What to Do After an EMP

Aside from the Purge, a coronal mass ejection, and other SHTF events, an EMP is one of every prepper’s nightmares. An electromagnetic pulse is a broadband burst of electromagnetic energy that can damage anything electronic over hundreds of miles, affecting transportation, energy, telecommunications, water supply, and financial infrastructure. One of the craziest things about it is, the damage would probably be permanent.

This man-made disaster can be created by weapons made by China, North Korea, and Russia. But an EMP can be created through simpler weapons with the same devastating effects. What would you do right after an EMP occurs? Here is a list of tips for you.


Are you sure that what happened was really an electromagnetic pulse or just a typical power outrage? To confirm, here are some signs:

  • Dead landline
  • Vehicles at a standstill
  • No internet connection
  • No cellphone signal

The government has the capability to disrupt personal cell phone service to give first responders priority. But not all experts agree on how an EMP will affect technology.Β 

Divide the Task

Delegate tasks between the people in your household. There is a lot to be done that even kids should and can help. Here are some basics.

  • Check for fires in neighboring houses. They might spread easily without contact to a fire department.
  • Fill bathtubs with water using a WaterBOB
  • Fill sinks and every large container with water.Β 
  • Pick up the kids
  • Collect al cash and coins

How to Deal with Fire

The disaster could lead to fire easily. Get out of the house immediately if there is one. That is why you should always prepare by installing one or two smoke detectors at each end of your house. You can also keep an extinguisher in the garage, hallway, and other convenient areas of your home.

Buy an extra extinguisher so you practice how to use one.

How to Obtain Water

The EMP is more likely to disable the city’s water system, including its ability to filter it. Unless you have your own water well or a pump, water will be an immediate need. In most cities, there is about 24-36 hours’ worth of clean water in the system at any given time.Β 

As mentioned earlier, immediately fill every tub, container, sink, and trash can with water even if these things aren’t clean. Any water gathered from rainfall and pool can be purified before drinking.Β 

Check Your Vehicles

Try starting every vehicle you ow. It’s impossible for an EMP to disable all vehicles, some will most likely escape the damage. In that case, you’ll have higher chances of survival. Although experts do not agree on how an EMP will affect vehicles, double-checking them will aways be no harm.

Keep Track of Time

This may seem like an unnecessary tip, but unless any of your electronics have avoided destruction, there won’t be a way to monitor the time. Set schedules including security measures and meeting times more wisely if you’re keeping track of the time.Β 

Check your tablets, tablets, kitchen appliances, eBook readers, GPS devices, smartwatches, or digital cameras to see the time.Β 

Shop Shop Shop!

Depending on where you live or happen to be at the time, it may be quite safe to venture out in the initial hours following an EMP event. It might be safer for some to venture out and attempt to buy from local business owners while some would rather lock the doors and hunker down. This is because no two EMP events are identical.

If your area seems to be calm, try going out to the store. Even if their cash registers won’t work, they might still sell their goods instead of putting them to waste. Expect these businesses to find creative ways to remain in business until their shelves are emptied.

Every prepper’s situation is different, and those circumstances can change minute by minute as the structure of society begins to falter in the days and hours following a catastrophic event. If you deem it safe to venture out, here are some tips for where to go and how to stay safe.

When shopping, it’s best to go out with another person since there will be many people who will steal and confusion may arise. But if everything seems safe, you can split up and get more tasks done. Here are some things you should shop for:

  • Prescription medication and medical supplies
  • Food
  • Baby supplies
  • Bleach for household cleaning as a disinfectant
  • Gasoline
  • Bottled water
  • Oscillating fans
  • NurseriesΒ 
  • Seedlings for fruits and veggies
  • Spare tires, pumps, trailers, etc.
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Dietary supplements
  • Toilet paper
  • Batteries
  • Matches
  • Insecticides
  • Trash bags
  • Disposable diapers

Remember that your priorities will be food, water, sanitation, and security. At the first sign that the tide has turned and your area is no longer safe, get home as quickly as possible or, at least, to a temporarily safer and quieter part of town.

Gather Information

A shortwave radio or ham radio tool can help you gather news about the EMP, its effects, your area’s situation, decisions by the government, alerts, and other important details. Check on your loved ones too. If you can bring them to your house, do it.

Alert everyone you know with what has happened, especially your neighbors. It will give them higher chances of survival. Simple conversation starters could save lives!

Survive the Season

There’s no way to know when an EMP could occur, how severe its effects are, and if it’s going to be too hot or cold. There’s also no one way to survive since decisions like gathering items, taking care of loved ones, and improving home security depend on the circumstance. Even the most prepared are vulnerable.

Survival does not end with these tips. In fact, it only starts there. An electromagnetic pulse is considered by many survivalists and preppers as s worst-case scenario. Learn how to adapt, improvise, and connect with others to form strong alliances in case an EMP occurs.Β 

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