Five Core Rules to Survive an EMP Attack

In a world where it seems like disaster is looming around every corner, it is tough to know what to expect and prepare for. Preppers are some of the savviest, most informed people out there. They get a bad reputation for being paranoid or are called Doomsdayers or conspiracy theorists. In reality, preppers are aware. They don’t have their heads in the sand. They want to be ready for anything at any time.

One of the scenarios preppers should be preparing for, and one I cover extensively in my fictional book ‘Dark Retreat’, is (you guessed it!) an EMP. An electromagnetic pulse is not something you hear about everyday, but you should. An EMP can cripple a country. It can destroy every nation. If an EMP were to strike in the U.S., it would not only disrupt the country, but the entire world would feel the ripple effects.

An EMP would shut down communications, transportation systems, interrupt the food supply chain and wreak havoc in general. Life as we know it would be gone for good. The power grid would fail, the water supply would fail. It is hard to imagine not being able to turn on a light or get a glass of water from the tap, but it will happen. You won’t be able to call the police for help or run to the hospital when you are sick or injured.

An EMP can be the result of a solar flare, a nuclear weapon being detonated, a weapon designed specifically to create a massive EMP or even a lightning strike. The flash would create millions of charged particles in the air. These particles would create a massive power influx that basically shorts out anything electrical. Including the tiny computers that run our vehicles.

Fortunately, the EMP itself isn’t harmful, but it’s the after effects that will put your life in jeopardy. How could you possibly survive after a massive EMP? This is the exact question I’ve been exploring in Dark Retreat. Here are my top 5 tips that will give you the best odds of survival.

  1. Prepare now. That means you get a stockpile of food and water built up. BUT, it needs to be hidden, cached. This is something the Morris family did, which gives them a huge advantage in the post-EMP world. You also need to know how to defend your stockpile. Learning how to grow a garden and raise livestock so you have a sustainable food source. Life isn’t going to go back to the way it was. You have to be ready to accept the new reality. That means stockpiling things like toilet paper, heirloom seeds, personal hygiene items and so on. The Morris family prepared for years and are in a position to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, they encounter people who were not prepared and have to make some tough decisions regarding protecting their own or helping out a stranger.
  2. Build a Faraday cage to protect some of your electronics. Things like 2-way radios, HAM radios and even a few flashlights. A Faraday cage is basically a box lined with aluminum foil. A small metal file cabinet, a metal trash can or a large tin can lined with cardboard can all be used as a Faraday cage. A quick internet search will show you some of the many options you have. A world without a communications system is going to be a huge adjustment.
  3. Bartering will take the place of cash. You will get an idea of the value of things we take for granted today, like socks, shampoo and coffee in the story of the Morris clan. It is the little things that count and these are the things you will want to trade other goods and services to get. Bartering can be tricky and it is up to you and the person you are trading with to determine value. Stockpiling little, inexpensive things like candy, salt and etc…can make you a wealthy person in a world where bartering is the only option.
  4. If you are in an urban survival situation, you will eventually need to get out of town. Be prepared to bug out. Going back to number 1 on the list, your hidden caches should be along the way or at a designated area you will be retreating to. Get to an area that has the land you need to grow food and raise animals. The Morris family had the luxury of picking the perfect piece of land, high up in the mountains with plenty of natural resources, like a stream on the land, wild animals for hunting and few human inhabitants. Banks are going to be a thing of the past. Think of life as the Wild Wild West. Land ownership and mortgages are not going to matter. If there is open land, stake your claim and build your homestead. Choosing wisely, like the Morris clan, is important. Their home was built with a large hill behind that served as a windblock as well as provided an easily defended space.
  5. You need to learn old-fashioned skills like sewing, leather-working, building with non-electric tools and so on. You will not have electricity or the ability to hire a tradesman. It is all on you. Learn about natural medicine and how to treat ailments and minor injuries. The Morris family matriarch happens to be well-versed in natural healing methods, which comes in handy when a little girl becomes extremely ill. Knowing how to use plants and herbs to cure ailments will be the answer to the absence of Western medicine. It will all be very hands-on and very similar to the Pioneer Days.

It is hard to imagine life after a massive EMP, but you can get an idea about what it would be like in the fictional tale that follows single mom, Megan Wolford. You will get to walk in her shoes as she navigates life after an EMP destroys the world as she knew it. She must learn to survive without electricity or grocery stores.  She’s extremely self-reliant and hates depending on others, but when her precious daughter becomes ill, she’ll be forced to join a prepper family.

Her story will take you through some of the scenarios that are likely to occur after the country is plunged into darkness. There are highs and lows and through it all, Megan must do what she can to keep her daughter alive. That means she will have to learn to trust others while protecting her daughter from people who are desperate for basic needs.

She must make the decision to join a group and hope they are who they say they are or go it alone. Through Megan, you will get to experience what life will be like and essentially learn from her mistakes and her experiences.

Grace Hamilton’s Bio

Grace Hamilton is the prepper pen-name for a bad-ass, survivalist momma-bear of four kids, and wife to a wonderful husband. After being stuck in a mountain cabin for six days following a flash flood, she decided she never wanted to feel so powerless or have to send her kids to bed hungry again. Now she lives the prepper lifestyle and knows that if SHTF or TEOTWAWKI happens, she’ll be ready to help protect and provide for her family.

Combine this survivalist mentality with a vivid imagination (as well as a slightly unhealthy day dreaming habit) and you get a prepper fiction author. Grace spends her days thinking about the worst possible survival situations that a person could be thrown into, then throwing her characters into these nightmares while trying to figure out “What SHOULD you do in this situation?”

It’s her wish that through her characters, you will get to experience what life will be like and essentially learn from their mistakes and experiences so that you too can survive!

You can get her latest book, ‘Dark Retreat (EMP Lodge Series #1)’ on Amazon now.


  1. Both China and Russia are capable of using EMPs against us AND capable of nuking us back into the stone age. So why, under what circumstances would they use an EMP on us??? It would be a nuclear attack that would leave all our ability to retaliate intact. So why would they do it? It would have to be the stupidist strategic decision in history. IF, as you believe an EMP would be that disasterous the American public would be outraged at the “nuking” of America and would demand a counter attack. The last thing either Russia or China wants is for use to use nukes in a first strike and EMP-ing us would virtually guarantee it.

    • Hi, OneGuy, I agree that Russia and China have far and away the greatest ability to use EMPs against us, and the greatest disincentives. I suspect the same goes for our ability and incentive to EMP them. I think we can live with that.

      Currently less capable (as in currently can’t), but with greater incentive is Iran. A number of years ago the Iranian government said that if they obliterated Israel, at the cost of the obliteration of Iran, that would be acceptable because Israel would be gone and Islam would continue. That’s a really scary mindset.

      As Iran improves their missiles and develops nuclear weapons, Iran will be a significant possibility for an EMP attacker. They might not care about the disincentives if they think they can wipe us out with 3 or four EMP devices.

      Also less capable but working on both bombs and delivery vehicles is North Korea. Hard to say what disincentives they see. I like to think the people running things there are, while extraordinarily brutal, not such complete nut cases as they sometimes appear.

      I have read a couple times that NK has put one or two satellites of unknown purpose into orbits which pass over the US, which would be ideal for EMP, but as with a lot of such, I’m not sure how accurate they are or if they are utterly fake news. If anyone has a reliable source, I’d love to see it linked to here.

      As far as a solar storm creating the same effects of an EMP nuclear device, the Lloyds of London insurance company report is worth reading. It’s short -16 pages- and says that while a Carrington type event would be a disaster leading to a possible 2 trillion dollar hit to the North American economy the first year, it would not likely be quite -quite- as devastating as the worst case scenarios we see in most novels. In any case, it is well worth reading. Includes maps of likely distribution of burn outs based on underlying geology.

      Lloyd’s says explicitly: “A Carrington-level, extreme geomagnetic storm is almost inevitable in the future” and suggests a recurrence interval for a Carrington (1859) level event at 150-250 years.

      From section 6.6 Outage Scenarios:

      “If spares are readily available (that’s a big IF, preppers!), the total transportation and setup time for a large power transformer can range from a
      few weeks to months depending on distance and logistical
      issues38. If new transformers need to be ordered, the leadtime
      is estimated to be between 5-12 months for domestic
      suppliers, and 6-16 months for international
      The total number of damaged transformers is less relevant
      for prolonged regional power outage than their
      concentration. The failure of a small number of
      transformers serving a highly populated area is enough to
      create a situation of prolonged outage. So while storms
      weaker than Carrington, but stronger than Quebec, could
      result in a smaller number of damaged transformers around
      10-20), the potential for concentration of damage along the
      Atlantic coast is extremely concerning. ”

      Think: The biggest cities of the East Coast without power for months. No water. No heat in winter. No elevators. No water any time.

      Their evaluation of the effects on society are actually fairly similar to preppers’ concerns, but seen from the insurance industry’s point of view: “In the more extreme end of the spectrum, a major space weather event on the scale of the Carrington Event could lead to power loss for a period of weeks or more. This would cause major disruption to transport, food
      supplies, emergency and hospital services amongst other things. For example, if pumping operations needed to be suspended that would quickly affect water and fuel supplies, sewage systems and flood defences. The absence of such fundamental services could lead to major and widespread social unrest, riots
      and theft with ramifications for the insurance industry and society in general. ”

      Yup: Lloyd’s of London says “major and widespread social unrest, riots and theft”. We may have our tin foil hats in reserve, but Lloyd’s isn’t kidding.

      So, while nuclear device EMP threats are nothing to sneeze at, Carrington level events are a slam dunk sure thing. Just not the timing. The next one may not be in our lifetimes. Or next year.

      I’ve linked before, but here it is again:

      • GeorgiaPeachie says:

        Pernod, interesting read. Thank you for the link. Have you read either of the Congressional Reports on EMPs? These are more in-depth and naturally have more inside data to back them up.

        As you’ve noted above, the timing of replacement transformers…especially ones that serve large populations and are critical in the links between our grids are the ones that must be bought from overseas. Further, according to the report, and numerous senators involved with the commission, those “key” transformers would take anywhere from 1-2 years to replace. There are 300 large transformers that are said to be key. From my understanding, Texas might have the best chance of all to get through an event like this.

        I’d like to think that people would stay civilized and help one another, but the likelihood of that in larger populations is slim to none. We are a different America post obama. He has managed to divide us more than ever and convinced certain groups that they are being wronged and are “owed” something. Look at the riots in malls across this country. Riots in our FORMER education institutions. In the streets. And don’t overlook the many innocent Americans who get beat up now simply for being conservative.

        Prepper Doc, pipe in here if you disagree.

    • Hans Granheim says:

      If you examine instances of significant “blackouts” that have occurred in this country, most of them have lasted a few days at most. In general, people were surprisingly calm and orderly . Oddly, many reported a sense camaraderie, cooperation and a sense of shared sacrifice. It’s the prolonged absence of electrical power that has not been experienced in the U.S. That’s when you find out just how civilized we are. As people grow increasingly desperate to satisfy basic needs, it’s likely their behaviors will regress to tribal or gang levels. Scary stuff and a good reason to have some supplies on hand to a least get through a few months in the hope that some sense of order can be restored.

    • Txndeplorable says:

      I think China would Luke the. Emp method weaken us the come over and voila new land from ever growing population. Here they could n xxx have more kids.and so much . Mirror l a nd a j d all th a th

    • An EMP doesn’t destroy our farmland????

  2. mom of three says:

    This is something we have talked about many times hubby, is a electrician, and understands what an EMP can and will do. Sounds like a wonder story thanks for the Amazon link I don’t use Amazon, very often.

  3. What items would you recommend putting in a faraday cage? I feel like computers and phones would be useless because most likely services would not be operating. Am I correct?

    • Babycatcher says:

      Ham radios,components that can be used to repair them, shortwave radio, hearing aids( they have small batteries, potentiometers,etc, inside) , small computers like a laptop or iPad(the grid might only be fried in your locality) and other things like that. Solar chargers, inverters, also come to mind.

      • A myriad of auto parts should be stocked up. Voltage regulators and etc.the less electric gizmos the better in your bov. For instance manual roll up windows would be best.Points in doubt dist may not make it depending on circumstances.or the condenser which will disable a vehicle if many things depending on vehicle. The gizmo that disables your ignition if your seat belt is not on for instance.If that fries your vehicle is a conversation piece.

        • Jesse Haskins says:

          It would be nice to have an older vehicle that won’t fry during an EMP. But I can’t help thinking how quickly desperate people would kill me for it. If I can’t g.o.o.d. quickly enough, it’s going to get hijacked if it’s seen driven.

          • Aussie Prepper says:

            Jesse, I have a 1960’s tractor at my retreat, a Ford 5000 diesel. So “old school” it doesn’t need a battery and doesn’t have glow plugs – just a button to push on the fuel pump to assist with starting when it is freezing cold. Normally start with a key but a simple bump start will start it any time even with no battery in place. Has been extensively reconditioned. Being very old school it would probably run on just about anything but stabilised diesel is good for 10 years anyway. Having almost 70 horse power it is able to plough up plenty very quickly if needed and get the crops in the ground.

            Most older diesel cars/small trucks have manual fuel pumps to power the injectors but electronic fuel cut outs to stop/start them when you turn the key. My tractor has a simple push/pull button. I’m sure an old school diesel could have the fuel cut off bypassed and a manual one retrofitted. Once you do that park the thing on a hill when you stop it and it is easy to bump start them as long as they have a manual gearbox. Only problem would be when it is very, very cold as glow plugs preheat the combustion chamber to get the fuel to ignite. Depends where you are I guess but where I am it’s no big deal.

            I also have an old petrol 4×4 with distributor, points and condenser and a newer trail bike that has electronic ignition. I have spare parts for them in a faraday cage.

            I wrapped the parts in bubble wrap, then about 4 layers of aluminium foil, another bubble wrap, another layer of foil and a last layer of bubble wrap and they fit neatly inside a metal coffee can. They are then stuck in a galvanised metal trash can that is lined with cardboard. If that wont save them from an EMP I guess I am stuffed!

            I also have 4 small 1 watt UHF 2 ways, an 18 watt solar charger and a heap of rechargeable AA, AAA and CR123A batteries that I rotate every couple of years and the USB powered units to charge them in from the solar charger. Also a small short wave radio receiver. I don’t have Ham radio but every time prepper doc writes about it he gets me interested 🙂 These are also given the bubble wrap/foil treatment. Most of this stuff you can get from Amazon using MD’s link and it will cost less than $200 including the 2 ways.

            The parts for my 4×4 and bike cost about $120.


      • Chuck Findlay says:

        If we get hit with an EMP event, nobody is going to be driving their auto around. If it’s a new auto or an old one from the 1950’s, they all run on gasoline. And post-EMP gasoline is going to be harder to find then a unicorn.

        And even if you did have some gasoline stored up, driving about will make you a big target and get you killed.

        It doesn’t make a difference what auto you own, no gas = no go…

        • Chuck:

          I would like to be able to insure that I could keep my vehicle running long enough to get home. If I have the range, no purchases necessary.

          Other than that, I think I can make do after an EMP.

    • My faraday cage has an extra kindle w/ prepping books on it, & the usual LED flashlights, TENS unit, batteries, etc. A smartphone or laptop could be useful if one had prepping books or articles on it, IF u have a means to recharge the battery. For ex, my laptop has 100s of prepping articles, & several ebooks on it.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      What items would you recommend putting in a faraday cage? I feel like computers and phones would be useless because most likely services would not be operating. Am I correct?

      A laptop computer would be handy as it gives you the option to read Word files, PDF files, watch How-To U-Tube videos you saved (We all are saving these aren’t we?)

      You also need a solar panel to charge the computers battery.

    • Use laptops or smaller machines for keeping in touch with who you want. Be careful about broadcasting, it doesn’t just go for ham or short wave radios. Probably small 2-way radios are best.

  4. EMP attack would most likely come from a third world country, not Russia or China.

    • I tend to agree with this. However a single nuclear device even a really large nuclear EMP device simply wouldn’t destroy all the electronics in a country as large as ours. It would require a dozen or two dozen in a grid pattern to even assure an 80% effectiveness. It is unlikely that anyone other than the big nuclear powers could effectively EMP us. Then what happens? Say Iran nukes us with an EMP over NY City. We respond with a massive nuclear strike and bomb them back into the stone age. How is that something any sane thinking nation would do? Yes I am aware that Iran is doubtfully sane or thinking but considering their known power and what little they have done openly I suspect someone there is keeping the crazies in check. So who? North Korea? They would attack either SK or Japan. Pakistan? More than likely they would attack India not us. So who?

      • An EMP device that was detonated over the central part of the US at a classified altitude (but in near sub-space) would cover the continental US and parts of Canada. The only areas that would not be affected would be those in the “shadow” of mountains which would block the EMP pulse. However, and electric lines running into the ‘shadow’ areas would be affected.
        I worked with nuclear effects planning in the Military and it is a real threat to civilian electronics. Most of the systems used by the military are ‘hardened’ to prevent or negate the effects of an EMP wave.

        • Correction to my post: “Any electric lines” rather than “And electric lines” Sorry about that… 😉

        • This is the popular belief but isn’t true. The effect of an EMP device is decreased dramatically over distance i.e. the inverse square law. So while there is an ideal altitude to get the right angle that will compensate for the curvature of the earth and expose all of this vast country to the EMP it works against the opposing ideal distance for the maximum effect of the EMP. In other words it can’t be done. It will require about 24 EMP devices in a grid pattern over a country as large as the U.S. to achieve an 80% effectiveness.
          Which brings me to the next problem. Anything can reduce or negate the effectiveness of an EMP. If your car or any electrical device is on the other side of an 18 Wheeler driving down the highway this will shadow you from the EMP. Ditto for large or metal sheathed building, small hills etc. So a single device would be about 50% effective only in the area where it is close enough to even be effective.
          The advantage to multiple devices is that you can be on the right side of the 18 wheeler in respect to one EMP bomb but on the wrong side for one of the other. So with a grid pattern the effectiveness jumps to 80%. But notice not 100%.
          So there is the dilemma; either you use one device and have an effect but far from the claimed shutting us down and now we are really really pissed at you OR you use 24 EMP devices and shut down maybe 80% of civilian electronics but not our ability to retaliate and now we are really really really pissed at you. AND where would a third world country get 24 EMP bombs and the hardware to deliver them to the right spot over our country???
          This is why an EMP attack is unlikely. It is a nuclear attack that leaves your enemy alive and angry with all their military intact. If you look up the word “stupid” in the dictionary this is the definition.

          • Hi OneGuy, I think you made some good points. IIRC the Starfish Prime bomb was 1.2 megatons, detonated 250 miles above the Earth, 900 miles from Honolulu.

            While there was apparently some speculation about it producing an EMP, it was not designed to do so: EMP was just an unintended side effect.

            In a day of pretty robust mechanical electrical systems it knocked out many but not all street lights in Honolulu, and set off some security alarms.

            I have never seen any reports that it affected those Hawaiian islands further away from the blast, so maybe the effective radius was roughly 1000 miles. With that radius one bomb could not wipe out the entire US electronics. Of course, that was with a giant bomb, but not one designed to maximize EMP.

            I don’t know how big a yield a really effective device designed to maximize EMP would need to be, but I suspect nothing like 1.2 megatons.

            I don’t know if 24 highly effective EMP devices would be required for highly effective coverage, but could be. It seems to me though that more than one or two would be needed for reasonably certain results for the reasons you cited.

            One could do an awful lot of damage to America, though, with two bombs, one for the upper East coast and one for California, say Silicon Valley or the Port of LA. The retaliation would be really ugly though.

            BTW: Something one rarely sees in EMP novels is the visible blast. Stuff just stops working. People in Honolulu were told ahead of time about the night time Starfish Prime blast, and went outside to watch it. It was a BIG light in the sky.

            My in-laws were in Honolulu with their kids, and they all went out on the hotel roof to watch. My FIL kept the next day’s local papers with accounts and front page photos. We have the papers now, and some time I’ll pull out some excerpts for a story here.

  5. ISIS can even contact a Cartel, wire them money and an EMP or smart bomb to take our grid out so yes Mexico or one of the Central American countries.

    • This is my big fear. That the terrorists will get a nuke. Very unlikely that they could get an EMP device or be able to deliver it at the right altitude etc. More likely that they could acquire an older small device that they would have to sneak in country or to a port and detonate. But this would still be a nightmare, just not an EMP nightmare. But this is exactly what I expect and fully believe will happen. And the fact that the left in their desire to fight anything Trump does is making it all more likely worries me…

      • This has been a nightmare of the shipping companies for a long time as they do NOT want their people and facilities wiped out. As I understand it, we not only do a pre-check of ships headed to the US, but have satellites which can detect even heavily shielded radioactives aboard ships at sea.

        That doesn’t mean the system is perfect, but a lot of people are working hard to prevent anyone from sailing a ship into any American harbor and detonating a nuclear bomb.

        The upside is that people are aware and working on it. The downside is that they obviously believe they have reason to.

  6. New Prepper says:

    Reading “one second after now”. I’ll put yours on the list.
    Its scary (and probably true) how fast society will break down.

  7. Mark Smith says:

    Secure and Hidden
    MONTANA OFF GRID LIVING, I have my VERY Secluded Totally off Grid and Self contained 18 + acres in Central Western Montana for sale it’s in the Big Belt Mountains, Lots of Trees. 45 Mi S. of Great Falls & 50 Mi. N. of Helena. the area is very private with a yr round flowing spring, Lots of Timber. there is a lot of wildlife, Deer, Elk, Bear, Grouse, small fish in the creek running next to the property, The Missouri River is within 3 miles & the Dearborn river is 2 miles away or less. the Real Log Cabin is 20 x 20 with a 10 x 20 Loft. made with 6″ – D – Logs, Solar power & 4000W Back up gas generator, 2- 1500 gal fresh water storage tanks outside, 1 – 100 gal inside. gas powered pump to transfer the water from the spring to the holding tanks. 1 bedroom, one Bathroom with shower and compost toilet, kitchen has sink propane stove, Propane Refrigerator, Propane on demand hot water, Heat source is Wood stove with 30,000 btu Propane wall heater. also a large outhouse, 8 x 12 summer guest cabin, heated 12 x 16 workshop, 8 x 8 storage shed 13 x 16 storage building with heat. Small garden spot close to the cabin, very good Cell phone service with Internet from the cabin, 8 miles to US highway 15 and 20 miles to Cascade, MT, Pop about 700, for groceries, fuel and ??? If anyone is interested reach me at [email protected]

  8. Always Forward says:

    Do batteries have to go in a Faraday cage? What’s the best use for light sticks? Would some colors be better to have than others?

  9. Mike in Canada says:

    A microwave oven, with the cord cut off, also makes a handy Faraday enclosure. Since it is designed to contain HF energy, it will also repel it. We keep our GMRS and emergency radios in one, lined with foil and with a liner to isolate the metal walls from the objects within.

  10. Stan Dillard says:

    I would love to have this book, but like a number of books I would like to have, it is only available for Kindle, or at least only available electronically. I prefer to have a physical book. I have tried downloading books and simply do not like reading books on a screen. OK, maybe that is my loss, but it still is how it is and is what it is.

  11. Stan Dillard says:

    Forgot to say great article though!

  12. PrepperDoc says:

    if you look at the kilovolt/meter E field plots in Wikipedia, you may not buy the argument that it take a dozen or more bombs to cover the united states — I think 1 or 2 would do quite nicely to destroy survival equipment for > 200 million people.

    Penrod — false that we could detect all fission weapons from a satellite. Plutonium (one of the original 2 fission bombs) — is al ALPHA EMITTER. Cover it with a single layer of skotch tape….and no one can detect it. Alpha particles cannot get through a sheet of paper much less 10 miles of atmosphere to the satellite.

    Fisssion weapons are believed to be every bit as potent at creating EMP as are fusion weapons. NK has a dozen or more…..

    It isn’t Russia or China who will attack us….it is some terrorist or terrorist county…..and our defenses’ poor testing record was recently published by Bloomberg….

    We aren’t in a very good position here….

    • GeorgiaPeachie says:

      Spot on Prepper Doc! As far as Bloomberg publishing those poor testing records? Whose “side” are these people on??

  13. Recent testing a few years back by Los Alamos labs on EMP effects on common items revealed that not all will be totally disabled. Some cars ran, but roughly. Others merely neede to be restarted. One should realize there have really only been 2 large scale EMP real world situations: the Carrington Event in 1859, which burned out the nascent telegraph system in the US, and the US nuclear test in 1962 Starfish Prime, which fried some electrical infrastructure in Hawaii. The bottom line I think is not enough is known about a large scale and deliberate ( or random massive solar storm burst ) EMP on modern society to really say it will be as bad as ” One Second After ” depicts, or have a somewhat mitigated effect that will allow our society to recover from, albeit in a painful fashion of course. To prep lessons the pain. That is why we do it.

    • prepperdoc says:

      You’re close…
      Carting ton was a CME, similar to the E3 portion of a HEMP

      You’re correct that some cars survived in tests and may well survive in the real event. However, I don’t think that will change the mortality… much….

    • HiBwhntr61, I saw the same or similar report on EMP induced damage, and agree. We need to distinguish between good novels which posit worst case or even beyond worse possible case scenarios, and likely scenarios. Like the Lloyd’s report I cited above, which says pretty clearly that a Carrington level event would be a calamity, especially for people in East coast cities, but not the end of the world, or even of North America.

      Knocking two trillion dollars off a 19 trillion dollar economy is no small thing, but it does not suggest a 90% population reduction. That should be seen as wonderful news: while a Carrington level event would be awful, it would be survivable by most people, especially those not in East Coast cities. Life would go on, especially for those who made reasonable preps. That should give us all a lot of optimism, because we are reasonably well prepared.

      The Lloyd’s maps show they, at least, think that within the most affected areas there will be many significant unaffected areas. A lot of prepping for those in areas expected to be affected could well be aimed at getting by until one could evacuate to an unaffected area. Even people in affected areas could at least reasonably hope to get by if they can avoid the ‘widespread and major civil unrest and riots’ by not needing to go to the grocery store.

      There is also the possibility that Carrington II will hit when the Americas are on the dark side of the planet, and Asia, Europe, and Africa Get fried. Our economy would take a major hit from that, but we would be the ones helping THEM out. Which would be an interesting story line for a novel, as well.

  14. Aussie Prepper says:

    It isn’t just an EMP that could bring about TEOTWAWKI – take out the power grid and everything else goes down the slurper with it. The grid is just as vulnerable to a cyber attack and there are daily probes from rogue states now. And the origin of the attack can be covered up sufficiently to cast doubt on “whodunit”.

    Couple years ago the US State Department was shut down for nearly 48 hours when it was hacked at the highest level by some kid in Australia mucking around on a laptop in his bedroom. WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, as a kid in Adelaide, South Australia did much the same when he was about 16.

    The cyber espionage goes both ways of course, but that wont help much when the lights stay off.


  15. my four sons says:

    While I agree Russia and China are not the likely perpetrators here this is one of my biggest fears. Because you can’t see it coming. Financial collapse, Possible Pandemic, even massive earthquakes you would likely have some indication things are not right in the world ahead of time. EMP it’s just dark. One Second After is what got me into prepping high gear and EMP remains my biggest fear.

  16. patientmomma says:

    One of my elderly neighbors has a pacemaker implanted. I asked my doctor about whether an EMP would kill the device. He said… It depends. His “professional” opinion was a lightening strike, a solar flare, a land-launched EMP would not impact the pacemaker, unless any were a near by hit. But, he said a high-altitude explosion over middle USA would render the device useless.

    Anybody know more about this?

    • prepperdoc says:

      “Know”? Impossible to know.

      Estimate? I think it will be unaffected. MS in EE + MD degrees….


      • patientmomma says:

        thanks prepperdoc. I look after my neighbors and want to know how to best care for them.

        • American Pacrat says:

          patientmomma & prepperdoc
          A friend had a pacemaker put in & they asked their doctor if it was EMP proof. He had an odd look on their face when he said it would not fail. I hope the doctor was correct, as it was a newer design.

  17. Tigerlily95 says:

    I love reading this kind of book but usually like to wait until several are released if it is a series so I can binge read. Are there more coming and how long until the next one?

  18. Jesse Mathewson says:

    I have no doubt a natural emp “carrington” event is extremely possible. Both China and Russia as well as France, England, USA have orbital emp devices – not really any reason to argue against the possibility – as a result great article and as I am prepared to an extent I appreciate the additional information

  19. Chuck Findlay says:

    Unless you can live a life of self sustenance growing all your one food, producing all your own energy (be it electricity and fossil fuel) all your own tools I see a nation wide grid down event as full of extreme hardship.

    Food, fuel, tools and pretty much everything today is tied to the grid to get it delivered to us. Take the grid away and life gets hard real fast.

    Even for most of us preppers the loss of the grid is going to prove much more changeling then many think it will be.

    I have been working hard channeling money into prepping for years (since the early 1990’s). I am always learning new skills, new ways to do things, trying to do things like they did in the past. I buy a lot of tools and supplies to keep working, I have lots of food, solar panels and associated hardware, solar water heat, wood stoves, tools to harvest wood, and 1,000 other things.

    I like to think I’m prepared for bad times, but I honestly don’t know how well I would do if the grid goes away. I’d do better then almost everyone I know, but would it be enough? I don’t know???

    • Aussie Prepper says:

      Nailed it with this paragraph Chuck ……

      Quote – Food, fuel, tools and pretty much everything today is tied to the grid to get it delivered to us. Take the grid away and life gets hard real fast – unquote!

      The grid can be taken down in more ways than with an EMP. As I alluded to – cyber attacks can do the same. Most of the EMP data we are basing our “will it or wont it” affect cars, transformers etc is based on what happened in the 1950’s. It would be naïve in the extreme to think all nuclear capable and militarily powerful countries have not developed (and are still developing) this type of weapon to much greater effectiveness.

      With technology now, popping off a nuke 250 miles above a strategic spot over CONUS, ascertaining the origin of said nuke is easy and retaliation on the correct country a given. A sneaky cyber attack is not so easy to pin down and the result is just as catastrophic.

      My view? If there is another punch up between East/West the first thing that will happen is not the red button being pushed but “enter” on a computer. If you take out the grid in the US, UK, Euro, Aussie with a cyber attack – we are stuffed and we will be decimated from within when it all goes to hell in a handbasket and a foreign power will have won without landing a single troops boots on the ground. Retaliation against some countries wont be as simple as a cyber attack as their systems are not as grid/computer dependent as ours.

      Who cares if cars will still work or not? If the grid is down in 3 days there wont be any fuel for them anyway, which means no trucks to the supermarkets either …… see where this is going?

      If you want to get an idea of just what is happening EVERY SINGLE DAY, get “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel. A Liberal whose eyes were popped wide open when he started researching the subject.


    • You are spot on, Chuck. That is why every prepper must ask themselves if they want to prepare to continue on as before….or prep like it’s going to be the 1800’s. I am not interested in keeping electric lights or computers up and running. I am preparing to live like the olden days. Simplicity is the key. And failing in stages will be critical. Think of going from electric power-grid lighting, to flashlights, to oil lamps, to firelight only. If there is ever a prolonged outage of life as we know it, we must not only be physically prepared. but mentally prepared TO LET GO of life as we knew it. Take the next step down in technology, so to speak. Simple. Living.

      Blessings to all.

    • GeorgiaPeachie says:

      Chuck Findlay and Aussie,

      We are prepping like you two. With the goal to be able to survive like it is 1810 again. Long term survival is going to demand it. You can’t store enough propane, gas or kerosene to last for too many years. Then what will they do?

      Let’s talk about feeding ourselves. If you buy tools for gardening that require gas you are screwed sooner than later. Whereas if you buy manual tools (Amish type) you are set.

      • Aussie Prepper says:

        Hi Georgia

        I guess it all depends on just how bad any crunch will be. If we are talking a worldwide meltdown similar to what Europe looked like in 1945 the prediction that 90% will die in the first year gives too much credit to the remaining 10%. About 2-3% are prepped to survive a year or more but how many of those will fall to the horde of desperates who themselves will succumb in due course to the defenders, starvation, disease and exposure?

        Personally I have my doubts that any meltdown will to totally global. Even WW1 and WW2 were not really ” world” wars – much of South America and Africa were pretty much left alone. The wars were not fought on US or Aussie soil apart from Pearl Harbour and a few minor incursions here. A lot of Asia west of Burma was left alone too as well as East of Balkans.

        Surviving with hand tools alone will be incredibly hard. At the very least there will be a need for animals to work the land. But there will be recovery – the resourcefulness that took 150 years to take us from the start of the industrial revolution to where we are today is still within the human DNA and it will reappear.

        Unless any dust up goes full nuclear and the planet glows green for 200 years the human race will survive in pockets and eventually prosper again.

        Our job as preppers is to not only do what we have to do today to survive 10 years of tomorrows but secure enough “information” in a form that will be useful to those resourceful individuals with the ability to use it.

        My own journey to prepping is more a back to basics and a return to a simple lifestyle of hunter – gatherer – subsistence farmer – animal husbandry – not a lot unlike the 1810’s georgiapeachie suggested but with the benefits of todays technology.

        No matter what happens, or even if it does not happen in my lifetime, it is and will continue to be an intensely interesting journey.


  20. Hmmm, if I was an attacking General???
    An EMP would be the perfect weapon for a first strike along with some small battlefield nukes to takeout military installations. Then invade with all the chaos. Most of the country would be intact. Obama weakened the military for this reason. Think about it, how many bases were shutdown??? Less battlefield nukes needed, that along with trying to disarm the American people. I hope it still doesn’t happen. Tell me I’m wrong!!!

  21. Obama should have been shot!!!

  22. AlphaZulu68Niner says:

    What about the massive population? Wood will be used up real fast. Game would be killed of real fast. People gunning each other down for resources and supplies… You seen how welfare junkies went ballistic after just a few hours… It will be uglier than most people image…

    • AlphaZulu68Niner says:

      Scores of desperate people roaming the country side. More like hundreds of thousands. With no thought other than themselves. Who has that much ammo and supplies? It will get really nasty, real fast.

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!