right on target there bro. The most desirable truck is the Dodge Diesel, made in a couple of years only ending in 1999. No electronics, just plain old mechanical stuff.
Good on the watches. I have one too.
I wish someone knew about the solar panels. We all know it would be wise not to have the downline components connected but about the panels themselves, Ive never spoken with anyone who knows for sure. Why dont you contact the Florida Solar Energy Center and ask them. Most of those guys are ex NASA People. I would but they dont like me too much. I have challenged them in the past and won. Long story. I built and installed thousands of Solar Energy Systems, mostly of my own design and one of my problems was they told me one of my systems would not work and it almost doubles the performance of anything even up to today! I did find out recently that tornadoes dont like solar panels and vice versa!
Samuel, what is your solar panel brand? Where do you sell them?
Living the dream and prepping with 7 kw solar, 120 kwh submarine battery, wood gas powered backup generator etc. Gave the system a fighting chance to survive emp etc by fitting mov’s (metal oxide varisters) in a delta configeration to the 240 volts inverter output and generator inputs. Also fitted to the solar and batteries are low voltage movs. Be awair that the mov will instantly conduct when hit with a transient and will probably be destroyed, especially when connected to the 5kw inverter. So have appropriate circuit breakers etc fitted. Also, spares are a good idea, only a couple of dollars each and refit new ones before turning it back on, just in case the smart a…ses pop annother emp after the first one.
Dont forget communications. Have Ham radio as well as both 80 channel uhf and 40 channel hf cb radios. Aslso have a 1942 vintage communications reciever from a ww2 aircraft using valves, so is inherently emp proof. Runs from the aux 12 volts in the shack, charged with 1/2 kw solar etc. Small inverter for the Kenwood HF transciever(1960’s valve type as well). Movs fitted of course. Leave all antennas disconneced unless actually using the gear. Have lightning arresters as well as gas discharge arresters fitted as we get corker electrical storms, especially in summer (now). Have backup inverter made in 1940’s using vibrator cartriges and NO solid state electronics. Emp proof as well.
Carry a small uhf 40 channel cb in bug home pack and wife has instructions on how to use the home radio. Code sheet on wall of radio room as opsec will be needed and dont want to advertise my location. Carry bug home vehicle in ute (18 speed pushbike). Also ute is duel fuel (petrol and lpgas) carby mitsubishi, but has electronic ignition. Spare module in steel toolbox along with coil, ballast restistor etc anly cost $100 and takes minutes to change.
Fiited 2 bvatteries as alternator could fail, but ute will run for some hours just on battery alone, even at night. Modified lighting circuit to switch off tail lights, stop lights etc and only have headlights. opsec again, fitted crank handle through a hole made in radiator and sealed up again. Lots other things happening, bees, food etc.
Good prepping eveyone.
Hi Dick my name is Irene my husband doesn’t believe in may of this but I want and like to be prepared I need help getting the radio and a generator and a solar panel then way u have it set up. By the way everything’s looking these days something will happen very soon I have a gut feeling. My email is [email protected] please email me what and how to obtain these items thank you
Note to moiderator,
Please dont publish the comments made, 2nd thoughts re opsec. Could do a short article for u instead if interetsed.
Having old tube type communication equipment will improve chances that your commo will survive. The Russians and Chicoms both have kept thier tube type equipment. Keep a short across the power input terminals, and set equipment in a metal box (grounded if possible). Old some times is much better then new
If the box is supposed to be a Faraday cage, you DO NOT GROUND IT! That would defeat the purpose. Have you ever seen a grounded Faraday bag?
I have been thinking about EMP and wonder if all modern electronics in a modern car would be fried by the pulse. The engine compartment of most cars is somewhat like a Faraday cage except for the area underneath the engine, etc. I realize it is not completely sealed but it is close to 75 percent shielded. Is it possible that this level of shielding could reduce the effect of the pulse to something that electronics could survive? Of course all bets are off with a fiberglass hood or fenders. Sorry, Corvette owners.
I did have an opportunity to visit a sensitive communications facility 40 years ago. The whole building was built as a Faraday cage,. Entire rooms, including doors, were 100 percent shielded with copper window screening used as a wall covering. Conceivably it would be possible to turn a garage into a Faraday cage if you can figure out how to put shielding on the garage floor to complete the 100 percent shield. You could store a lot of sensitive electronic equipment in a shielded garage as well as a couple of cars. Just some thoughts
If a simple flashlight or old style transistor radio ( pre 1975) are stored without the batteries would they survive an EMP? And what about batteries not in any devices?
Both would survive. You need to get equipment to recharge those batteries however. A small solar panel, charge controller and charger are what you need.
The problem is that the controller and charger need to be in a Faraday cage so you might as well go with high efficiency, low power led flashlights also kept in the cage.
But then you’ll want communications. I recommend a Baofeng UV-5r or 8r ham transceiver with a spare battery, DC charger and external, gain antenna. (Unless you get an Amateur Radio license, you can’t legally transmit now but it is an excellent receiver and after a post-apocalypse event (state of emergency) licenses won’t matter.)
That will increase your power requirements from your solar system a bit since you’re recharging more batteries but it’s well worth the small added expense for the peace of mind that communications (and the weather band) will provide.
Check out the soon to be released book The Silent Armageddon, By E.C. Itnyre. Will be published on Amazon kindle, Google ebookstore, Apple i bookstore, litfire Barns and Noble nook books.
Isn’t it a fact that essentially anything that is solid state electronics will be fried if it’s not in a sufficient Faraday cage? It’s implied in a couple of the comments above, but it could be stated a little more strongly. Amazing creativity described here.
How do I protect the pacemaker in my chest that was manufactured 12 years ago?
How would one protect a mechanicaheart valve? If it would be effected in an emp or a cochlear implant? I’m hoping to either protect my baby girl from any harm to her heart, as far as her cochlear implant if that fails I am learning asl!
EMP will not affect mechanical devices. Heart valves will be fine. I don’t know about the cochlear implant. Talk to your doctors.
How do we protect family members with pacemakers? Can the be covered with faraday cloth from head to toe when they realize something is wrong?
An interior room, like a bathroom, can be shielded and would work if we get a warning. Unfortunately, an EMP attack is most likely to come, without warning, from a satellite or when you’re too far from home to make it to shelter.
I don’t know if you ever got an answer to your question but the quick answer is…you can’t. Discuss this with your cardiologist.
My son works on a towboat. He is on it 30 days at a time. I don’t know how they are powered or how he would get from the middle of the Mississippi river to land in case of an EMP attack. Wondering if anyone has any info on what would happen to a towboat if the SHTF
Commercial vessels are required to have life boats for emergencies.
I’ve been on a towboat. They’d be fine and run aground at the net downstream bend. Then he can hop off and walk ashore.
I’m calling BS on the pacemaker comments. Pacemakers are designed to withstand cardiac paddles which are high voltage. The pacemaker generators themselves present a small aperture (small size) and are less apt to be affected by the E1 component of the EMP because they are a “small antenna”, as it were. The cardiac leads are typically shielded and grounded to the titanium case. Tests were done in the late 70s at the Georgia Tech Research Institute on pacemaker-implanted dogs that were exposed to RF radiation. You can find data on such tests. There are lots of EMP myths floating around out on the internet, and the pacemaker vulnerability to EMP is one such myth.
Thank you, Oscar.! I have been frantic worrying about that with my Mom’s pacemaker. Can you recommend a place where we can look it up and see the test results. Again thank you so much!!
Would gas ranges or toilets be affected?
Normal septic gravity fed? Nope….city? Yep…..2 stage septic? Yep…..natural gas or propane…..nope…….
Natural gas depends on electronically controlled pumps which would fail. Propane depends on electronically controlled compressors and delivery trucks. I doubt that either would work for quite some time after a national EMP attack.
I hope I’m wrong because propane is part of my short-term plan. Ongoing refills would be very nice.
Exactly. And, why convert any vehicle to diesel? Unless you have underground tanks to hold fuel, you will not be able to get any because the gas station pumps will not be working. The same with the statement that corded power tools will work. How will they work if there is no electricity? They won’t. maybe the author is saying that once the power comes back on, those tools will not have suffered much damage and can then be used? People are so used to flipping a switch that we can’t think outside of the box.
If you have a generator in a Faraday cage, as the owner stated, you’ll have power. Solar generators and panels that are protected would likely last for a few years. They would certainly have enough charge to charge up a power tool.
Ryobi makes inverters that work with their batteries that have a normal outlet as well as USB connections.
Other manufacturers no doubt have the same.
I’ve had good success with my EcoFlow Delta. It’s small enough I can fit it in a Faraday cage with the panels and would have a way to generate power after an EMP.
I think a solar flare is a much more likely scenario than an EMP. We’ve had some close calls throughout the years and it’s only a matter of time till there is another Carrington event.
You need to think beyond stage one, Unlike the Government in the switch to wind and solar. There isn’t a plan B. Failure on the horizon, in the event your local power supply is down. With an EMP. Don’t count on power for a long time. Everything is fried.
AC power tools connected through an inverter to sufficient solar power/batteries will work without the grid. Likewise for battery operated tools (chargers).
The key is to calculate your power needs and get adequate solar panels/charge controller/batteries/inverters to meet the demand. You can run a two ton air conditioner if you wish but it would be very expensive.
Would a 1997 toyota ute with a carborator survive a emp
Would a metal wire dog crate work as a faraday cage?
No Margaret. I don’t know a lot about it, but it has to be solid metal and well insulated. I’ve heard of them being made from microwave ovens and galvanized trash bins, but do some research online….which I need to do also.
A battery charger is NOT going to destroy any batteries in it at the time.
How do we turn a city home garage into a faraday cage. Also our solar inverter is attached to the garage exterior wall. Can we safely cover it with faraday cloth or will it overheat? The solar panels on our roof is connected to it.
That would be very expensive. You’re better off insulating a small closet and keeping spare equipment in that. Given the situation, that would be ideal for people with pacemakers and other ‘installed’ electronic hardware.
There is a company that sells devices which, they say, will protect your home or vehicle or etc. from EMP/solar flare pulses. e.g. https://www.empshield.com/
So much conjecture mixed with truth in the article, I don’t know where to begin.
Solar photovoltaic panels are solid state devices with strings of what I will call “light accepting diode” cells, each cell adding less than a volt to the eventual output. Just like any chain, break just one link in the series and the rest do nothing. I don’t know why people think photovoltiac panels will survive. It might be possible to perform surgery on damaged panels to find and bypass the failed cells for reduced output, but that is outside the skills of the average handyman.
I would say the worst vehicles for EMP survival, based on experience with engines being susceptible to 2-way radio transmitters in the vehicles, are the earliest electronic ignition units from around the late 1970s to early 1980s. Key the mike, and the engine would stop. Automotive engineers have since learned they must protect control circuits from electronic interference.
You have to go with a manual injection diesel or an even older gas engine with points and condenser (1960s?) in order to have zero operating electronics. Older portable generators with carburetor, points, and condenser or diesel should also work fine if you have fuel, unless you leave long extension cords (antennas) plugged in which might conduct a surge from a very strong (nearby) pulse into the generator windings.
As far as radios, the CB and Ham radios’ weakest point for overload is the sensitive receive amplifiers connected to the antennas designed to hear the weakest signals. Damage to these would enter through the antennas, not the power leads. The second most vulnerable part would be the common use of PIN diodes to switch the antenna from the receiver to the transmitter when you talk. Older radios having antenna relays might spark but not fail. If these PIN diodes or the RX preamps fail, you may hear strong stations but not average or weak ones. Store radios with a shorted out connector on the antenna jack if you are concerned.
Sure, tube type equipment is more impervious to surges, but tube sets take so much current that having the grid or a working generator would be needed for sustained operation. Batteries would wear down pretty fast keeping all the tubes lit. And converting the battery output to the 200-800 volts different tubes need wastes some of the power.