How to Survive an Electromagnetic Pulse: The Ultimate Guide
An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is a sudden burst of energy that travels through the air and disables electronics. The US military and a variety of government agencies have sounded the alarm about the danger to modern life posed by EMPs from three main sources in reports and studies going back decades: nuclear explosions, severe solar events, and dedicated EMP bombs and sci-fi weapons.
If there were to be an EMP attack, many people would be left without power and access to critical services. In this guide, we will discuss what an EMP is, how common they are, and how you can survive one.
If there is an EMP attack you should follow these 10 steps:
- Immediately unplug all electronics and turn off the power.
- Do not use any electronic devices, including your cell phone.
- Do not use anything that plugs into an outlet, including your computer, TV, or microwave.
- If you must use an electronic device, plug it into a battery backup or generator.
- Use a Faraday cage to protect your electronics.
- Make sure your car is turned off and not plugged into any electronic devices.
- Do not use public transportation or ride in a car with someone who is using an electronic device.
- Walk or bike if you need to travel.
- Do not use your home’s gas or water lines.
- If you have a medical condition that requires electricity, find an emergency shelter.
There are Two Types of EMP's
We are concerned about two types of EMPs: high-frequency pulses that affect small computer networks, and low-frequency pulses that affect significant equipment in the electrical grid.
A high-frequency EMP, also called an HEMP, is produced by a nuclear explosion and has the potential to damage or destroy electronic equipment.
A low-frequency EMP, also called an LEMP, is produced by a solar flare and has the potential to damage or destroy electrical equipment.
The effects of an EMP can be divided into two categories: immediate and long-term.
Immediate effects are those that occur when the pulse is emitted, such as damage to electronic equipment or a loss of power.
Long-term effects are those that occur after the pulse has been emitted, such as a loss of communication or transportation.
The phrase "EMP" refers to a frightening grab-bag of natural and manufactured electromagnetic events in the public consciousness. All of this awful stuff is lumped together into a colossal, terrifying Doomsday knot, although there are actually only a few distinct situations that experts warn about:
- The sun and a powerful solar event: inevitable at some point, resulting in everything from tens of millions without power for weeks to total long-term collapse.
- Countries with advanced militaries and nuclear-tipped ICBMs: low probability most of the time (depending on geopolitical conditions), with impacts that range from large regional disruptions of critical infrastructure to total long-term collapse.
- Rogue states and intermediate-range nuclear missiles: low probability, with limited geographic impact.
- Terrorists and ground-based nukes: extremely low probability, limited geographic impact.
- Anyone and a dedicated EMP weapon (i.e. a microwave bomb): essentially zero probability, and limited geographic impact.
What actually is an EMP?
An EMP is a burst of electromagnetic energy that can disrupt or damage electronic equipment. A natural EMP happens when the sun hurls a giant cloud of plasma toward Earth (this is called a "coronal mass ejection" or CME). This plasma interacts with our planet's magnetic field and slams into the upper atmosphere, where it collides with particles and creates an EMP.
This energy can take a number of forms, but the two forms we care about most are high-frequency radiation and fast-moving magnetic fields. The high-frequency radiation component can knock out delicate electronic circuitry, while the fast-moving magnetic fields can induce electrical currents in conductors (like power lines and cables) that exceed their design limits and damage them.
Induction is a phenomenon discovered by Michael Faraday in 1831 that causes electricity to flow in wires due to electromagnetic induction. Power plants, automobile engines, and gas-fueled generators use it to convert rotary mechanical energy into electrical power.
A few of the most popular electrical generators use a spinning coil of wire inside a magnetic field to produce electricity. When the wire and field pass by one another, electricity begins flowing in the wire.
You might remember these basic induction experiments in science class, where a magnet is passed through a coil of wires (without touching) to generate electricity:
High-altitude nuclear explosions can produce either of the two kinds of EMP we're concerned about: high-frequency radiation and magnetic field fluctuations.
- E1: A high-frequency burst of radiation released immediately after the blast. The E1 pulse's strength is largely independent of the nuke's size, so a 1 kiloton weapon does about the same amount of damage as a 1 megaton bomb.
- B1: Another pulse is B1, which has characteristics comparable to a lightning strike. We generally disregard this pulse in EMP protection since we do the same things to avoid lighting strikes — ground, surge protectors, and circuit breakers - as we do to prevent E1.
- E3: The fireball from the blast pushes on the earth’s magnetic field, causing it to fluctuate and form a low-frequency EMP in the affected area. The bigger the nuke, the more intense and widespread the E3 pulse.
How Does EMP Affect Technology?
How an EMP affects technology depends on the pulse’s frequency (or the speed at which the earth’s magnetic field fluctuates), and on the size of wires or other conductors that make up the technology the pulse comes in contact with.
The power grid: Low-frequency pulses can induce electrical current to flow in the miles-long, elevated transmission lines that carry electricity from one location to another across the country. These impulses can also travel through the ground and induce currents in buried pipes. Geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) are such currents that are driven by geomagnetic activity; their strength is determined by the electrical properties of the earth above or below the lines or pipes, depending on type of soil and rock present.
Computers and electronics: Because modern computer systems have small wires inside them, low-frequency EMPs do not produce currents in these wires. You'll need a high-frequency EMP for that. The currents and secondary magnetic fields produced by a high-frequency EMP may be extremely small and only produce a few software problems, or they might be significant enough to destroy the computer hardware itself, depending on how tiny the computer's circuits are and how interconnected they are to longer wires like antennas or power sources.
Learn more about electromagnetic induction and EMP:
- Electromagnetic induction, Wikipedia
- Geomagnetically induced currents, Wikipedia
- Nuclear electromagnetic pulse, Wikipedia
Would an EMP Attack Disable all Vehicles?
The simple answer is no. Today’s vehicles have electronic ignition, fuel injection, and anti-lock brakes. These systems will not be affected by an EMP.
What would be disabled are the electronic control modules that manage these systems. The engine will still run, but without the ability to change gears, the vehicle will become inoperable.
Another system that would be knocked out by an EMP is the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system. This system monitors the vehicle’s engine and other systems, and displays diagnostic information on a dash-mounted screen.
The OBD system is not essential for the operation of the vehicle, but it would make it difficult to troubleshoot engine problems.
According to the United States EMP Commission, 1 out of 50 automobiles is likely to be disabled. The impacts of an EMP on hybrid and electric vehicles, however, have yet to be examined and are unknown at this time.
Most individuals are concerned about the potential harm to cars in the aftermath of an EMP. The EMP Commission conducted a comprehensive study to determine the impact of an EMP on the United States ( available here ) and determined that most automobiles would be able to survive one.
U.S. EMP Commission Test Results – Key Points
- A single high-altitude nuclear EMP attack would have widespread, catastrophic consequences for the United States.
- The Nation’s electric grid is vulnerable to a natural or manmade EMP and the economic consequences of extended power outages would be devastating.
- There is evidence that some countries are developing EMP weapons specifically designed to maximize damage to the U.S. electric grid and other critical infrastructure.
- The Commission’s recommendations, if implemented in a timely manner, will significantly reduce the Nation’s vulnerability to an EMP attack.
How to EMP Proof your Car
You can protect your vehicle from an EMP by doing one of two things:
- Use a Faraday cage. This is an enclosure made of a conducting material, such as metal, that protects the contents from electromagnetic fields. You can make a Faraday cage easily and cheaply with metal chicken wire or foil. Simply line the inside of your vehicle with the chicken wire or foil. Make sure there are no gaps or holes, as this will reduce the effectiveness of the cage.
- Use a commercial EMP device. These devices are designed to protect electronic equipment from EMPs and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Choose a device that is small enough to fit inside your vehicle and that has a high EMP rating. There is an EMP Car Shield on Amazon that we've heard good things about.
Both of these methods will protect your vehicle from an EMP, but a Faraday cage is the more economical option. If you choose to use a commercial device, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
When choosing a method of protection, be sure to select one that is appropriate for the size and type of device you are protecting.
In order to best survive an EMP, it is important to be prepared with supplies and a plan.
Some supplies that would be helpful are:
-Non-perishable food and water
-Flashlights and extra batteries
-First aid kit
A plan for how to use these supplies is just as important as the supplies themselves.
Some things to keep in mind are:
-Having an emergency plan and knowing how to use your supplies
-Staying calm and being patient
-Listening to official news sources for updates
EMPs are not common, but they can happen. If there were to be an EMP attack, it would be important to know how to survive one.
There are three things you can do to prepare for an EMP: build a Faraday cage, stock up on supplies, and have a plan.
A Faraday cage is a container that protects against electromagnetic fields. It is made of conducting material, like metal, and has a tight-fitting lid. You can make a Faraday cage at home by lining a metal trash can with aluminum foil. To do this , first, line the trash can with a layer of plastic. Next, lay out a sheet of aluminum foil so that it is big enough to cover the inside of the trash can. Make sure the foil is smooth and free of wrinkles. Then, place the foil over the plastic and use tape to secure it in place. Finally, put your electronics in the trash can and close the lid.
You should also stock up on supplies that you would need in an emergency, like food, water, and medicine. It is a good idea to have at least a three-day supply of these items on hand. You should also have a plan for where you will go and what you will do if there is an EMP. Make sure to tell your family and friends about your plan so that they know what to do if an EMP happens.
What type of food should you stock up on in case of an emergency?
You should stock up on non-perishable food items that do not require electricity to prepare, like canned goods, dry cereal, and granola bars. When it comes to stocking up on emergency supplies, one of the most important things you'll need is food. Aim to have a 1-month supply of non-perishable items on hand. This will give you and your family time to weather any storm and access help if needed. Dehydrated meat is a great option for emergency supplies as it has a long shelf life and is easy to store.
You should also have a three-day supply of water on hand. In an emergency, you may not have access to clean water, so it is important to have enough to drink and to use for hygiene purposes.
Finally, you should have a supply of medicine that will last at least three days. This includes prescription medications as well as over-the-counter items like pain relievers and allergy medication.
12 Non-Perishable Foods That Never Expire
You might be asking yourself, what is the best survival food with long shelf life?
These non-perishable foods really do last indefinitely, stored unopened in a cool, dry, dark spot:
- Baking soda: lasts indefinitely, though it can lose its leavening power over time. To test, combine 2 tsp vinegar and ¼ tsp baking soda. If it bubbles, you’re good to go.
Beans and legumes (dried, in general). Note: the older the beans, the longer they’ll need to soak and cook. Including:
- Black beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- Great Northern beans
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Split peas (dried)
- Corn syrup
- Hard liquor: Exception: cream liqueurs – because of the dairy, heed the label regarding “use by” dates.
- Honey (raw): Natural sugar, high acidity and low moisture ensures this liquid gold lasts forever (archeologists have even unearthed edible honey in ancient Egyptian tombs). But it can crystallize over time. No worries – just set the jar in a pan of warm water to liquify.
- Maple syrup (pure)
- Salt: non-iodized salt (like natural sea salt) lasts forever. But even iodized table salt has a pretty long shelf life – five years.
- Spices (dried): They will lose their aroma and flavor over time but are safe to eat indefinitely.
- Granulated sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Brown sugar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Distilled vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- Rice vinegar (unseasoned)
- White wine vinegar
- Vanilla extract (pure)
- White rice
93 Non-Perishable Foods That Last a Really Long Time
These foods may not last forever, but they will keep, stored unopened in a cool, dry, dark spot, a couple of years to decades, unless noted otherwise:
- Almonds: freeze up to two years
- Apricot jam
- Avocado oil
- Biscuit mix
- Beef jerky (unopened)
- Bouillon cubes
- Cake mix
- Canned artichokes
- Canned asparagus
- Canned beans and legumes
- Canned beets
- Canned cheese
- Canned chili
- Canned chile peppers (including chipotles)
- Canned corn
- Canned fish (tuna, salmon, clams, sardines, herring, etc., unopened)
- Canned meat (chicken, corned beef, deviled ham, etc., unopened)
- Canned mushrooms
- Canned peas
- Canned pumpkin
- Canned roasted peppers
- Canned spaghetti
- Canned sauerkraut
- Canned spinach
- Canned sweet potatoes
- Canola oil
- Cashews: freeze up to 2 years
- Champagne: vintage stuff will keep 20 years or more. Even less-rarified sparkling wine is good up to four years.
- Chia seeds (whole): four years in the freezer
- Chicken broth
- Chocolate (dark)
- Chocolate syrup (unopened)
- Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- Coconut milk (canned)
- Coconut oil
- Coffee (instant): lasts up to 20 years. Freeze unopened ground coffee up to two years and whole beans up to three.
- Cookie dough (purchased or homemade): freeze up to a year
- Cooking spray
- Corn (freeze-dried)
- Dill pickles
- Dried fruit
- Dried chiles
- Dried mushrooms
- Dried Meat
- Energy bars
- Fish sauce
- Flour (white, whole wheat): up to two years in the freezer
- Gelatin mix (like Jell-O)
- Ghee (Indian-style clarified butter)
- Grape jelly
- Grits (instant)
- Hard candy
- Hardtack: Yep, the bland cracker/biscuit that fueled soldiers, pioneers and seafarers of yore.
- Hot sauce
- Instant beans
- Instant dip mix (such as French onion)
- Instant pudding mix
- Instant soup
- Macadamia nuts: freeze up to two years
- Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)
- Olive oil
- Olives (canned)
- Pancake/waffle mix
- Pasta (dried)
- Peanut butter: in a jar (unopened) up to 2 years in the refrigerator. Powdered peanut butter lasts up to 15 years
- Pecans: freeze up to two years
- Popcorn (unpopped)
- Potato flakes (instant potatoes)
- Powdered eggs
- Powdered milk
- Pozole (hominy, dried)
- Ramen noodles (dried)
- Red wine
- Rolled oats
- Sesame seeds (roasted)
- Soy sauce
- Strawberry jelly
- Tomato paste (in a tube)
- Vegetable broth
- Vegetable shortening
- Wheat (hard red)
- Wheat (soft white)
Surprising Foods you Can Freeze
These non-perishable items don't keep for a long time, but freezing them can extend their shelf life by up to nine months:
- Cheese: hard or semi-hard cheese (such as Parmesan, Asiago, Romano, cheddar, Swiss) in a block, shredded or sliced
- Deli meat (prepackaged)
- Tofu (drain the water, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in heavy-duty freezer bag)
- Tortillas (flour, corn, homemade or store-bought)
How to Properly Store Water Long-term
In the event of an emergency, it is crucial that you have access to clean water.
If the water supply is cut off or becomes contaminated, you will need to be able to rely on your own resources. By following these simple tips, you can store plenty of water in case of an emergency!
1. Store water in clean, food-grade containers that have tight-fitting lids. To store water for long periods of time, it is best to use containers that are BPA-free and made of food-grade materials.
2. Place the containers in a cool, dark place where they will be safe from contaminants and pests - like a basement or closet.
3. Rotate your stock of water every six months to ensure its freshness - just like you would with your emergency food supply.
4. Label each container with the date it was filled so you can keep track of when it needs to be rotated.
5. Use a siphon pump or bucket to transfer water from one container to another without spilling, this is important to avoid contamination.
6. If you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters, consider installing a home water filtration system. Reverse osmosis filtration systems are an excellent way to ensure that your water is clean and safe in the event of an emergency.
One of the most important things to consider when storing water is to make sure that your containers are clean and bacteria-free. The best way to do this is to use containers that are made specifically for water storage, such as those that are BPA-free. You can also clean your own containers with a bleach solution, making sure to rinse them thoroughly before use.
To store water using bleach, mix one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water and pour it into your container. Seal the container tightly and store it in a cool, dark place.
When it comes to how much water you should store, a good rule of thumb is to have at least one gallon per person, per day. This will ensure that you have enough water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes. If you live in a hot climate or are storing water for more than a few days, you may need to increase this amount.
What is the best way to store these supplies?
You should store your emergency supplies in a cool, dry place where they will be protected from damage. A storage container with a tight-fitting lid is ideal. You should also label your supplies so that you know what they are and when they expire.
When should you restock your emergency supplies?
You should restock your emergency supplies every six months to ensure that they are fresh and up-to-date. You should also check your supplies regularly to make sure that they have not been damaged or expired.
How long does an EMP disable electronics?
Most electronics will be disabled for at least a few hours after an EMP. This includes things like cell phones, computers, and TVs.
If you have a battery backup or generator, you can use your electronic devices again after the EMP has passed. However, if you do not have a backup power source, you will need to wait until the power comes back on.
EMP protection for your home
There is protective paint that can be sprayed on the exterior of your home to protect it from an EMP. This paint is called shielding paint and it will reflect the electromagnetic waves away from your home.
The military typically uses shielding paint, but it is also available for civilian use. You can buy it online or at some hardware stores.
How can I communicate during an EMP?
If there is an EMP you will still be able to use a landline telephone. You can also use shortwave radio to listen to news and information about the EMP.
If you have a CB radio, you may be able to use it to communicate with other people who have CB radios.
Ham radios may also work, but you will need to have a license to use one. Finally, you can use Morse code to communicate with other people who know how to use it.
You should make an emergency plan with your loved ones that includes a method of communication that you can all use if there is an EMP.
How can I protect myself from an EMP?
You can protect yourself from an EMP by wearing clothing that covers your skin. You should also avoid using electronic devices and staying away from power lines. Finally, you can build a Faraday cage to shield yourself from the EMP.
Do EMP Bombs Exist?
There's a lot of debate on whether or not EMP bombs exist. Some people swear they are real, while others claim they are nothing more than a hoax. So, what is the truth? Are these devastating weapons real, or just science fiction?
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at EMP bombs and explore the evidence for and against their existence.
The first thing to understand is that an EMP bomb is not a traditional explosive device. These weapons are designed to emit a powerful electromagnetic pulse that can disable electronic devices and systems. This pulse can cause widespread damage, knocking out power grids, communications systems, and transportation networks.
EMP bombs are often described as "electronic nuclear weapons" because of their potential to cause widespread destruction.
So, do EMP bombs exist? There is certainly evidence that they do.
In fact, the U.S. military has been researching and developing EMP weapons for years. In 2008, the Air Force successfully tested an EMP weapon called the "counter-electronics high-powered microwave advanced missile project."
This missile was designed to emit a powerful electromagnetic pulse that could disable electronic devices and systems.
While the U.S. military has been researching EMP weapons, it's important to note that these weapons have not been used in combat. There is no concrete evidence that any country has developed or deployed an EMP bomb.
However, given the potential damage these weapons could cause, it's likely that some countries have at least explored the possibility of developing these weapons.
Is there such a thing as an EMP Gun?
Yes, there is such a thing as an EMP gun.
An EMP gun, or electromagnetic pulse gun, is a device that creates a short burst of electromagnetic energy. This energy can destroy electronic devices and equipment. But does it really exist? And if it does, how effective is it?
EMP guns are often portrayed in movies and TV shows as powerful weapons that can destroy electronic equipment. But how accurate is this portrayal?
EMP guns do exist, but they are not as destructive as they are sometimes made out to be. While an EMP gun can damage electronic devices, it cannot destroy them outright.
These guns are typically used by the military to disable electronic devices from a distance. The military sometimes uses EMP guns to disable enemy vehicles, like tanks and planes.EMP guns are also used by law enforcement to disable fleeing vehicles.
However, they are also available for civilian use. You can buy them online or at some hardware stores.
The reason for this is that EMP guns emit a very short burst of electromagnetic energy. This energy is not enough to physically destroy electronic equipment. Instead, it only disrupts the normal functioning of the equipment.
The effects of an EMP gun are temporary and can be fixed with a simple reboot or restart.
So, while an EMP gun is not as destructive as it is sometimes made out to be, it can still damage electronic equipment. If you are planning on using one, make sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your equipment.
And as always, consult with a qualified professional before using any type of EMP device.
What was the Carrington Event?
On September 1st, 1859, the world came close to ending. A massive solar flare, known as the Carrington event, narrowly missed Earth and caused widespread damage.
This event has been called one of the most powerful solar flares ever recorded. If it had hit Earth, it would have caused a global blackout that could have lasted for years.
The northern lights were seen in many parts of the world, from Canada to the Caribbean. The aurora over the Rocky Mountains in the United States was so bright that gold miners woke up early because they thought it was morning.
People in New York City could read a newspaper in the light of the northern lights.
Telegraphs all over Europe and North America failed. Some telegraph operators reported seeing sparks fly from their equipment.
Others said that their telegraphs continued to work, even after they had been disconnected from the power source. In one instance, a telegraph operator in Boston was able to send a message even though his power was turned off.
The Carrington event was named after Richard Carrington, the astronomer who first observed the flare. It occurred during a time when the sun was particularly active, with a number of other large solar flares being recorded.
The Carrington event was by far the largest of these flares and is estimated to have been about ten times more powerful than any solar flare that has occurred since.
While the Carrington event did not cause any major damage on Earth, it is a reminder of how powerful solar flares can be. If another flare of similar size were to hit Earth, the results could be catastrophic.
Scientists are currently working on ways to protect the planet from future solar flares, but until then, we can only hope that another Carrington event never happens again.
Scientists are trying to protect the planet in a variety of ways, including: Creating an artificial magnetic shield, developing a solar flare warning system, and changing the electricity grid to make it more resilient to the devastation.
Have scientists created an artificial magnetic shield for the planet?
Yes, scientists have created an artificial magnetic shield. This shield is designed to protect the planet from future solar flares. The shield works by deflecting the solar radiation away from Earth.
However, the shield is not yet complete, and it is unclear if it will be effective against a flare of the same size as the Carrington event.
Developing a solar flare warning system could give us advance notice of a potential Carrington event-sized flare heading toward Earth.
This would give us time to take precautions and prepare for the impact. However, such a warning system does not currently exist.
Changing the electricity grid to make it more resilient to the devastation caused by a Carrington event-sized flare is another way scientists are working to protect the planet.
This would involve making the grid less vulnerable to power surges and other damage. However, it is unclear if this would be enough to prevent widespread damage from a solar flare of this size.
Overall, scientists are working on various ways to protect the planet from future solar flares. However, it is unclear if any of these methods will be effective against a flare of the same size as the Carrington event.
Until we have better protection against such an event, we can only hope that another Carrington event never happens again.
Does China Have Super EMP Capabilities?
It is speculated that China may have the ability to launch a Super EMP weapon. A Super EMP weapon is a nuclear device that emits a high-frequency pulse that can disable electronic devices over a wide area.
While China has not confirmed or denied the existence of such a weapon, some experts believe that it may be part of their military arsenal.
If China does have a Super EMP weapon, it could have devastating consequences for the United States. The high-frequency pulse from such a weapon would be able to disable electronic devices over a wide area, including computers, cell phones, and even vehicles.
This could cause widespread panic and chaos, as people would be unable to communicate or use transportation. In addition, the disablement of electronic devices could cause major disruptions to the power grid, leading to widespread blackouts.
While the existence of a Super EMP weapon is still speculation, it is something that experts are taking seriously. If such a weapon does exist, it could have devastating consequences for the United States and other countries.
Until more information is known, we can only hope that such a weapon is never used.
In conclusion we learned that:
-An EMP is a high-frequency pulse that can disable electronic devices over a wide area.
-Solar flares can cause an EMP, but scientists are working on ways to protect the planet.
-It is speculated that China may have a Super EMP weapon, which could have devastating consequences for the United States.
-More information is needed to know for sure if such a weapon exists. Until then, we can only hope that it never sees use.
If you found this article helpful, please share it with others who might also find it useful. And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!
-Solar flares could cause an EMP: scientists working on artificial shield (The Guardian)
-What is a Super EMP weapon? (BBC News)
-China's 'super EMP weapon' could knock out US power grid, experts warn (Fox News)
-EMP 101: Everything you need to know about electromagnetic pulses (Popular Mechanics)
-What would happen if China launched a 'super EMP' weapon at the US? (Business Insider)
-The Carrington Event: What Would Happen If It Happened Today? (NASA