An Electromagnetic Pulse or EMP is when a large amount of electromagnetic energy is released. The release of energy from an EMP will fry or render most electronics useless.
The radius of effected electronics will vary depending on the size of the blast.
Various small scale military EMP applications are in use today as a way to fry an enemy's electronics and communications. Larger scale EMPs include natural disasters such as lightning strikes, which have been getting more frequent in recent years. A large scale EMP could also be released as a bomb detonated in the atmosphere.
Military experts speculate that a large scale EMP, detonated 70+ miles over the United States could wipe out our entire grid. That means the grocery store can't keep its lights on, refrigerate food, or take your credit card. It means your car won't start and your phone will be nothing more than a paper weight.
Have you prepared for this scenario?
How to prepare for an EMP
You should always have a bug out bag ready to go which we discuss a lot, so I'm not going to bore you with the basics.
Trade and Barter
We always tell you to keep cash in your bug out bag, and that's true in an EMP scenario too, but there's a good chance that paper cash will have no value in the weeks to come. You'll need skills or goods to trade for resources. Some valuable skills and goods would be.
- Wood work and carpentry
- Hunting and fishing (including skinning and butchering so you can trade the meat)
- Horseback riding and training
- A garden
- Canning the vegetables you grow
Take a moment to write down what skills you have whether it's siting a rifle, washing clothes by hand, or even speaking two languages. Things most people take for granted now will play a huge part in what comes after.
On a small scale EMP you may be able to save electronics like laptops, cell phones, and valuable hard drives. A Faraday cage will disrupt the magnetic field enough so that the contents inside are not affected.
Small scale Faraday cages can be as simple as putting your electronics inside your microwave (No, you don't turn it on). A microwave naturally shields radiation and should be able to save your phone or tablet. You can also make a Faraday cage by taking an ordinary plastic grocery bag, and lining the inside with aluminum foil. When you're done, put your electronics inside and seal the top.
In my next article we'll talk about what you need to do after the EMP.