A solar flare in 1859 was the equivalent of 10 billion atomic bombs resulting in a massive geomagnetic storm. There was no huge power grid at the time but there was a long-line network of telegraphs.
The geomagnetic storm rendered the telegraphs inoperable. Telegraph operators experienced physical shocks from sparking lines and telegraph paper caught fire. Today, there are more than just natural EMP threats.
In the early 1960s, the U.S. detonated a hydrogen bomb that disrupted electricity 900 miles away! The solar flare and bomb caused EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) that disrupted anything electrical. China threatened EMP use only recently.
What would you do in the case of an EMP today? Keep reading for 7 tips for protecting yourself against EMP threats.
- Alternative Fuels
When it comes to prepping for an EMP, consider investing in a generator. Depending on where you live, a generator can help for a while.
Do you live in a rural area that gets cold in the winter? A generator could help you through that first winter but only if you have enough fuel. After an EMP, you won’t be pulling up to the gas station and filling up!
If you decide on a solar-powered generator, make sure the components are protected in a Faraday Cage (see below). Some gasoline-powered generators also have electrical components that need protection.
- Equip Your Vehicle
Unless you’re driving an old classic car, your car will stop working after a man-made or natural EMP disaster. Why equip your vehicle? In case you’re in it when the EMP strikes.
Equipping your car is always a good idea anyway, in case of any emergency. What should you equip it with?
- Good walking shoes for every family member
- Emergency drinking water
- Heat-resistant, shelf-stable protein bars
- A fold-up bicycle
- Compact mylar emergency blankets
- Flashlights and batteries
Except for the bike, store everything in a large backpack. The bike is in case you need to get away from the vehicle in a hurry. Throw on your emergency backpack and off you go.
- Think Analog
In a world without electricity, digital loses its meaning. Invest in some analog devices such as a solar-powered, hand-crank AM/FM weather radio.
Another good device? A mercury-free analog thermometer. It works like a traditional shake-down thermometer but without the dangerous mercury.
Consider an analog clock as well.
- Rethink Your Appliances
You’ll miss your wonderful appliances like a microwave and toaster oven but there are some decent non-electric alternatives. Check out your favorite camping catalog for non-electric appliances. A few things you’ll want:
Manual-Style Can Opener
Get your wrists in shape! No more electric can openers after an EMP. If you don’t already have one, get yourself a manual can opener.
In fact, buy two. This can opener is going to be a lifesaver. You’ll need it to open all the canned goods you’ve stockpiled in the basement.
These small ovens use clever fold-out mirrors for harnessing the sun’s power. You can bake a casserole or boil some water in a solar oven.
These handy little flashlights work by winding them up. Make sure you have a few of these stored in your Faraday Cage.
- A Family Survival Manual
An EMP is something no one wants to think about, let alone discuss it with their children. When disaster strikes and your kids know exactly where to find you, you’ll be glad you did.
Put together a family survival manual and discuss it with the family once a month. The plan should include secret meeting places for the family. Siblings in the school setting should seek each other out and stay together.
The kids should carry a letter at all times, signed by you, allowing them out of school during a catastrophic event to meet you at a prearranged location. The letter should include your meeting spot and reference your family emergency plan.
Stockpile any medications you need as much as possible.
Fire is a risk during times of emergency so make sure your family plan includes fire extinguishers throughout the home. Instruct the kids on how and when to use them.
- A Faraday Cage
A Faraday Cage shields small electronics from an EMP. Read more about electronic protection in this helpful guide.
A Faraday Cage is any small box lined with several layers of tin foil. An old microwave oven also works. A metal garbage can is another option.
What should you put in your Faraday Cage?
- CB radio
- Small medical devices
An EMP won’t destroy your batteries but it’s a good idea to keep some in your Faraday Cage anyway.
Consider storing a few old cellphones. Once the grid comes back up after an EMP, it’ll be tough getting a new cellphone because everyone will need one.
- Consider Your Location
This is a tough one but well worth some thought. Consider moving your family to the west coast. Why? The West has far fewer nuclear reactors than the east.
There are 58 nuclear power plants across the United States. They have a combined 96 reactors. After an EMP, we won’t have the electricity necessary for cooling down the reactors.
That’s a big problem.
Without cooling, there’s a huge risk of explosion in the reactors. This happened in Japan after the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. Two of the reactor buildings exploded.
Once a reactor explodes, there’s nuclear fallout in the air. Depending on wind conditions, radiation spreads far and wide. You’ll be happy you live far from a nuclear power plant if that happens!
EMP Threats Are Real
EMP threats aren’t only a dystopian fantasy, they’re real. Whether an EMP comes from a solar flare or a hostile nation, the effects are the same.
If you’ve never thought about prepping for an EMP, the time is now. Don’t let this go any longer.
Invest in some alternative fuels and non-electric appliances and devices. Think analog! Create a family emergency plan and make sure everyone understands it.
Make sure you’ve got a Faraday Cage with a CB radio and walkie-talkies. Before the EMP is the time to work out all your plans. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to find out how unprepared you are.
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