What Will Work After an EMP Attack: The Grid Down Scenario

There’s no doubt we live in a remarkably advanced and technologically capable world. Yet, it’s easy to forget this world has one major flaw. The vast majority of our machines and devices – including life preserving apparatus – operates on electricity. So, we must ask the question, what will work after an EMP attack? What is your family’s chance of surviving an attack on our country’s electrical systems?

You may pride yourself on being technologically savvy, and, yes, in many survival situations these skills will serve you well. In the event of an EMP attack, however, you won’t be able to rely on computers, mobile phone chargers, microwaves, ovens, refrigerators even household boilers, if your heating system runs on electric, or well pumps. Thus, anything that is connected to the electrical grid or which have computer chips will in almost all cases not work. The point is, you’ll need different skills to survive. You can acquire these skills; it just takes time, patience and a determination to be prepared for anything.

What Is An EMP and Why Is It So Destructive?

First, let’s start with a closer look at EMP attacks and what they mean for those caught up in them. The term stands for ‘electromagnetic pulse’ and it’s a type of electromagnetic radiation caused by a nuclear explosion. Those nukes North Korea has threatened America with for years? Theoretically, they’re capable of knocking out electrical systems if they’re deployed anywhere over the United States.

There are various phases that occur after deployment of a nuclear EMP. They’re called ‘waves’ and each presents challenges for those trying to survive.

Wave E1- The Flash

The first wave is called E1. It is experienced as a literal flash in the atmosphere. Most people never see E1 for themselves because it happens so quickly. If you’re indoors, for example, you might not know it has occurred until you notice other disturbances or try to turn on an electric device.

E1 rushes electrical systems and overloads them. It surpasses voltages and, as a result, destroys wiring and circuits. Many of the items in your home – toasters, stereos, television sets – may be damaged at this point. The only way to prevent this damage is to have a high level (not a standard commercial product) surge protector operating at the time of the attack.

E2 – The Pulse

The second wave is called E2. It’s also referred to as an ‘intermediate time pulse.’ This wave occurs almost immediately after the first, often within a second or two. Visually, it looks similar to a lightning strike. Again, you may not notice at first.

It causes further damage to electrical systems and the electrical items around us. It should be noted that it’s the cumulative force of E1 and E2 that makes them dangerous. E2, for instance, wouldn’t be all that destructive in isolation. Even basic surge protectors can handle an overload from a lightning type event. Together though, the two can cause chaos.

E3 – The Worldwide Pulse

Lastly, we get to wave E3. This is when we see potentially irreparable damage on a global scale. E3 has been compared to a geomagnetic storm in that it has the power to knock out electrical systems all around the world. It influences our planet’s magnetic field and, when the consequences start, they are likely to be catastrophic for many.

The pulses called by E3 are much longer lasting than those at E1 and E2. They can last as long as minutes and they create quasi-DC currents which fry apparatus essential for survival such as electrical transformers. In the event of an EMP attack, massive losses are predicted within the AC power grid because governments are not prepared for the consequences.

What Will Work After an EMP Attack?

Some devices have a much better chance of survival after an EMP attack than others. It’s the reason preppers and survivalists spend many years collecting specific, items, objects and equipment. The most helpful tip is to steer clear of solid state electronic components.

Often, semiconductors and transistors are the first devices to get knocked out by an EMP because they convert other types of energy into electrical energy. Unfortunately, it’s a useless exchange in a situation where electricity has become dysfunctional. What you need is technology that operates without relying on an electrical exchange.

  1. Handheld Torches

The chance of battery operated torches being affected is very small, especially if you pick torches with heavy-duty metal casing around the battery compartment. This is fortunate because it’s one of the items you absolutely cannot do without in a blackout situation.

  1. Solar Panels

One of the best investments you can make, if you’re prepping to survive an EMP attack, is solar panel cells. For obvious reasons, they’re a great thing to have when the electric goes down. The best advice for solar panel owners is to switch them off if you get prior warning of the attack. This will prevent connecting wires from being damaged. Nevertheless, it’s best to keep spare wires and other components in your survival kit just in case you need to replace them after the attack.

  1. Standard Batteries

The vast majority of batteries would be unharmed by an EMP. So, make sure you have plenty of spares to hand. The lack of wires and presence of sturdy metal casings mean they are robust enough to survive and keep essential devices running.

  1. Some Types of Automobile

It’s difficult to say for sure which types of cars will survive EMP pulses. The best advice is to choose something very simple. This generally means an older car without complex electrical systems – the stereotypical ‘clunker’ should suffice. It may seem a bit unstylish now but you’ll be the one with transportation when the time comes.

  1. LED Light Sources

LED lights are one of the most reliable items you can have in your survival kit because they are not vulnerable to electromagnetic pulses. You may want to consider investing in LED flashlights and battery powered LED lamps for your home.

Besides the suggested protective items below, there is a unit that can be attached to your home, generator, vehicle, solar, or ham radio that will prevent the devastating effects of an EMP. EMP Shield is a highly rated and tested device approved by the US Military that will eliminate the EMP threat. To find out more about EMP Shield, Click Here.

Is There a Way to Preserve Existing Devices?

Technically, there are some ways you can prevent the devices you use every day from being fried and rendered not operational. The benefit of this is you don’t necessarily need to buy a kit full of battery operated or surge protected items. The downside, however, is there’s no guarantee there will even be electric to power them after the E3 wave (at least for a time).

So, it’s up to you to decide the best course of action. You can, of course, do both – prep a kit with secondary back up items and protect the primary devices you use every day. There are many different ways to prepare for an EMP attack. Your choices will largely depend on where you live, who is in your family and how much you rely on electric right now. Faraday bags exist to protect ones sensitive electronic devices. One available on Amazon provides enough room to store numerous electronic appliances and equipment.

The DIY Faraday Cage

One of the simplest options, at least on a small scale, is to create what’s known as a rudimentary Faraday Cage. Now, this is a very basic version that can be made in a relatively short space of time. It is not foolproof. It is a makeshift measure.

All you have to do is wrap electrical devices in metal before the blast occurs. The quickest way to do this is to wrap an item in tinfoil. On a larger scale, you could place your devices in a metal container or locker and bury it safely underground. Some people – serious preppers with the time and cash to invest heavily in survival tactics – even pay to have metal shopping containers filled with their items and buried. A relative inexpensive alternative,  an aluminum garbage can,  that I highly recommend is available on Amazon. Click here for the latest pricing.

How Long Is an EMP Blackout Likely to Last?

We’re not entirely sure how long an EMP attack would last. It depends on a range of different factors including the size of the blast and how much damage it does on a national or global scale. It is thought electrical systems and transformers could be back up and running within a week or possibly even days.

While it doesn’t sound like long, the effects could be catastrophic for our country. Yes, you could survive without electricity in your home if you’re prepared. However, consider what might happen to our telecommunications, those in hospitals, police databases and most perhaps importantly, military defense systems.

It is a serious threat and, though the government doesn’t talk about it often, it is a possibility and we should be preparing for it. For now, the important thing to remember is, if you’re prepared, you stand a very good chance of making it on your own until the lights come back on. Be vigilant. Teach your family the warning signs. And take care of yourself and your pets.


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