How to prepare for an EMP strike
08/31/2022 // Zoey Sky // Views

Survival events like an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack or coronal mass ejections (CME) are popular debate topics among preppers and survivalists. But the problem is there is so much uncertainty regarding the severity of the effects. At the same time, it seems like the federal government is unable or unwilling to take serious measures to harden critical infrastructure and protect citizens against the aftermath of an EMP or CME.

Has the U.S. government done enough to protect its citizens against these survival events? (h/t to

Executive Order 13865

On March 29, 2019, former President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13865 (EO 13865), which aims to harden America's infrastructure against the effects of an EMP or CME.

Under the general scope of the order, several government agencies will "figure out the impact of a CME or EMP attack, identify the vulnerable critical infrastructure and devise a plan to harden this infrastructure against attack."

While the current actions that the American government is taking are decades too late, it's not hard to see why it is taking some measures to begin the process of reinforcing the grid immediately.

Within the past few decades, the concept of EMP and CME being a possible threat has found its way into popular culture through movies and TV shows. Even though the information delivered is often dramatized and not completely accurate, this recent education of the general public may have helped increase pressure on the government to take action.

Additionally, there are emerging threats like North Korea that may also be spurring politicians to start taking action. Until recently, its threat was limited to the peninsula it currently occupies. However, North Korea has a military weapons program and has successfully launched missiles that could one day reach the United States.


While there's a chance that North Korean missiles won't nuke a city, the country could detonate a nuclear weapon in the upper atmosphere that may cause a high-altitude EMP. This could take down large portions of the electrical grid.

Terrorists could also get smaller devices designed to generate an EMP which they could use to take out the power grid of a major city. All they need is a device and a small airplane. (Related: Personal safety and survival: 15 Things to do after an EMP attack.)

How to prepare for an EMP attack

It's true that efforts should have been made decades ago to harden the grid against EMP and CME, but the U.S. government has made little progress in protecting its citizens against these calamitous threats. Government policy and action are often very slow and a robust and protected grid may only materialize after a very long time.

This is why preppers and non-preppers shouldn't wait for the government. Before SHTF, prepare so that you have what you need to keep your family safe when the grid fails. Below are some tips on how to prepare before an EMP attack in your area:

Prepare to go analog

Life without digital tools and technology will be a lot more different.

Here are some things to stock up on before SHTF:

  • You need an analog radio so you can monitor the news. Buy a hand-crank solar-powered AM/FM weather band analog radio.
  • An analog thermometer for health reasons. Look for an analog mercury-free thermometer.
  • While an analog clock or wristwatch aren't survival essentials, it will help you keep track of the time.

Save up for a generator

It's best to buy a generator before you need one. A generator will be crucial for those who live in frigid areas of the country in winter so you can stay warm.

A generator is generally safe to use in the country, but it might attract too much attention in a city during an EMP event.

Plan your fuel needs

If you are getting a generator, learn how to store fuel properly. You need a backup plan since your fuel supply will eventually run out or expire.

Plan a strategy for your car

The typical car has 90 microprocessors, so there's a chance it will fail after an EMP attack.

Here's what to do if you plan to bug out after an EMP:

  • Stock up on car essentials. Bring enough food and water for the whole family and keep the food and water at the entrance of

    your home so you'll remember to bring it. You also need a vehicle first aid kit.

  • Have an escape plan for your bug-out car. Keep a sturdy pair of shoes for the whole family in the car in case you have to walk home.
  • Invest in a classic car. Another option is to buy a pre-1965 Mustang or Volkswagon since these classic vehicles might run if they have an old-fashioned carburetor.

Develop a family emergency preparedness plan

Educate your kids about an EMP scenario and discuss where everyone will meet if you are separated. Have a contingency plan if the first location is not available.

If your children are old enough to go to school, pack a letter detailing the approved plan of action, along with meeting locations and alternatives. Tell your kids to reference the letter if SHTF and they aren't at home.

Build a Faraday box or cage

A Faraday cage is a shielding device that will help protect electronic equipment from an intense interruption of solar radiation.

You may want to build or buy a Faraday cage, box or other containers to prevent the electromagnet pulse from destroying your electronic equipment. Use a Faraday cage to protect your communications essentials.

Prepare before SHTF and stock up on items you will need in case of an EMP attack.

Visit for more tips on how to prepare for EMP attacks and similar disaster scenarios.

Watch the video below to know more about EMPs.

This video is from the EMP for Dummies channel on

More related stories:

SHTF tips: How to survive an EMP attack that brings down the power grid.

How to prepare for an EMP threat.

A nuclear strike, EMP blast or massive cyberattack can take down the power grid – here’s how to survive the immediate aftermath of a grid collapse.

Sources include:

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