The United States recently experienced a once in a lifetime phenomenon: the total solar eclipse. People drove for hours to witness this life changing event. While we celebrate a momentary eclipse of the sun, however, we rarely think of the full power of that ball of fire in the sky and the damage it could do if solar flares were to occur. The reality is that in the event of a solar flare, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) would spread across the planet, shutting down our power grids and disrupting all of our technology. Because of these possible dire consequences, it is important to understand the details surrounding protection from EMP effects.
Many concerned preppers worry about a nuclear attack that would include EMP effects. What is the meaning of EMP? A total loss of power, interference with radio frequencies, and a shutdown of any wireless internet connections. Essentially, all access to information and communication could be cut off immediately. The big picture meaning of an EMP attack is that we get thrown back to our pre Industrial Revolution days. Imagine using actual birds to deliver our messages instead of using Twitter.
Fortunately, most credible sources tell us that an EMP attack from nuclear or non-nuclear war is highly unlikely. The country attacking us would not only have to launch a bomb or missile at the United States (without the US interfering with such an attack) but they would also have to hit us in a very specific spot. Currently, none of the countries hostile to the US have the technology capable of accomplishing this task.
Don’t breathe a sigh of relief too quickly though; we are still in danger of the very same apocalypse from a much more benign source: the sun. In the event of a solar storm, the sun would brighten to such a degree that solar flares could send EMP shock waves across the earth, and we could end up lights out. To prepare for this possibility, we have included here helpful information on how to protect yourself and what to have stored to survive an EMP attack.
1. Protection From EMP Effects
In the event of an EMP attack that accompanies a solar flare, the entire power grid and all technology would be wiped out. If this technological shutdown were to occur, resources would quickly become scarce; major ports would be closed off, forms of transportation would come to a halt, and refrigeration would cease to exist on a massive scale.
One way to protect yourself from EMP is to prevent destruction of your devices with a faraday cage. A faraday cage will block electromagnetic pulses from penetrating its heavy metallic exterior and destroying your devices. Invest in a large metal garbage can with a tight fitting lid. Buy yards of heavy duty aluminum foil. Wrap the foil in and outside of the garbage can at least three times. Then wrap your devices in a towel and drop them in the garbage can, replacing the lid so it fits tightly. Don’t forget to wrap the lid in foil too.
You should also make sure that your car always has a full tank. If an EMP attack hits and the power grid goes down, you do not want to leave your house until you have to. The streets of our cities and towns will get crazy at first. Most people will react, as humans do, radically. There will be panic, and people do not behave well in a panic. You want to avoid that by staying hunkered down for as long as possible. If and when you finally do leave, you will not want to be desperate for potentially scarce gasoline.
2. What To Store
The first thing you’ll want to store are your basic needs. If you don’t already have a large storage freezer, get one. In it you can store your meat and fruits and vegetables to get you through the early days after an EMP attack. Also be sure to have space to store canned and boxed goods, as well as extra water. We recently published an article on the best Propur water filters to keep in your house; the King Propur Water Filter would be one solution to the problem of running out of water.
The other thing you will need, especially because of that freezer, is a generator. When the power grid goes down, you will be able to buy yourself some electricity time with a generator that can keep your hot water heater on, along with your freezer. Hot showers and well preserved food make all the difference in an apocalypse.
In addition to food and water, you should have a few other things on hand. Remember, food and water will be scarce, but so will medicine. If you or anyone in your family takes medication regularly, you should have a backup supply on hand in the event of an emergency. You do not want to have to fight people in long lines at the pharmacy for your child’s asthma medicine or your elderly parent’s high blood pressure medication.
It will also be important to have an AM/FM radio, a backup prepaid cellphone (in case the lines come back up and your other phone is fried) candles, flashlights, batteries, a camper’s gas stove with gas, and your knives and guns for hunting and cutting.
The concern about having any electronics as backups is similar to the one with primary electronics: what if they get damaged by the EMP attack too?
Now you’ve got not just the means to prepare for an EMP attack, but also some tips and tricks for protection against EMP attacks. You could end up being the most popular person on your block, with plenty of food, water, and basic resources to keep you and your family, and maybe even some neighbors, stocked up with everything they need to survive until the power grid can be restored.