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Clearing the plates from the dinner table, you hear your kids in the living room. It’s summer and it’s hot. Thunderstorms were happening almost every evening as the earth struggled to deal with the cool dry air meeting hot moist summer days.
Suddenly, the lights flicker. The power surges, and then it all goes out. The kids start to chatter and let you know that the power has gone out, as if you hadn’t noticed. You look at your wife and she shows visual signs of annoyance as though you had something to do with it.
From there, you realize that not only is your power out, your phone has shut off as well. Your phone, her phone, and your kid’s iPad. In fact, all electronics have been rendered inoperable. Your heart begins to race because you know exactly what this means: the world has just been thrust back 150 years.
Once you realize and become certain that an EMP attack has occurred, you’ll want to take action immediately. If you are fast and efficient, you will be able to ascertain the severity of the situation and make life-saving decisions based on that information.
Here are 11 steps to take immediately following an EMP strike.
1. Check Communication Methods
Smartphones, WIFI, and landlines should all be checked using multiple devices to assure that all signals and electronics are offline. Even if you find that a landline is operational, you will more than likely be calling to someone who is using a cellphone.
Short wave radio should also be checked, if applicable. If you find that all of these methods and the electronics within them have been fried, you’ll know it’s an EMP.
2. Check Battery Powered Devices
During your diagnosis of this disaster, you may also want to check a few simpler, battery powered devices. Things like small toys and handheld games may work to varying degrees or not at all. If you find that your full inventory of electronics is out of order, it is time to get concerned about the possibility of an EMP.
3. Collect Local Intelligence
After the first two steps, it’s time to talk to people. You remember people, right? They are the meaty creatures on two legs that look like you. Well, people live all around you and while you may wince at the idea of talking to them, this type of local intelligence will tell you much more about what’s going on in your area. Someone may have information that is critical to your next steps.
4. Remove Your EMP Protected Items
Since you are on this site and reading this article, I am going to assume that you have an emergency radio inside a Faraday cage right now. If not, you should be taking older outdated electronics and storing them safely using some sort of grounding metal container. This is the first step for anyone concerned about an EMP.
Now is the time to pull these items out. If you store nothing else for an EMP emergency, at least store a small emergency radio.
5. Check Your Emergency Radio
The best type of emergency radio is going to be something small and easily charged by the sun. The hand crank models are great, but that crank is going to run out on you and, depending on the quality of the radio, it could run out fast. Don’t be a victim of shoddy equipment.
Scan all channels on both radio dials. Look for any signal and any news about events around the nation. It could turn out to be an isolated EMP impact or you may find dead air on all stations. That is the worst-case scenario. The next steps will depend on where you live.
6. Get Out of Dodge
If you live in a highly populated area, keep in mind that an EMP is going to cause absolute chaos and mayhem. It’s time to grab your bug out bag and get out of dodge as quickly as possible. Ideally, you already have a bug out location prepared and know exactly how to get there while avoiding roads that are likely to be blocked.
If, on the other hand, you live in a small town or rural area, your best bet might be to stay put. Either way, continue on with the following steps.
7. Explain What’s Happened to Your Family
After all the diagnosis is over and you’re 99% sure you are dealing with an EMP attack, the time has come to brief the family. It will be one of the most serious discussions you have with your family and, depending on their level of preparedness and understanding, it could be a very difficult one.
Take your time here. Explain exactly what has happened and how it is going to affect the way of life that your family has become accustomed to. Let them know about the dangers and, above all, let them know that you are prepared for this and give them some hope.
8. Gather Community to Discuss
No matter how involved in your community you may or may not be, now is the time to bring them together. You are the expert. When it comes to the EMP, there may be many people in your community who have never even heard of the EMP. Gather your neighbors and bring your knowledge to them. In scenarios like this, all the info you can layout will help.
This is an appropriate time to also lay some very basic plans for community security and follow up meetings. Maybe things don’t get crazy but if they do, it’s better that you have something in place.
9. Bolster in Home Security
When you depart from the community setting, it is time to prepare your own home for the trouble to come. Whatever steps you can take to bolster your home security should happen next. Take no breaks until you have a more secure home than you started with.
- Reinforce doors.
- Get weapons loaded and placed, safely, around the home.
- Set a perimeter around steps that will create some noise.
- Stay alert and be prepared to react.
10. Create Long Term Goals
Once your current situation is as secure as possible, it’s time to start looking to the future. Food, water, and resources are all things you need to be able to procure. Your current situation and where you need to be to live in a world without retailers, shipping companies, and other producers. Consider the following on how you will turn your property into a sustainable homestead.
- Water Catchment
- Egg Producing Hens
- Meat Rabbits
- Large Vegetable and Grain Garden
- Medicinal Herb Garden
- Preservation Tools
11. Continually Assess the Situation
Beyond setting up the basic steps to preparing for the fallout following an EMP, you move into situation analysis. Through your meetings with the community, the radio, and your own observations, you must continually assess the situation around you.
Remember, just because an environment is safe now doesn’t mean it will stay that way. After a disaster, things change rapidly and they change often. Keep evaluating and know when it’s time to stay, arm yourself, or get outta there!
What would you add to my list of 11 things to do after an EMP attack? Leave your answer in the comments below.