Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): What is it?
Prepping for survival situations is an on-going discussion. You see information everywhere on the internet, including social media. Being a prepper you need to consider all survival situations and what could happen.
In this article, we will discuss an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), and our electrical grid. This is the first of a series of articles about the topic. This first part will focus on explaining what an EMP is, what’s considered to be an EMP, how it affects electronics, and ways to survive an EMP attack.
What is EMP?
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is an unexpected burst of electromagnetic energy that moves through the air at the speed of light. It can occur naturally like from a lightning storm, or artificially like from an explosive device.
How does it affect electronics?
The effect that an electromagnetic pulse( EMP) would have on electronics, varies on the power. A high-energy nuclear blast could destroy electronics and our national electrical grid in a matter of nanoseconds.
Electronics that could be affected, include the following:
- Broadcast equipment
- Landlines and cellphones
- Power grid transformers and substations
- Anything powered by electricity, including vehicles, aircraft
Most modern electronics can be affected by an EMP, especially cars since most modern cars run on a number of electronic systems and computers. Older cars are said to possibly be able to survive an EMP. It’s recommended to have an old 4×4 diesel truck to travel in or you could store an ATV in a Faraday cage(see below).
What would be considered to be an EMP?
To reiterate, an electromagnetic pulse(EMP), can occur naturally or artificially (man-made). This type of energy can be radiated, electric, magnetic, or conducted.
Here are examples of natural, weapons and man-made occurrences that would classify as an EMP:
- Man-made/ weapons EMP
- A nuclear bomb exploding in the atmosphere.
- Multi warhead Nuclear EMP attack spreading multiple nuclear bursts in the atmosphere
- Briefcase nukes
- Natural EMP
- Solar flares- Also known as coronal mass ejection (ECM), which are electromagnetic radiation activity created by the sun and that travels through space.
- Natural solar superstorm or geomagnetic disturbance (GMD)
- Meteoric EMP passing through the earth’s atmosphere
- Lightning electromagnetic pulse
Aside from knowing alternative resources for many of your basic necessities, you need to know other survival skills, such as gardening, hunting, how to handle medical emergencies, and self-defense.
Here are other ways that you can survive an EMP attack:
- Alternate power source
Water will still need to be boiled and you need to be able to cook your food, right? The sun is a natural source of power. Solar ovens are a popular choice to cook food and boil water as long as you have sunshine. Solar panels, wind turbine generators, and gasoline generators are also items to consider having on hand.
- Unable to use credit and debit cards(needing goods)
When money is no good, you need to barter. Consider having on hand alcohol, cigarettes, hygiene and entertainment items, and caffeine.
While bartering is a great way for both parties involved to get something that they are wanting, there are things that you should not part with. This includes food, beans, bullets, and gasoline.
To piggyback off of the needed survival skills, tools are necessary and go hand in hand with survival skills. But not just any tools, if you are without power, you need to have manual tools. This includes:
- Nails, screws, and glue
- Hammer, handsaws
- Planes, block sanders, brace, screwdrivers
- Hand-powered water pump
- Manual can opener
- Grain, coffee, and meat grinders
- Wind-up flashlight
Some preppers will recommend stockpiling on an assortment of books. This would include books that you can learn how to make or build things with, as well as books for entertainment.
You need to be able to see after the sun goes down. So what is the best way to handle this?
Here are some ideas:
- Oil lamps
- Chemical light sticks
Note: Oil lamps provide you with a longer burn time, the best fuel for oil lamps include clear kerosene, standard clear lamp oil, kerosene substitute, and citronella oil (outdoors).
- Food and water- the possibility of a shortage
Just like preparing for a hurricane or other natural disaster, you need to stockpile on food and water. You should have at least 3 weeks worth of food and water stored. However, this is where the homestead and gardening skills come to play, learn how to grow your own food.
Don’t forget about water filters to filter your water, if it is not drinkable. You may want to think about getting some backyard chickens if possible.
You are going to need basic medical skills and a first-aid kit. You should look into getting training from your local Redcross for CPR and basic medical emergencies.
Take communication cues from The Walking Dead. Make sure you have CB radios, walkie-talkies, and other forms of two-way radios on hand.
- Self -defense equipment
You need to have equipment on hand to protect you from intruders and help you hunt game. This could be shotguns, rifles, handguns, non-electric alarms, guard dogs, and self-defense training.
Protecting your electronics before an attack
You have an option to protect necessary electronics for use after an EMP attack, although it’s not 100% foolproof. It would be to build a Faraday cage to shield and protect electronics from an EMP, to redirect power to the ground.
Here are some options to consider:
- Foil wrap
- Garbage can(metal)
- Metal container
- Metal roof
- Old microwave oven
- Large EMP protection bags
Make sure when sealing electronics there are no gaps. You also want to use some grounding rods, but the basic idea is to have your items tightly secured using one of the above options.
Trump/ government take action to protect the USA from an EMP
As countries and world leaders are increasing their accountability towards their lethal actions against nations, Trump signed an “Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses,” to prepare for the effects of EMPs.
Trump assigned roles to other executive branch departments and agencies to strengthen efforts to reduce the possibility of an EMP attack, whether it is nuclear or natural.
Other duties assigned include the following:
- Provide warning of EMP
- Protect the people before, during, and after an EMP
- Maintain research planning, and coordinate recovery efforts
This article was designed to provide you with the knowledge and make you aware of electromagnetic pulses(EMP). An EMP could be one of the most unknown, yet realistic situations we are facing as a nation. Therefore, it is important to understand exactly what it is, and how to survive.