Electromagnetic Pulse

How To Prepare And Survival An Electromagnetic Pulse

An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is, simply stated, a burst of electromagnetic energy.
It can occur as a radiated, electric or magnetic pulse.

electromagnet pulse

An EMP is usually damaging to most electronic equipment including household appliances, automobiles, power grids and communication systems.

Certain equipment can be shielded from the damaging effects of the pulse however.

Naturally occurring EMP’s can be caused by lightning and from electrostatic discharges when two charged objects come in close proximity or by making contact.

  • An EMP can also be caused by a surface or atmospheric nuclear detonation.

An EMP can also be man-made, and equipment designed to produce an Electromagnetic Pulse would be used to target specific buildings, installations and equipment.

nuclear explosion chart

To create an Electro magnetic pulse over a large area an atmospheric nuclear detonation is considered the the most likely and would be the logical choice.

A rocket would be launched into space and the nuclear warhead would be detonated at a certain distance above the earth’s surface.

High altitude nuclear explosions have already been tested several times by the USA and USSR between 1958 and 1962, as a result of their nuclear weapons testing programs.

All test resulted in a measurable EMP that caused electrical damage over a large area.

Solar Storms and ElectroMagnetic Pulses Go Hand In Hand

A major solar storm is inevitable according to most experts.

A solar storm will cause an electromagnetic disturbance and a large EMP would be enough to easily cause widespread destruction of any country’s power grid.

However, while a solar storm of a large enough magnitude could very well destroy a large portion, if not all of the world’s power grids it poses little threat to electronic gadgets, and will not disable automobiles, planes or trains.

Power companies do have the technology to protect power grids against a solar disturbance.

However, whether they have or will do so at some point remains to be seen.

Once damaged by a solar disturbance the worlds or any nation’s power grids would take years to repair if they could be repaired at all.

earth with solar flare

How An EMP Affects You

Today an EMP is much more likely than say. 50 years ago, when nuclear technology was in its infancy stages.

Today a few pounds of enriched plutonium launched into space on a satellite in place of its cameras would cause widespread devastation worldwide.

The effects would be greater as well because today everyone has an ever-increasing dependency on electricity. Some rely wholly on it for the basic maintenance of their lives.

There is a very strong belief that any long-term loss of the electrical system would put the world or a country back 150 years.

However, keep in mind there was not any infrastructure to speak up 150 years ago, so people knew how to survive without electricity.

Therefore, a long-term outage would put us back half of a millennium or more because of our lack of knowledge on how to survive without electricity.

No one today truly knows whether the world or a country can survive without electricity because no one alive today has ever had too.

There will be casualties caused by the effects of a pulse.

A widespread loss of electricity will cause mayhem in any community.

Hospitals and care centres will not be operational because backup generators will not operate, lifesaving equipment would soon be so much clutter under foot.

Emergency services will be shut down as well, which means no law enforcement or emergency response to medical emergencies.

electromagnetic survival book cover

Battery operated torches and radios will cease to work if they have an electronic circuit board in them.

Most automobiles manufactured after 1960 will not operate unless the vehicle was shielded.

Aircraft can fail in flight because any navigational aids would be destroyed seconds after an EMP.

Smaller aircraft can be flown without instruments, but many commercial jets and other aircraft rely on electronics to navigate. Only those that can fly by dead reckoning without instruments would have a chance of landing safely.

Literally, an Electromagnetic Pulse could mean aircraft would be falling from the skies causing untold numbers of fatalities.

People not prepared could very well succumb to hypothermia and hyperthermia. Dehydration will be a threat for many in a matter of days as well as starvation in the days after. Mobile and landline phones will not function and any hand-held communications devices unless properly shielded will not operate after an EMP.

Prepare to live without electricity, which means you as an individual or family are on your own in the first few weeks, months or possibly years.

You must be self-sufficient enough to survive until the damage can be repaired.

You have to remember that any task you complete today using electricity will still have to be completed in the days after the power goes out.

Faraday Cage

The Faraday Cage or Faraday Shield is simply an enclosure used in order to block out an electrical field and a way of protecting electronic equipment from an EMP.

The Faraday cage was named after the English scientist, Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836

It can be as simple as wrapping a device in aluminium foil. The cage must be made of a conductor of electricity ideally copper, aluminium or steel.

The items protected should be nested inside the cage with Styrofoam or other plastic material without touching the metal walls. Ground the metal cage if possible.

If using foil, wrap the devices and then place in a plastic bag/other plastic material and then wrap again in foil. The more layers of foil and plastic you have the greater protection afforded.

This is a very rudimentary shielding method but can be used when no other materials are available.

There are going to be certain items that are essential to protect from and EMP, and as preppers these must be stored away.

Far short of building yourself a Faraday Cage to fit everything in, it is better to individually pack and store the most needed items.

To do this you must try to imagine life without any power. This gives you an idea of what is essential to protect.

Two way radios, solar chargers, smart phone (with all survival information loaded), batteries, Radio, Torches/Lanterns - all essential survival equipment.

Packing these items individually into Faraday pouches like the one shown above will protect from an outside electric source like an EMP. 

These shielded bags come in all different sizes from small pouches to fit an iPhone in, right up to the 10″x 15″ sizes and more.

Protecting your electrical equipment is essential for your future survival, plus its going to make your life a lot easier in the long run.


An anodized aluminium rubbish barrel can be made into a shielding device by grounding it or even burying it so the lid is at least a half of a meter under the soil.  Place items in the barrel so they do not make contact with the sides. You can use Styrofoam pieces or bubble wrap to nest the items in the cage.

A microwave oven can be used as a Faraday cage. Place your items in the oven and place the oven near a metal water pipe and solder or otherwise connect a piece of copper wire from the microwave over to the water pipe to create a ground. The pulse will flow over and around the oven and seek the ground. Most plumbing systems are grounded if you have metal piping, sometimes referred to as “electric earthed” to the water supply. You can however use a Faraday cage without grounding it.

An Electromagnetic pulse will destroy computers, USB devices, hard drives and any device that has an electronic component in it. You will have to choose what devices to shield keeping in mind even though your device may have been spared it may not work because the power grid is not operational. Most devices rely on a power grid and a functioning infrastructure to operate.


Two-radios and ham radios are necessary so you and family members can keep in contact and possibly monitor for public information. Torches, mobile phones and other battery-operated devices along with the batteries should be shielded as well.

It is likely that most if not all mobile services will be disrupted but you simply do not know how long, so make sure you have the means to communicate if the damage to some systems can be repaired. Older model or shielded generators may come on line so there may be some limited services.


For most people it would not be practical to try to shield a full sized vehicle but a small motor bike/scooter could be shielded. The roadways will be clogged with stalled automobiles, so it is unlikely you could drive any significant distance even if your vehicle was operational. Bicycles can be used as well as small motorbikes such as a Vespas motor scooter to navigate around obstacles on the roadways.


You always have to assume the worst otherwise you would never be prepared. You should have at least a 90-day supply of food, water, medicines and medical supplies. Once people realize there was an EMP, panic will ensue and the shops and other establishments will be looted quickly. You will not be able to go shopping to get anything at this point.

The pulse itself is not dangerous to you physically but the results of the pulse will be. The thing you need to fear the most in some cases will be other humans once desperation sets in. Keep the fact you are a prepper and therefor are well supplied a secret from everyone.

You need protection from the cold so have plenty of blankets/thermal blankets and wood or coal if you have a fireplace/stove. Most people rely on the village main for their water supply so you may not have running water. Private water wells are one option if you have the means and property to have one dug or drilled and remember you will need to have hand water pumps installed.  

Charcoal or bottled gas is an option for cooking and gas can be used for heating in some cases but you will not be able to resupply. Of course, you can only cook using charcoal or wood outside.

Laundry and bathing will be a problem because of a limited water supply and not having the ability to heat water efficiently. Hand wash clothes and bathe using collected rainwater. You can place water collection barrels to capture runoff but ensure the barrels are screened to filter out debris and prevent insect breeding. Use large kettles to heat the collected water for laundry and bathing. It is impractical to think you can store enough water in jugs to sustain you indefinably so you will have to develop alternative means of obtaining water.


Essential EMP preparedness and survival books
Solar Flare Preparation/Survival EMP Disaster Survival Disaster Preparedness for EMP

An Electromagnetic Pulse will disrupt your life and the lives of everyone around you for weeks, months and possibly years. Begin now imagining how you will perform your daily tasks without the benefit of electricity and all of the modern day conveniences that make life easier. It will take planning so begin now learning what you need to do to survive without electricity.

1 comment

  1. LP

    There is some debate over grounding a cage, or box. The E3 pulse component runs through the earth. It has the potential to use a ground link to find a path to a box. E1 and E2 may require a box, but they are fast rise and fall, and last milliseconds. The E3 can run from 10 seconds to over a minute, depending on the weapon yield and alignment with magnetic fields. THAT one is the one that roasts large transformers.

    I’m in the NO GROUND camp. Any charge that is outside a totally sealed, no perforated box, will stay there until it discharges naturally, or is ground-bled after the pulse event. Just my thoughts….

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