EMP Attack: A Beginner's Guide to Preparing, Protecting, and Defending

Read this beginner's guide to preparing, protecting, and defending on how to prepare for an EMP attack and safeguard your electronic devices.

from Martin Gebhardt | Prepping | reading time 7 Min
Updated on 31 May 2023 31.541 views 96% found this guide helpful
EMP Attack: A Beginner's Guide to Preparing, Protecting, and Defending

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.

👉 The key facts from this guide

  • An EMP attack is a form of attack that uses electromagnetic waves to deactivate or destroy electronic devices. The most common source of an EMP is a nuclear explosion.
  • An EMP attack could have devastating effects, as it could cripple the power grid and render all communication systems useless.
  • To prepare for an EMP attack, you should stock up on food and water for at least two weeks and assemble an emergency kit with the most important items.
  • To protect your electronics from an EMP attack, you can store them in a Faraday cage made of conductive materials that block electromagnetic radiation.
  • The countries that will be most affected by an EMP attack are those that are most dependent on electricity, such as the United States and Canada.
  • An EMP is not deadly for a human, it only destroys electronic devices in its proximity. However, it can be dangerous for people with a pacemaker.

The world is a dangerous place. Terrorist attacks, nuclear weapons, and other threats like an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) may seem like a distant possibility to some.

But with increasing reliability and lower margins of error, the likelihood of an EMP attack is higher than ever before.

The EMP Survival Guide is a beginner's guide to preparing, protecting, and defending against an EMP attack.

The guide covers what an EMP is, how it damages your electronics, how to protect your home and family, how to assemble an emergency kit, and much more.

EMP Survival Guide

EMP attacks are devastating to life as we know it. Within seconds, an EMP could cripple the power grid on a large scale - the blackout would become reality.

All communication systems would be useless, causing irreparable damage to society.

Abruptly removed from modern society, we humans would be left to fend for ourselves in a silent world.

In a state of utter chaos, without help from the police or emergency services, you would be forced to survive alone against all the elements of nature.

What is an EMP attack?

An EMP attack is a form of attack that uses electromagnetic waves to disable or destroy electronic devices.

A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) is an EMP generated by a nuclear explosion. It can also be caused by a non-nuclear explosion, such as an electromagnetic bomb or overload of the power grid. The most common source of an EMP is a nuclear explosion.

was ist ein emp angriff

An EMP attack can range from the deactivation of certain electronic systems in a city to the destruction of all electronics in an entire country.

An EMP can also refer to an electromagnetic pulse caused by solar storms from the sun or by geomagnetic storms that can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the earth.

The concept of an EMP was first developed by researchers in the 1950s who were studying the effects of nuclear weapon detonations at high altitudes on electronic devices.

The EMP attack is classified as a weapon of mass destruction.

What are the potential effects of an EMP bomb?

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bomb is a powerful weapon that can lead to the destruction of electronic devices. They are also referred to as "electronic bombs" or "E-bombs."

The effects of an EMP bomb vary for each device. For example, an older car will not be impacted by an EMP bomb, but a computer will be. This depends on the type of electronic device and how it is connected to other devices.

An EMP attack would have an impact on all electronically supported machines. Airplanes would be affected, as well as pacemakers.

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Immediately, it becomes clear what an EMP bomb means: for our society, such a power outage would be a disaster, just like during a blackout.

Broadcasting and radios would fail. Emergency services would no longer be able to communicate, technical devices such as ventilators in hospitals would fail, and the power supply and railway transport would collapse.

Will my electronics stop working during an EMP attack?

A nuclear EMP event is one of the few things that could potentially destroy every electronic device within its range. But the question is, what exactly would "destroy" mean?

It depends on what device you own and when it was built.

Let's start with the worst-case scenario: a typical nuclear explosion at high altitude and strong explosion. This explosion generates an electromagnetic pulse that lasts for kilometers and damages all electronics within its range.

What kind of electronics can be damaged after an EMP?

  • Televisions, radios, and other broadcasting devices
  • Power transformers and substations
  • Landline telephones and smartphones
  • Vehicle and aircraft control systems
  • Computers and all devices connected to the internet
  • Refrigerators
  • Generators
  • Satellites potentially within range of the EMP

Modern cars have very sophisticated electronics in them, but they are built to be quite resistant. While there are no guarantees that a particular car would survive a nuclear EMP event – especially if it was running at the time – the chances are pretty good that it would still work afterward.

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But most personal electronic devices have a much smaller survival window. For sensitive electronics to survive an EMP attack, they must be stored in a Faraday cage.

These cages (also called Faraday cages) are made of conductive materials like aluminum or copper mesh, which prevent electromagnetic radiation from penetrating and damaging your devices.

How do you protect your electronics from an EMP attack?

As long as you can isolate your devices from an EMP, nothing will happen. Of course, it's problematic if you yourself carry an electronic device – like a pacemaker – inside of you.

The easiest way is to place the devices in a metal box or a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage is a housing made of conductive material such as wire mesh or sheet metal that is used to block electric fields.

The basic idea behind a Faraday cage is that an external static electric field causes the electric charges within the cage's conductive material to be distributed in such a way as to cancel the effect of the field inside the cage.

This phenomenon is used, for example, to protect electronic devices from lightning strikes and electrostatic discharges.

Michael Faraday is the father of electricity, he discovered electromagnetic induction and invented the electric generator.
Michael Faraday is the father of electricity, he discovered electromagnetic induction and invented the electric generator.

What is a Faraday cage?

Faraday cages can be made in many shapes and sizes, including rooms. For example, some telephone companies store their equipment in Faraday cages to protect them from lightning strikes during storms.

Most people don't have to make their own Faraday cages. Instead, they simply buy items that have been shielded with this technology.

You can, for example, buy laptop bags or briefcases with built-in Faraday cages to protect your computers from radio waves or other unwanted signals.

Another option is to buy window films designed with this technology in mind.

Faraday cages are also used to prevent radio signals from entering or leaving an area. This way, secret information processed in military headquarters is protected from spy satellites orbiting overhead.

Using Faraday cages to protect electronics is the best way to protect yourself and your devices from the EMP effect.

What is the best way to protect yourself from an electromagnetic pulse?

As you now know, after an EMP attack, nothing will be the same as it was before.

The best way to protect yourself from an electromagnetic pulse is to be prepared.

There are many ways to prepare for an EMP attack:

Have two weeks' worth of food and water on hand.

If you're committed to preparing for an emergency, the best thing you can do is put together a food and water kit. You should make sure you have enough water to last at least two weeks.

Use my water emergency supply calculator to find out exactly how much water your family, and you need (read here how long water is durable).

It's also advisable to think about how much food you require. Canned goods or other foods that don't need to be cooked or refrigerated can help with this process.

My food supply calculator helps you immensely and shows you exactly what you require.

In general, you should store foods that are extremely durable. These include grains or vegetables like dry beans.

Here is my top list:

  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Semolina
  • Water (in glass bottles)
  • Salt, sugar, pepper
  • Sugar syrup, honey, maple syrup
  • Dried lentils, beans, peas
  • Canned goods (glass and tin) with various contents
  • Crispbread, zwieback or canned bread, hardtack
  • Vinegar
  • Cornstarch
  • Spirits, wine
  • Instant milk powder
  • Freeze-dried coffee / instant coffee
  • Tea

I go into detail on all of these foods in my guide "Extremely long-lasting foods for survival (10+ years shelf life)".

With long-lasting food, you should be prepared
With long-lasting food, you should be prepared

Product recommendation: Get freeze-dried food (MREs, Meal, Ready-to-Eat) and I recommend the products from Tactical Foodpack. Get 10% off with my coupon code "SURVIVAL10".

Make a prepper list

A prepper list is a list of things that one would consider necessary during a disaster or crisis.

A prepper list can vary depending on the person and how they view the world. Some people are more inclined to live off the land, while others may want to stockpile food for their family.

There is no right or wrong way to create a prepper list. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the choice of items and that it meets your needs.

So, the lists can vary in length and detail and may include food, water, clothing, medical supplies, etc.

Below are some examples of what could be on a prepper list:

  • Clothing and shoes
  • Water and food
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Maps and compass
  • Knife and other tools
  • Poncho
  • Axe or hatchet
  • Matches/lighter
  • Duct tape
  • Candles

You can imagine that the list is long, which is why I have created a comprehensive guide regarding "Prepper List". In the guide "Prepper-List – Everything you need to survive" you will find the most essential items with a PDF checklist.

I also recommend my guide "Medication for the crisis" and take a look at the guide to free weapons for self-defense.

Assemble a Bug Out Bag (emergency backpack) with the most important items

A Bug-Out-Bag is a backpack that contains items that could be useful in a survival situation.

There are many lists of items that people recommend packing in a Bug-Out bag, but they all have one thing in common: such a bag must be able to help you survive, no matter what happens.

For the event that you have to leave your house or apartment, you should have an emergency backpack (Bug Out Bag)
For the event that you have to leave your house or apartment, you should have an emergency backpack (Bug Out Bag)

Some things you might want to bring are food and water, first aid supplies, emergency blankets and clothing, tools like a flashlight or a fire starter, and anything else you need for your specific situation.

This topic cannot be summarized in just two sentences, so it is advisable that you read this guide as well: What is a Bug Out Bag – the most comprehensive German guide (+PDF packing list).

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn what a Bug-Out Bag is, how heavy and big it can be, and what equipment is essential for survival.

Which countries are most affected by an EMP attack?

The countries that will be most affected by an EMP attack are those that are most dependent on electricity.

Countries like Canada and the United States will suffer the most from an EMP attack, as they heavily rely on electricity for their power supply.

All other Western nations, including Germany, will also be equally affected by an EMP attack.

More questions and answers about an EMP attack

Is an EMP deadly?

An EMP is not deadly to a human. It only destroys electronic devices in its vicinity. However, if you have a pacemaker, an EMP can also be dangerous.

What are electromagnetic weapons?

Electromagnetic weapons are a type of directed energy weapons that use electromagnetic radiation to disable or destroy targets. It is expected that electromagnetic weapons will be used in military applications such as missile defense systems in the future.

What can be done against an EMP attack?

The best way to protect yourself against an EMP attack is to have a backup power system that can function without power from the grid. A Faraday cage can also help protect electronic devices.

What is an EMP jammer?

An EMP jammer is a device that blocks electromagnetic pulses. It does not generate its energy, but can block energy from other sources.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

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