Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
One of the disasters that preppers fear the most is an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). Why? Because it would literally throw us back a couple hundred years by knocking out the power and rendering all electronics useless. That means no more cars, lighting, hospitals, internet, cell service, hot water… the list goes on and on.
It’s been estimated that 90% of people would die after a year without power. To avoid being one of those people, you need to stockpile things that are EMP proof.
As you will soon see, there are many items that are fully invincible to an EMP. This list is presented in alphabetical order:
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1. Blankets (and Warm Clothes)
Most people rely on electricity to generate heat. During the summer, this won’t be much of an issue (other than the fact that the A/C won’t work). But during the winter, especially in parts of the country that get really cold, it’s going to be a real problem.
Just look at the record cold temperatures we saw across the midwestern United States last winter. What would happen if the power went out across that entire region? The interior of buildings and homes would have been warmer than outside, but not much warmer. Millions would have frozen.
That’s why investing in heavy blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter clothing is essential. You simply need to be prepared for when temperatures get really cold and you can’t get inside for warmth.
Here’s how to stay warm during a winter power outage.
The internet will go down during an EMP, but do you know what won’t go down? Books. That’s why you should consider putting together your own personal library of survival books if you haven’t already.
Not only books on survival, but also famous novels, books you personally enjoy, comic books, and so forth. Any kind of book is going to provide value, whether it be for entertainment or for important information (or both).
Here’s my list of the top 100 survival books.
3. Bullets (and Guns)
Bullets are impervious to an EMP (and in case if you didn’t notice, so are guns). The only thing to be careful of here is not to put your guns or bullets in a safe with an electronic pad since it won’t work after an EMP.
Here is how to store your ammunition.
We just talked about the importance of having blankets and warm clothing. That’s good, but it’s not good enough. No matter how many layers of warm clothing you bundle yourself up in, you’re still going to be very cold.
Another solution? Fire. But while building a fire may be dangerous indoors, it won’t be dangerous (at least not incredibly dangerous) if you use candles, which are much easier to control and smaller. The warmth and light they’ll provide is minimal, but it’s still better than nothing.
Here’s how to make your own candles.
This one is hugely important. When the grid goes down, you can say goodbye to online banking, and your debit cards will be useless. This is why you will need cash.
Try to have at least $1,000 in your home, and divide it between $50, $20, $10, $5, and $1 bills. Furthermore, if the economy collapses after the grid goes down (which it very well may) and cash becomes worthless too, then it’s only going to do you any good in the opening hours of the disaster.
Therefore, consider taking around half of your emergency cash and going to the store to buy as many provisions as you can before they become looted. Keep the remaining half on hand just in case cash holds its value.
NOTE: Stockpiling gold and silver pieces won’t be a bad idea either. People will likely value it more than cash in the event of a grid down scenario.
In case you run out of cash, here’s a list of barter items you may want to stockpile.
Food will not be affected by an EMP, but your fridge and freezer will. Therefore, focus on foods that don’t require freezing or refrigeration. Examples of foods that fall in this class include flour, beans, white rice, canned meat and vegetables, peanut butter, and energy bars.
Be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to emergency food storage.
Even though starting a fire with a magnesium flint striker is cool, you’d be wise to stockpile as many Bic lighters as you can. Once those run out of fuel, then you can use other fire starting devices, all of which are EMP-proof if you think about it. In case you forget to stockpile fire starting tools, here are some other ways to start a fire.
8. Pain Killers
Pain killers, along with other medications, are also impervious to EMP attacks, and they are going to be in short supply during a major collapse, so stockpile them now.
Here are some medicinal herbs to help ease the pain.
9. Personal Hygiene Items
Soap, shampoo, razors, hand sanitizer, chapstick, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, baking soda… all of it is necessary and it’s also impervious to EMP attacks. The only personal hygiene item that really won’t be invulnerable to an EMP is an electronic razor.
Here’s a list of hygiene items you’ll need after the SHTF.
10. Solar Panels
Solar panels will actually do a surprisingly good job of resisting an EMP. They will suffer damage, and their overall power output may be reduced by five to ten percent, but most of them should continue to work.
The real issue is with the solar charge controller, which is used to charge the batteries, and the voltage inverter that converts your battery power. You’ll need to store those inside of a Faraday cage, so that they will have at least some degree of protection against an EMP.
Here’s a guide to getting your home off the grid and onto solar.
A stove doesn’t just cook food, it also helps keep you warm. Consider buying a wood cook stove and plenty of firewood. The only precaution is to make sure you also have a chimney to let all the smoke out.
To save money, try making one of these DIY emergency stoves.
12. Toilet Paper
There are few suitable alternatives to toilet paper, and it’s undoubtedly necessary. Enough said.
In case you run out of toilet paper, here are some toilet paper alternatives.
Basic, non-electronic tools will still be in great working order following an EMP. Think of knives, axes, hammers, nails, screwdrivers, screws, wrenches, and so forth. If you don’t have those kinds of tools in your garage right now, you’re making a mistake.
Here’s a list of off grid tools you should have.
14. Trash Bags
Trash bags are among the most useful survival items there are. That’s because you can easily use them as ponchos, for storing food and water, for a mattress (simply stuff with leaves), for transporting items, to tie food up above the ground, and so on.
Here is a list of over three dozen uses for trash bags.
Water itself is impervious to an EMP attack, but unfortunately, running water is not. And what water is left, such as in the lakes or rivers, will quickly become contaminated due to people dumping their personal waste into it.
There really is only one solution, and that is to stockpile as much water as you can, especially if you live in an urban area without any access to natural water. Sure, you can set up a rainwater catchment system, but you don’t get to decide when it rains either. You need to stockpile water, and lots of it.
Here are some places you can store your drinking water.
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What if someone took out all the cell phone towers in a large city(New york city)all at once? wouldn’t that shutdown computer networks too?
Thanks for the article.
Safes with electronic keypads usually have a key backup in case the batteries go flat.
No better feeling than being prepared…no matter what it is for…I totally do not understand some of the comments criticizing being prepared….any kind of situation can arise to knock things out of kilter…no matter where you live there is some type of situation..that can cause bad results…Blizzards…Ice Storms…Hurricanes…Tornadoes…Fires…just a nice feeling knowing that you can take care of yourself if even for a couple of weeks….I just cannot believe anyone would criticize anyone for being prepared in anyway possible.
Steve, you are correct, it’s a good idea to test everything you are able to ahead of time if you can manage it, but it’s hard to test your Faraday cage prior to an EMP or CME, it’s all guessing until after the event to see what worked and what didn’t to protect your electronics. People should also learn as many skills towards self-reliance as they can, and practice, practice, practice, before they have to depend on those skills. Example: making a fire with dry tinder and fuel in a sheltered location like your backyard does not prepare you for making a fire out in the wild with whatever fuels you manage to gather, in inclement weather, and maybe having to use a Ferro rod or even more primitive means to get the tinder to light.
Lot of strange comments here…countries like Iran and N. Korea could care less about taking over a city…they are just thinking of how they can rid the world of the United States regardless of what damage they do…also the idea of this page is just out there…if you do not want to prepare then good for you…but we all live in different parts of the world…Hurricanes…Tornado’s…Earthquakes…and fires..so regardless of the situation just being prepared CANNOT BE A BAD THING….we had an ice storm and were without power for 18 days….some people believe that Uncle Sam will step in and just help everyone…GOOD LUCK WITH THAT….
Elbert Jones says
The countries that have nukes go out of their way to prevent them from being stolen. You’d probably need a missile to deliver an air burst nuclear EMP blast.SO WHY IARE SO MANY PEOPLE WORRIED OF ONE HAPPENING?
Nathan Harris says
Because there’s ALWAYS one maniac who wants nothing more than to see the World burn, that’s why.
Old Lefty says
The Russians admit that some of their weaponry is “missing” including nuclear weapons. It doesn’t take an ICBM to launch an EMP causing atomic explosion. Even Saddam’s infamous SCUD misses are capable of reaching 300 miles in altitude. Launched off the coast of Mexico in international waters a SCUD could carry an atomic warhead to central Kansas and black out the four grids in the U.S. It is not a far fetched apoco novel theory.
While educational, most of this prepping presumes you are rich (have your own house and loads of cash).
Doesn’t do much good for poor people.
Evone Kent says
poor people are 20 steps ahead of rich folk. We already know how to be poor. It is the rich that will suffer the most. They can buy a ton of food but if you don’t know how to ration it it will all be gone and they have no idea how to make more.
Elbert Jones says
If an EMP weapon is so powerful; WHY HASN’T ANYONE USED ONE YET?
mason patino says
can you repair a cell phone tour after an emp hit
weapons have become so sophisticated that it is difficult to use a mass weapon without it affecting the country using it as well. Between all the countries of the world EACH could destroy the world more than once. It is that notion that stops them from deploying these weapons.
Elbert Jones says
There are only two ways an E.M.P. incident can happen: Massive solar flare and air burst nuclear blast.
If a massive solar flare happens;wouldn’t we know in advance when it would hit us?
An E.M.P. weapon is not an OFFENSIVE weapon. It’ a DEFENSIVE weapon. Why zap a city if you can’t use it immediately? You’ll have to repair the stuff the E.M.P. destroyed before you can use it.
If An E.M.P. weapon so effective; Why hasn’t it been used yet?
Stravo Lukos says
Good points, EJ. EMPs could be used offensively, too, but that means setting off nukes, & the world community doesn’t like that.
All I can think of is that the nukes that produce the EMPs would be homegrown. And I believe that’s not only possible, but likely to happen. I don’t worry about EMPs. I imagine all the desperadoes & Neanderthals who will be unleashed on civilization. I’m afraid the reactions would be brutal & merciless, another step down in civility.
One interesting point might be the resilience of nature. Look how quickly things started to stabilize & repair after the pandemic lockdowns. This is callous, but w/ over a 90% die off in human population, flora & fauna would rebound. This would be two-sided, of course. More dangerous animals; however, more food for hunting-gathering, as well.
The biggest challenge would be for the churches. Will they follow the world mindset or Christ’s? It would be a filtering process, for sure. Okay, mind brain ran out of thoughts. Ciao!
stravo lukos says
There are non-nuclear EMP devices.
Shutting down a country’s ability to make weapons and cause chaos IS an offensive act. You are thinking of old time wars based on securing more territory. Today’s wars are about eliminating the enemy and threats from the enemy not taking over land or resources.
Bemused Berserker says
We know there’s effects of EMP dating back to the Trinity Testing. We know that another Carrington Event is possible too, and actually based on Solar Observation, and Earth’s collapsing Geomagnetic field, a Carrington event has a higher probability of occurring than a Thermonuclear attack. You’re right though, it remains largely academic.
Research and study does support the claim that damage occurs. What’s noteworthy, is that it’s most likely to affect microprocessors than older analog equipment. Tunes and discreet Transistors as long as they are powered off, are most likely to survive the pulse. Microprocessors get fried unless contained in a Faraday cage. How big an effect, is unknown.
Two very different Prepper/Survivalist Philosophies exist. One, seeks to continue tobuse current technology, the other, subscribes to severing the dependence on devices that will eventually fail, and we may not have the capability to manufacture more, thus it’s better just to ditch it in the first place. Myself, I subscribe to ditching it all to begin with.
Can you prepare a pdf with all necessary info in it for survival, incl all of this and all necessary linked items and make it available to folks?
David Thompson says
A nice solar or even cheaper a hand crank charger and a car or whatever vehicle before 1976. You’ll be able to travel while most can’t. The other items on your list are good, but very basic.
Mary lynn says
Gas would be hard to get.
Not really there will be millions of gallons in the car’s on the street and I know for a fact 8 year old gas still runs
in my truck
Hey , I’ve been told that gas goes bad after a few months . If it is stored in a traditional gas container with the caps closed, how long do you think it will last?
Solar panels have blocking diodes that (reportedly) have a moderate to high probability of being damaged or fried by an EMP. They’re cheap, so buy a couple dozen (suitable for your panels) and put them in your Faraday. Of course, you’ll need to know how to solder…
Guess I can clear out one of my Faraday containers now…didn’t know toilet paper was EMP proof (kidding).
Yes, regarding Alex (4/3/19) about “making your garage a faraday cage” using #6 copper wire. For those who are not familiar with a Faraday cage, depending on the size this could be an expensive project.
There’s one thing that can stop an EMP dead in its tracks , it’s called a Faraday cage , basically you place all your electricals like phones chips computers portable generators anything that uses a chip that could be Friday nanny MP into a Faraday cage and when an EMP hits your equipment is protected from all known signals radio waves radioactive radio waves anything that would fry electrical equipment is safe plus they’re more or less easy to build.
Lol wut an isightfull article. It Should be named common sense for those who have none. Could the shit in this article be any more obvious???
Heres a better idea for people with some actual intelligence. Get a roll of thick (6 gauge) copper wire and turn your garage or wherever you store your preps into a faraday cage grounded to a coper or aluminum stake in the ground outside said space. Store all your survival electronics ie. Flashlights, nightvision scopes, firearms w electronic components, and anything else that would be affected by an EMP in there.
Also get a kick-start 450 cc dirt bike. (I recomend Honda crf 450R) it has no Electronic components and will fire right up so you can get around after emp.
Since you know everything about prepping already ,do us a favor and quit reading these sites. Your info is good but your sarcasm shows you are an insecure bully. JR
Can you tell me about how much copper wiring you need , for what size of garage, and how to do this. No matter what some are saying I want to know this , I’ve been trying to prep but people think I’m crazy
Alex, I do like the idea of a kick-start motorcycle (or kick-start/pull-start ATV if you can get one) to get around if needed. After a serious SHTF, I would expect most roadways to be jammed up with other vehicles and maybe debris, and a small motorcycle can maneuver around obstacles fairly well, including off-road.
Raven tactical says
I guess it your first day of prepping is today. Then it’s a cool list.
You’d be surprised how many people are COMPLETELY unprepared for ANY kind of calamity. Just because you are prepared doesn’t mean everyone has that kind of common sense.
Thank you so much for including books on this list. Not only can books be entertaining to pass the time, informative to assist in day-to-day issues, and educational so that you can learn a new skill or improve your communication, but books are what traditionally have been used to pass along ideas from generation to generation (a big reason why books have been burned by conquering peoples). Great and welcome addition to a good list of essentials. Thanks again!
GREAT ARTICLE! NOBODY HAS A BETTER PREPPER SITE.
Mensa Graham says
Dollar Tree has 8″ Glass candles which will burn for 180 hours for a buck.
Have you tested these Dollar Tree candles or just read the info somewhere else?