EMP Prepping: When Should You Bug Out?

In part one and part two of EMP Prepping we covered what actions to take before and right after an electromagnetic pulse or blackout. If you're in the city or suburbs, and you have prepped, eventually you're going to run out of supplies.  The good news is, you've weathered the storm and you won't have to deal with the hordes of looters who started to panic at just a few days in.

The bad news is, all electronics have been fried so you can't just herd everyone into the minivan and head up to the cabin. 

When should I bug out?

In a SHTF scenario, you should have enough supplies to hunker down for two weeks. You don't want to wait until you've exhausted all of your supplies though.  If your bug out location is an hour drive, then you can count on your journey taking about a week on foot.  In short, you should hold out until your supplies are running low, but have enough left to make it to your designation. At a minimum, 10 days.

What's a bug out location?

Preppers who live in the city or suburbs will designate an area, away from the masses where they can essentially live off the land without relying on technology.  Your survival property should be no more than a full gas tank away.  In the case of an EMP disaster, you won't be able to rely on your car to get you there so don't choose a location you won't be able to make it to.

Travel Math

Let's say your bug out location is 60 miles away. Traveling 10 miles per day on foot is a pretty good pace if you've got a family. That would make your total travel time 6 days. So you'll want at least a week's worth of supplies to get you there. Ideally you will have a faster method of transportation than your feet. A bike for example can cut your travel time in half, and make the journey much more pleasant.

Bug Out Bike

To speed up your journey, consider making sure everyone in your family has a bicycle. You can make some adjustments to a normal mountain bike that will allow you to carry a decent sized load.

You can also make some simple modifications to your bike or attach a bike trailer to carry additional supplies.

I don't have my own bug out location

If you don't have your own off grid property then you should make a list of friends and family who do. You can take a tip from our first EMP prepping article which was bartering.  In exchange for providing shelter, you might be able to provide services like hunting, fishing, or property maintenance.


To recap our EMP Prepping series you'll want to write down what skills and services you'll be able to barter with, hunker down for at least 10 days, and finally head for the hills while you still have the supplies to get you there.


Bug Out Bag supplies

How to make a bug out bike trailer

What to look for in an off grid property

EMP Prepping: Part 1

EMP Prepping Part 2

Water Storage


Alex Deacon's EMP SHTF guide.

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