A Green Beret’s Guide to EMP: Practical Steps to Prepare for a “Lights Out” Scenario (Part 1)

by | May 7, 2015 | Green Beret's Guides | 204 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Jeremiah Johnson is a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne) and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).

    lights-out-th lights-out

    This series is dedicated to Ben Raines, one of SHTF’s readers, who wrote:

    “If the power is out for more than 2 weeks I will have some serious decisions to make.”

    Ben, I’m doing this article for you as I promised, and I hope it will help you (and others) to make those decisions in the critical moments and days following an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) event.  Although I had plenty of science courses in college, I am not a scientist.  Certainly someone with a scientific background will comment on this article.  Let me state this:  Scientists, I welcome all comments, positive or negative, but please make them proactive.  These articles are forums where the writers are “emcees” that introduce topics for discussion and present some salient points.  You guys and gals are the ones who pick up the topics and run the football in for the TD.

    We need to be “SME’s” as we called them in the Army: Subject Matter Experts.  One of my personal goals for SHTF is not just to draw a large readership base; it is to help readers develop themselves and also develop one another.  Let the site become an ORP (objective rally point) where everyone can plan, exchange ideas, and attain better levels of awareness and preparation for the times to come.  In this light, there is a lot of knowledge out there awaiting use.  Take the knowledge you amass, step up to the plate, and take the swing: do the best you can with what you have.  And if it isn’t perfect, so what?  You give it your best shot and then adjust fire from there.

    So here it is.  Scenario 1 finds you on your way to work.  You just dropped the kids off to school and you’re out on the freeway heading toward work at 8:05 am, armed with a cup of coffee and your local radio station.  All of a sudden the radio crackles and all of the power in your vehicle cuts off and you drift (hopefully safely!) to a halt.  You do a head check: all of your fellow commuters on the road are experiencing the same problem, except one guy in a ’54 Ford pickup truck who passes right by you.  You look at your wristwatch and it is blank.  Your cell phone is off, and out.  You notice a traffic light ahead of you is out, and the convenience store and its sign on the corner are devoid of lights.  Somewhere in the heart of the American Midwest, about 200 miles above the ground, an ICBM just went off and delivered an EMP to the U.S.

    This article and the series are going to focus on some basic things we can do to help us prepare beforehand for such a scenario.  Almost all of the readers here at SHTFplan knows about what an EMP is and some basics about it.  We are not going to delve into all of the properties of the EMP.  For those who haven’t heard of it, an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is a high-density electrical field that can damage or destroy electronic devices.  EMP can affect cars and trucks, computers, electrical appliances, aircraft, power transmission grids, and anything unshielded from it.  This can be delivered by a missile or a satellite and would have devastating effects on the U.S. power grid and infrastructure, as mentioned in this citation:

    Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, CRITICAL NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURES, April 2008: Page 45: “It is not practical to try to protect the entire electrical power system or even all high value components from damage by an EMP event. There are too many components of too many different types, manufactures, ages, and designs. The cost and time would be prohibitive. Widespread collapse of the electrical power system in the area affected by EMP is virtually inevitable after a broad geographic EMP attack …”

    Readers, I think you grasp the concept.  Now let’s discuss what we can do about it.  The first thing I propose to you:

    “Low tech” your supplies as much as possible as your “base.”

    Rely on your basics that do not rely upon electricity or technology.  I have mentioned some items in previous articles that we’re going to stress here, as it is all interrelated.  This list is neither in order nor exhaustive:

    1. Lensatic Compass: good old-fashioned GI equipment; durable, reliable, and affordable.  If you must carry your wrist compass (electronic), make sure your Lensatic is available for backup, and make sure you know how to use it.
    2. Hand-crank flashlight: has its own little generator and doesn’t rely on batteries
    3. A Good Automatic Movement Watch: You need to keep time and coordinate things with your family after the event.  You’ll have to really shop and find one with a good warranty.
    4. Slide Rule: Yes, you may find the need to make complex calculations in a hurry.  The “Uncle Caveman” abacus just won’t do the trick on some things.  Pick up a slide rule and go online or find references on how to use it.
    5. Optics not requiring batteries: Those rangefinders and Steiners just lost their tech, and that wonderful laser crosshair reticle with range-tab vanished.  Any scope for a weapon needs to not be dependent on any batteries, electronic optics, or laser devices.
    6. Security devices: In this case, locks, safes (guns, valuables, etc), automobiles (touch pad entry), and anything requiring electricity or electronics to enter…make ‘em manual.  What good is a gun safe that works electronically and then you have to blow the door to retrieve the weapons?
    7. Vehicles: How high-tech is your vehicle?  The ’54 Ford truck in the example will probably still be good to go; however, the Lamborghini may have just become a lawn ornament in memoriam.  We’ll cover more on this later.
    8. Well Water: The water pump isn’t going to work unless you have a genny, and even then it may not.  What do you do?  I ordered a kit from a guy name John Tatman: the EZ Water Well Hand Pump that has a special valve he supplies you and you build the pump out of PVC.  The guy is great; he lets you talk to him directly on his cell phone if you have a problem.  The kit works to wells up to 175 feet deep, at 4-5 gallons per minute; you can order it online.  The whole kit and kaboodle will run you less than $250.
    9. Food: Yes, food.  How are you going to save what is in the fridge?  Prepare by having adequate supplies of charcoal and a couple of grills (I recommend a Brinkman).  Also, now is the time for canning supplies.  Pick up a green two-burner Coleman camp stove that works on dual fuel (Coleman/white gas, and gasoline).  You can use this to fire up the pressure canners and water-bath canners at a controlled rate[Note: If you want to read about a “mad scramble” with food, go to Tess Pennington’s Ready Nutrition site and find my articles on how my wife and I made it through Hurricane Katrina]  I strongly recommend visiting your local County Extension Office or the local Community College for a Canning Course.

    An Additional note on food:  Keeping in the fridge only what is necessary for about a week and putting the lion’s share into canned food, dry goods, or long shelf-life (dehydrated, mylar packed) foods is probably your best bet to safeguard your food supply in the long haul.  Make sure to FIFO (first in, first out) your stock to keep the freshest/most recent purchases in storage.

    1. The Bathroom: Yes, #1 and #2, always there! I highly recommend (if you don’t already compost) at the bare minimum a portable potty of the type that many seniors and those with health issues utilize.  There are 4-gallon bags available in a roll in Wal-Mart for the bucket liner that are about $3.50 and have 75 bags to a roll.  They last about a week.  When all is said and done, you can do a controlled burn of them and save your water supplies/space in your septic tank.

    We have covered a short list of what you need for low-tech equipment starters.  But what about what you already have?  How do you protect your gadgets and gizmos from the EMP?  In the reference section at the end of this article, I have cited some works that will give you more EMP information and a site that you can research to find more information on Faraday Cages, which most of you guys and gals have heard about already.  But just in case: What is the Faraday Cage?  It is a device enabling objects stored within its confines to be shielded from EMP and other types of charges.  The scientist Michael Faraday expostulated its theorems back in 1836.

    Copper and aluminum are the two best metals (in order) to use for your cage structures; however, steel will work.  The main point is you must have a little background knowledge of what is needed.  Maxwell’s equations relevant to a conductor are relevant here.  The efflux (the waves: radio, gamma, etc) originating with an EMP is a broad-banded grouping.  Regarding Maxwell’s equation:  Any resident excess charge whether fixed or time-varying must reside on the conductor’s effective surface; an excess disturbance would flow around a continuous conductor’s surface from one end to the other.  The interior of such a conductor would not experience this flux.

    The equation shows that a solid object that can be closed off (such as an ammo can or a metal trash can with tight fitting lid) without gaps can be effectively employed for a Faraday cage.  This also illustrates how a grounding rod would not be needed if the gaps are closed off correctly (or if you are going to enmesh a whole room/structure and the wavelengths are not smaller than the apertures). As I mentioned previously, I’m not a scientist; however, the information is out there and there is no need to “reinvent the wheel.”

    There is a rule that I use for myself.  You will have to gauge your budget and availability of equipment to see if you can apply it for your situation.  Here it is:

    Rule:  Any electronic equipment should be bought in pairs/two (2) of each, with one out for use and a second in a Faraday Cage.

    This may seem a “no brainer,” however, this insures that if you lose something?  You may only lose one and have a backup for later.  In addition, if there’s time to forsee it coming, you may be able to take that operational piece and stick that in a cage prior to it hitting the fan.  Here are a list of indispensibles and important items, non-exhaustive, for the cages:

    Radiological Survey Meter, a.k.a. Geiger counter

    Night vision devices

    Scopes/red-dot sights/laser sights/electronic optics/range finders

    Laptop computer (worth its weight in gold post-event)

    Motorolas and hand-held communication devices

    Batteries and chargers (solar and/or plug in’s)

    Battery-powered IR/movement sensors

    Calculators/wristwatches/battery testers…small electronic aids

    ***ANY medical device to maintain or sustain life (diabetes testers, hearing aids, etc)

    Win the game with your backups.  Stick them in cages and forget about them until you need them.  We’re going to cover cages and other protective measures in Part 2.  This will get you started, especially regarding your planning.  Assess your stance and what is in place right now.  What do you and your family require in terms of specialty gear?  Do your research and find out about EMP’s and begin to formulate a plan.  I wholeheartedly welcome any and all discussion on this topic and look forward to reading your comments.  Seriously, we have some real experts out there, and those comments are a gold mine for everyone (yours truly included).

    Everyone have a great day and I’ll have Part 2 ready for you soon.


    Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com.

    This article may be republished or excerpted with proper attribution to the author and a link to www.SHTFplan.com.

    Related Reading:

    A Green Beret’s Guides To Survival and Preparedness (Full List)

    A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget Home-Defense Techniques 101: “Early-Warning Systems and Fortifications”

    A Green Beret’s Guide To Low-Budget-Home-Defense Techniques 102: “Defensive Positions”



    It Took 22 Years to Get to This Point

    Gold has been the right asset with which to save your funds in this millennium that began 23 years ago.

    Free Exclusive Report
    The inevitable Breakout – The two w’s

      Related Articles


      Join the conversation!

      It’s 100% free and your personal information will never be sold or shared online.


      1. I have a question, if you have a garage made of metal, including the roof and it’s completely insulated, including the doors, is it like a big faraday cage? There are no windows in it.

        • Do a search on the internet, I know I’ve seen articles on how to trun a metal shipping container into a large Faraday Cage.

          I believe there’s something special you need to do around the door where it attaches to the metal frame.

          • Ok, thanks Angry, I’ll see what I can find. I’ll check out those books too Satori.

            • If you can hear a radio in it, it probably is not a Faraday cage.

              • If a microwave oven is properly sealed when you put a cell phone in it and dial the number it shouldn’t ring. I wonder if an old microwave that you can find at most dumps can be used as a Faraday cage???

          • AOWG, I think I remember reading that the cage needs to be grounded.

          • Angry,
            In order to seal the door (inasmuch as possible for EMP/CME pulse) attach brass or aluminum “finger stock” around the mating surfaces.
            However, if trying to seal the roll up door, that’ll bring up a whole new set of items-however it is doable. (The ones I’ve worked in were already set up-Lindgren RF enclosures-prohibitively expensive for most of us ).
            I built a small “cage” (nope, not for snipe hunts-use burlap bags for that…:) ) and it’s big enough to hold 9 square yards of “stuff”.
            Be well.

            • Whenever you do finally get a working Faraday cage, line the inside with cardboard or any other material that will not conduct a charge or if the item stored inside is small enough. Put it in a sock so no emp charge will be transmitted to what your trying to protect by touch.

          • You tube has some great videos also

        • There are gaps where the walls meet the ground, the doors hinge, the roof meets the Walls, etc.im sure you could take part of it and reinforce in to make a “Faraday room”

          • “Maxwell’s equation: Any resident excess charge whether fixed or time-varying must reside on the conductor’s effective surface; an excess disturbance would flow around a continuous conductor’s surface from one end to the other.”

            In plain english, would a steel trash can sitting on a bare concrete floor, redirect the current on the outside of the can, into the concrete and disperse it into the (earth) ground?

            …Of course the interior of the can must be insulated from the steel outside for it to work.

            Does that sound about right for a simplistic translation?

            I say this, because years ago I was working on an older TV set. My screwdriver touched the high-voltage rectifier cage. I happened to be standing on a concrete floor, barefoot. Needless to say, the charge knocked the sheet out of me on it’s way to the ground.

            • Sixpack,
              LMAO!! That’s how I started in Electronics years ago-except I had my hand on a cold water pipe.

              In reference to the steel trash can, I’ve seen reference to it on U Tube, nesting within insulated from the exterior “should” work. So long as the insulators are not conductive-use fiberglass (no metal embedded stuff) for standoffs. Wood absorbs moisture and already has a certain amount of moisture-so it would defeat the purpose.
              If you can find (and afford) Invar rods, they’re RF neutral-and make good standoffs. Dunno about delrin rods though – but I can check on the electromagnetic properties.
              Be well.

              • Once I got it right on the boob, because I was leaning over it! 🙂

                I never did that again.

                I remember learning to use one of those old tube checkers, looked like a fat briefcase with different sized sockets, some gauges and flip switches on it. That’s how young I got interested in electricity…tubes were still the thing.

              • Delrin is used as RF insulators so it is good to go. But you do not need to be that elaborate. Several layer of clear bubble wrap will give plenty of insulation value inside a Faraday cage. Technically you do not need to insulate anything but it adds a level of protection

              • be sure to ground the lid also.

            • Six, it was because there was probably dampness somewhere. Cured dry concrete will not be satisfactory for EMP grounding. An 8ft copper alloy ground rod driven in or a flat grounding plate dug in will work. As per local electrical service grounding Standards. Use a multimeter to measure actual grounding at the particular site. Damp soils vs dry sandy soils require more or less grounding to achieve proper continuity. Proper grounding is critical for effective EMP protective purposes. Think lightning strike not a carpet static spark. Both however can damage electronics. There are silvered mylar bags specially designed to electromagnetically protect electronics in transit. Aviation avionics departments and aircraft instrument repair stations use them. Put electronics in these bags, place bags inside a 6 sided metal enclosure, metal enclosure is wrapped with metal screening with no breaks in the wrapping. Attach a ground wire from the screen to the ground rod or plate. #4 wire minimum. Once the faraday cage is constructed the theory for grounding it is the same as for any lightning protection or electrical service installation. After all, Tin foil hats must be worn proper in order to be called dapper.

              • So, those people I’ve seen running around with the ‘bad hair day’, actually just failed to properly ground their tinfoil hats?

            • Might also want to wrap one end of a cheap piece of speaker wire around the trash can handle and the other to a water piper or something. A cheap ground. Also- I saw thin, tinfoil coated (looked like foil) insulation at the local box store, would that, taped together with the same foil tape work as a shield?

              Open question here- does the majority of readers here believe an EMP to be realistic? Possible of course, anything’s possible, I can’t afford all of the realistic threats let alone the “possible” ones.

              • Walter…..warnings of emp are happening daily alt media, msm, EVERYWHERE. Fingers pointing at who would be to blame. They are warning us that it’s going to happen. When it’s out there all over the place you have to take it seriously.

              • Yes and no,
                Ill look for the link but according to the piece i read it will primarily be stuff attached to long line electrical systems affected, and some radio related hardware as well, but most, not all, but most automobiles will be driveable, would have to be pretty major to trash everything and like the article i read mentioned we will have much bigger problems than electrical stuff not working, like the radiation that would accompany any act be it of nature or man that would be so destructive.
                If a solar flare is big enough to cause that sort of damage there is a good chance we will be exposed to elevated levels of various different spectral rays that will basicly cook us, its just that the light aspects travel slower than the others. Im no scientist though, just repeating some analasys i read.

                • Not arguing with you Kula but I suspect the article you are talking about probably was addressing a nuclear explosion at or about ground level. In that case the EMP would be extremely localized and not of much overall concern. The blast, radiation, lack of oxygen, etc would definitely make you sit up and pay attention.

                  A High Altitude EMP takes place about 370 miles above the surface. It produces three elements two of which are so fast that they might as well be the same. First is the blast itself pushing the earths magnetic field out of place producing a fluctuating induced current into long conductors which can set them on fire. That is the same thing that occurs from a solar CME. This can go on for several minutes as the earths magnetic field swings around until it finally settles back into its proper place. This doesn’t affect electronic devices which aren’t connected to a long conductor such as a power cord and can be easily protected against.

                  The other two elements are nasty. They cover a bunch of frequencies and fry sensitive electronic components. Cars may or may not be affected depending on the strength of the initial blast. Oddly enough, a super EMP device is quite easy to produce, is nowhere as complicated as a thermonuclear device and produces its ugly from photons.

                  There’s no worry about radiation exposure from a HEMP. It occurs above the ionosphere and the radiation will never affect you. Folks in airplanes, hospitals, with pace makers and so on will be in serious trouble immediately.

                  • Good info, thank you,,,

              • Actually the EMP threat is the NO.1 THREAT bythe last few homeland securuty cheifs. Its the main thing I prep for.

              • The DOD and military contractors belieive in EMP. So much so that they have spent many billions in hardening.

            • You do not need to ground your Faraday cage. Grounding it will not make it more effective at shielding out electromagnetic fields. What matters is the continuity of the surrounding metal shielding, i.e. no gaps at any seams.

              A microwave oven makes a great Faraday cage. Buy an old microwave from a garage sale, working or not, as long as it isn’t damaged where the door seals against the chassis it makes a great place to store electronic items in the garage. Just don’t plug it in.

              • You are correct about not needing the grounding and continuity being the key for effectiveness of shielding.

                However, microwaves do not make good faraday cages for EMP. While they have built in shielding to prevent RF leakage, it must be designed for specific wavelengths only. This is easy to test by placing a radio and/or cell phone inside the microwave (DO NOT TURN ON THE MICROWAVE WHILE DOING THIS). The higher frequencies seem to penetrate easily. Simple tests doing this with a shortwave radio shows the microwave does shield somewhat in the 100 mhz range but does not above that range and cell phones that can operate in the Ghz range do not experience any shielding effect at all.

                Aluminum foil works well if it has no gaps or holes in it and is cheap.

                • We actually tried our old microwave out. we place a cell phone in it and called. No signal, call did not go through. We are good to go!

            • Why couldn’t a guy just buy some metal garbage cans and fix those up. They would hold a great deal of stuff. Thanks in advance for the reply

        • Here’s a terrible nightmare that combines several items:

          o Grid down indefinitely. (EMP, Cyber-attack, whatever)

          o Civic unrest. (Looting, burning, rioting, pillaging)

          o Martial Law.

          Nightmare scenario. Not implausible.

          • There is no way in hell that you would have and EMP event WITHOUT the other 2 that you mention. Spot on. These are a given IMO. Loss of electricity and gadgets would send most into a tailspin. Season would not matter. For me, winter would be worst (I lack a great source for heat in the winter), but anytime of year will be hell on earth if a grid down actually occurred.

            • Gone : Easy remedies.

              1St : Your vehicle. Get a ammo can. Make it a fairday. Go to your local junkyard. Buy a used computer, and other sensors. Some junkyards even have you pull it, which makes the parts even cheaper. Put the parts and required tools in your fairday cage, in your vehicle.
              Some of your older vehicles with electronic ignition will not work. Go buy a spare module or a points ignition. Easy change over.

              2nd : Your generator. Most generators have no diods. Order a new board. Around $100. Order a new bridge rectifier. $10 – $20. Depending on your model, if it is gravity feed or electric fuel pump, you will need a new fuel pump. Universal electric fuel pump, around $50. You could get a new set of brushes ( NOT REQUIRED ) while you are at it and a new set of points, condenser, and coil. $100. That is about it on the generator. Some newer models might have a few different parts, but that is a close list. Put all of the above and a few small hand tools into another ammo can fairaday cage.

              The other stuff would be the obvious. GMR radios, CB and liner, short wave or ham,marine radio, batteries, ANY LED FLASHLIGHTS ( THEY ALL HAVE ELECTRONIC COMPONETS INSIDE ), and WILL BE affected by a EMP. Old style flashlights will still work, providing you have batteries. Your solar panels will work but you WILL NEED SPARE CONTROLLERS. Best to always store your optics and such ( when not in use ), in a fairday cage. That also goes for handheld GPS. Anything else electronic, that you consider essential, store in a fairday cage. IF YOU DO MANAGE to have a WORKING generator, your new fridge won’t work. Call and order a new mother board for all appliances you deem essential.

              • Really some well thought out suggestions

                “Universal electric fuel pump, around $50.”

                When you buy one of these you need to buy a fuel pump pressure regulator.. they can be had with a dial adjustable pressure so one pump can service various items..

                You will also need to know what the required pressures are and not exceed them or you will quickly damage wreak seats and jets in the carburetor..

          • Freeslave,
            TBH-that scenario presented would be a real bad day for a whole bunch of people. Don’t like contemplating that one.
            Be well.

            • While 2002 was the latest auto year tested (and, especially since models have become increasingly dependent upon “chips,” it is prudent to err on the side of preparedness), there is some evidence that our concerns regarding automobiles may be overstated:

              futurescience dot com/emp/vehicles.html

        • WW2 was the first war where more people died from bullets than from disease.

          No invention ever extended human life spans more than water purification.

          Sanitary equipment is therefore a tier-1 concern.

          Latrine duty is not a shit job. It’s being entrusted with the lives of the entire group.

          • AE, Let me thank you for a great post.

          • This is true: clean water and a good place to take a crap are the two basic essentials that spell out survival in the medium to long-term. Go to any third world country and these are the two things people get wrong and thus they have the sh€ts all the time and eventually die at age 35 or sooner. Few preppers have any idea how your quality of life and thinking capacity is severely reduced by having the sh#ts. You will get weak, you will feel awful and not want to do anything. It is critical you practice barrier control methods to ensure you do not consume contaminated water and food. Do that, and you will have a key strategic advantage on others. There is a reason why the skinnies with AKs are so skinny in the third world: it is because they crap out their calories.

            • FT, spot on. Having a good water filtration device is essential in any post-SHTF scenario because WATER IS LIFE. Sawyer has a complete line of water filtration devices that are rated for up to one million gallons each. In March I tested out 2 new Sawyer SP140 Water Filter Bottles I bought from Ready Made Resources. com for $39.95 each. Free shipping on orders over $50. The filters can be cleaned and never need replacing. Works on all running sources of water, even tap water. I tried them out in the creek behind the BOL and had some of the best-tasting water ever. I keep one in the truck and the other as a spare in storage. Get a Sawyer, you can’t go wrong.

              • Braveheart, thanks for the tip about Ready Made Resource. I actually live pretty close to there and am excited to go to their store. I looks like they have awesome products for a really good price.

                Make sure to watch your grocery store ads, I got a free 5 lb package of ground beef and a free box of popcorn at Kroger for being one of the first 300 people.

            • Ever see the movie Platoon? A cut down 44 gallon drum makes a great bucket to shit into if there’s a large group of you. Every day around an hour before sunset, drag that drum out, pour a beer can size worth of diesel over the shit ….. And then spark it up!!! It’ll burn down. Probably one of the most fascinating tasks I’ve ever carried out on operations in areas where the facilities are limited. When there’s nothing else to do socially for weeks on end ….. Burning the shit is the best job to have!!! Stinks a bit, but then, who cares!!

              • I plan to put a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat over a hole in my septic tank that it just fits and when not in use put a lid on the bucket.

          • Nice article Jerimiah. Thanks for sharing.


            However: 🙂

            you’re out on the freeway heading toward work at 8:05 am, armed with a cup of coffee and your local radio station. All of a sudden the radio crackles and all of the power in your vehicle cuts off and you drift (hopefully safely!) to a halt. You do a head check: all of your fellow commuters on the road are experiencing the same problem, except one guy in a ’54 Ford pickup truck who passes right by you. You look at your wristwatch and it is blank. Your cell phone is off, and out. You notice a traffic light ahead of you is out, and the convenience store and its sign on the corner are devoid of lights.

            Traffic light and convenience store? I thought you were on the freeway? Lol

        • MommaD, If you can get radio reception inside the structure it probably isn’t fully protected. A metal garbage can stops radio reception (I have tried it) so I feel fairly confident it will protect from emp. So for anything I wanted to test for emp I would use the radio test (am/fm radio battery powered). Like the article says, you don’t need to ground it. Just be sure nothing is touching the metal of the structure. Perhaps you could store items in a metal garbage can and keep the can in the garage as a secondary measure of protection.

          • You just answered my question above, thanks G.

            • From what I have read the ability of a metal building to act as a shield depends on how well the metal is bonded and grounded. Not 100% on that, and would definitely check it but i know that was a big issue on some repeater stations we built back in the early 90s, actually ran a daisy chain of copper conducter around the building physically connecting it with bolts to a spot on the matal roofing that had a bare metal spot, in addition all acces points were metal doors in metal frames, all also bonded to the shell and frame, hand held crew radios wouldnt work in the buildings, was supposedly to reduce interference from signals.

              • Kulafarmer,
                We did the same thing too, on repeater sites. Thermionic bonding and grounding-AKA R-56 installation. (I worked for Motorola back then. ) didn’t have too many sites go down after that.
                Be well.

          • Genius and Sixpack, that’s correct about the metal trash cans. My faraday cage for my electronics is a metal trash can with packing bubbles for insulation. I have a few radios I store in it. I tested each one of them when I was first setting up the cage by leaving it turned on then setting the lid on. When the lid is placed on it the reception stops. Remove the lid and the reception comes back. I have it sitting on a hardwood floor in a spare room I use for storage with nothing touching it. Am I using the wrong thing for insulation? Not sure. Any advice would be welcomed. Also, any and all electronics you want to save that require batteries, be sure to stockpile those as well and LOTS of them. I don’t know if the batteries should be in the faraday. Any advice on that would also be welcomed.

            • Brave, Bubble wrap should be ok it’s not conductive. Also as far as batteries go, it couldn’t hurt to have at least some of them in your can.

              • Genius, in that case, I’ll have to get a SECOND can, LOL. I’ve stockpiled that many batteries. Thanks for the tip.

                • You too….

            • BraveHeart

              There is very little info on the EMP test during the 1960’s but at that time batteries were not affected. Today with much more powerful detonation of nuclear devises there is no info to support the survival of batteries. So I would treat them like any other EMP sensitive device. Put some in a Faraday cage can.

        • Basically, if you can pick up normal radio signals inside it probably no, if you can’t pick them up inside it probably yes.

        • Any Faraday cage will be more effective if well-grounded (as to a rod or pipe in the ground). As least it was a big deal for Faraday himself.

          • David.
            As I have read if you install a ground improperly it becomes an antennae and defeats your cage.

        • Moma D,
          the metal needs to be galvanized to be the most effect, you would also need to make sure the roof and walls be metal to metal and then the bottom of the walls need to be grounded at all four corners. make sure the walls and roof have at least four main points of connection, ie. #12 wire with metal screws will work. of course you can get more technical than this BUT this will work.

        • Ideally, the entire structure would need to be sealed with metal on metal and grounded, including the floor. A good test is to check if a radio picks up any signal and when you close it up, your cell phone gets no signal. It’s a start. Think a grounded, sealed tin can.

        • When one in a million, literally, is prepared for such an event, why would you wish to live in that environment ? I have read that 90% of the population will die in the first month. Should you require medical attention, you will be toast. Face the facts, a successful EMP attack will plunge the country back to the stone age.

        • Turning a garage onto a Faraday cage. Great idea!
          You could wallpaper it with heavy duty aluminum foil. Any windows could get mirrored Mylar window film. It should be grounded as should the foil used as wallpaper.

          Cars are already quite well hardened, there is a huge survivability dependence on which way it faces and where it is in the sea of EMP pulses that have nulls and maximums.

          As a rule, if it can take a lightning hit, it can probably take an EMP hit. Many cars will survive, many will not.

          If your car was in a shielded garage, it’s survivability skyrockets! A few boxes of heavy duty freezer grade foil and some wall paper paste may be a good investment. A good idea since that is also where I store my generator?

          If I was a purposeful EMP attack, expect them to follow up in a couple days to kill what little survives.

          At the point where I realize it was likely a man made EMP I would take everything that survived off line and shield it for survival. I’d want to save my generator and precious fuel for emergency construction and power tools, and. Not fritter it away any longer than needed!

          I might run refrigeration only long enough to get the protein canned for long term, then shut it all down. And pack it away.

          If an EMP was part of a foreign attack, expect follow up attacks to kill back up power equipment, and the stuff that survived.

          I kind of like the shielded garage concept. A working car in an EMP attack is priceless. Keep them hidden away!

          Even a small WORKING garden tractor with plowing and tilling attachments is priceless in a disaster like this.

          I had a conversation with my brother, that went like this: if you could harden just one room against disaster, which room would you pick? My pick would be my garage. I want my cars, tractors, my tools, and the supplies kept in it.

        • Possible? Yes…easy to do?…no way. An easy way to test it for suitability is step outside of it with a fm radio in hand. Tune to a very strong signal you know to be transmitted from close by, walk inside, close all entrances to your garage, and if the radio goes static or mute depending on the audio design of the radio, you have a good “Start” for a faraday building…

          Now, that said, for the building to be made emp resistant, you must seal off ALL OPENINGS LARGER THAN .25″, remove all electrical service conductors (Including: Catv/satellite/ ham radio/metal plumbing pipes that protrude through the building using insulated flashing gaskets) and so on, that feed into the building, and never leave any opening or entrance to the building open, should the emp happen to strike at that particular moment… thus, most effective means of emp shielding is small, easily sealed containers….

          • Good comments. More reliable than Mylar on the windows is metal screen. It needs to cover the window and over the trim, to the foil lining pasted to the Sheetrock. The four corners of the foil need an electrical connection to the foil, a screw will do.

            There can be wall outlets, but never leave things plugged in that are inside the shielded room, they will be a conduit for the EMP to get in. Metal outlet covers are best.

            A garage is the easiest room in the house to shield, since mine is closed 99.9% of the time! and I already have double wall steel garage doors and a steel door to the house.

            Remember there’s probably more in valuables in the average two car garage than in the rest of the average persons house, but it’s worthless if it doesn’t run when you turn the keys, or pull the rope. The tools, machinery, generator, and vehicles in my garage are precisely what I’d need most after water and food.

        • Forget the slide rule. Carry Potassium Iodide cause after a few weeks ro a month all the Nuke Plants run out of dieael ful to run the gens that keep the spent rods cool. Stay up wind. See your Nuke threat in your area at http://www.RadiationNetwork.com. buy a wind guage to know where to go away from the Nuke Fallout. WWTI

        • I have heard mention of microwaves making good faraday cages. Can anyone confirm this it would be easy to just find some broken ones and repurpose them.

      2. suggested reading

        One Second After by Fortschen
        Lights Out by Crawford
        Solar Flare by Burkett
        Last Light by Blackstock

        • Satori, I’ve already read “Lights Out” and “One Second After”. I’ll check out Solar Flare and Last Light.

        • I just read on the News where the Court ruled that NSA Bulk Data Collection was never authorize by Congress. This is a ruling on NSA 215 Metadata Surveillance. The Patriot Act comes up for renewal on June 1st. So Please take a minute and call, write or email your Congressman and tell them to Stop Renewing the Patriot Act, or at the very least stop NSA from doing Metadata Surveillance. I can hear it now “I’ll show’em I don’t vote” Well they make the rules regardless of what you do, but you better inform them of what you like or dislike. Trekker Out. I Let Them Know Where I Stand, Not Just On SHTF!

      3. Great writeup.

        If one has kids, or well family, torrent any tv sohw series movies etc etc books onto sd cards and faraday a tablet and small solar panel and a small mp3 player…. These could really help in those stressed out times of quiet resolve….

      4. It’s important to know the differences between an EMP and similar disruption caused by a solar flare. Both can take out the electric power grid, but an EMP can create far more damage to smaller electronics, which hinders recovery greatly by taking out most other forms of infrastructure at the same time.

        The Difference Between a Solar Flare and an EMP

      5. “Abide with me, past falls the evening time. The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee. Help of the helpless, Lord abide with me.”

        Hymn sung by Brit troops in the trenches of World War One.


        • Fast falls the evening time, not “past”

          • A powerful hymn to steady the nerves no doubt. The whistles blew then over the top lads… Rat-a-tat-tat.

      6. Might have to set up another bulk tank for propane. $1.19 gal. & it lasts forever. Better than $6/gal. two winters ago. I fill my own tanks and have set up the gens on propane.
        molon labe

        • I lease 3x 250gal lp tabks on property…… Always full

          • I own three 500gal tanks, two always full, one is used and refilled annually. Also keep a dozen 100lb (23gal) tanks always full.

            • TnAndy, Damn man I hope you never have a fire at your place lol.

              • I don’t need propane. Electricity is a convenience and luxury that makes life easier but I can live without. Same with gas/fuel. If Mr. Johnson ventures around the Yaak Valley, he knows this too.

                • I don’t ‘need’ propane either.

                  Right now, we use it for water heater and stove top. I have a wood fired water heater ready to plumb in place of the propane model, and a wood cook stove in our auxiliary kitchen. Propane is handy, which is why we use it now, and it would be handy in a grid down world for the time it lasts, but we’re by no means dependent on it. Using it for cooking only, I figure we could go 10 years. Throw in some wood cooking, (especially in cold weather) and I really don’t know how long it would last…..long time, for sure.

                  Electrically, we could also go a long time. I currently have an 11kw solar system in place, 6kw of which is grid tied, battery backup. Have complete set of spare charge controllers and inverters (Outback) in sealed 55gal metal drums if the current ones get zapped. 6kw is enough to run some refrigeration, and lights, and the occasional use of washer/power tools/etc…all the things that made the 20th century a great place to be over all those previous centuries.

            • An old (unchipped) propane generator with char-gas backup and a LITTLE propane storage is our model for coming out the other side living well. Search “Gravely simple fire” to see video of the technology in action. We make charcoal from brush with TLUD heating of aquaponics/greenhouse.

              Think about what comes next, over the long horizon. IMHO hoarding supplies of consumables that will still someday be gone is not looking far enough into the future.

              The fuel is abundant now, abundant after an EMP.

        • Propane is definitely something i keep picking up, both the 75# bottles and the cmall ones for camping stoves, lights etc,,,
          For canning i use a few different burners i have accumulated, my turkey frier burner works bestfor water bath canning, the korean cast iron ones i have are good for the All American pressure canner, the bigger bottles last quite a while.

          • FWIW, those small cylinders for camp stoves and torches are refillable from the big tanks with a $20 adapter from the China Store (aka Harbor Freight).

            The little cylinders are an expensive and bulky way to buy propane, better to get a refill valve and a smaller number of cylinders and spend the difference between the smaller number and a large stockpile on more large tanks and propane.

            Of course if you have lots of spare money and space convenience is probably more important than cost but it doesn’t hurt to have one of those filler valves on hand anyway even if you don’t use it (it makes the empty little cylinders a reusable item so you don’t have to just toss it out).

            • I have a couple, ave a couple for refilling my butane lighters too, sometimes convenience wins

          • Kula, I’ve got a Coleman stove and a bunch of the small bottles for it. But eventually propane runs out. I also have a Kelly Kettle Stove, the Base Camp model, that uses twigs, pine needles, leaves {nature’s fuel]. Can have a pot of water boiling in just 3 minutes. I got it for only $79.95 from http://www.kellykettle.com 2 years ago, but it;s probably higher now. Any kind of outdoor stove that uses nature’s fuel will be essential in post-SHTF.

            • I made a rocket stove out of steel pipe, can cook with waste from around our property,, its nice to have lots of trees around.

              • Kula, same situation at the BOL. Nature’s fuel all over the place and a lifetime supply of firewood for the wood stove.

            • Cook w free energy from the sun. Get a solar oven at SolarOvenSoceity.com or make your own with a fresnal lense you can watch on you tube look up how to make a solar oven . people use refectors for the winter sun. Boils water & all. Been cooking with one the last 10 years. supressed technology of course cuz there is nno money to be made. The military used them in vietnam.

      7. My motorcycle has no gas gauge, and it ran out of gas doing 70 on the freeway one day. I skillfully maneuvered it to the curbside and moved the fuel selector to “reserve” before driving the bike to a gas station.

        • should be able to do that on the fly if you were any kind of motorcycle rider

          • He’s probably never actually been on a motorcycle. Just like all the other adventure fiction he posts.

            • I have to switch all the time and I do it on the fly. Never thought to coast to the side of the road. Same thing happens when I forget to turn the gas valve on as well. (<:

              • Sorry Joe, but you probably had to do it, on the fly. Very few are as skillfull as Ass’ed Itch, and he is very safety conscious. He does ride an UltraLight and they are much more sensitive and touchy to control, so curbside is the place to perform such an operation. Trekker Out. Be Safe AE, We Would Sure Hate To Lose You!

        • As a point of reference freeways don’t have curbs

      8. I’ve been using a small metal garbage can for small things like batteries and a small shortwave radio but need to reapply some things, but I’m not ready to go buy a 54 anything, its the money thing. Will the 1984 Trans am with a quadra-jet work after an emp?
        I’m not driving it now but if it worked I could use it to get to my bug out location. It has a hidden hitch and a V-8 so could pull some weight. If it won’t run I’m stuck in town:(
        Stu out.

        • Electronic ignition is the big item to fail in an EMP.

          I wonder if there’s a way to retrofit an old distributor type ignition into a newer vehicle. I have an old Ranger pickup that might be made EMP-proof.

          • We did just that on an 89 Chevy V-8 with an electronic ignition. The first task is finding a distributor shaft and cog that will match up right. We had access to an entire wrecking yard when we did ours, and had plenty of time for trial and error.

            There is a book that most wrecking yards and parts stores have, that tells you what parts will interchange with what….changing an electronic distributor to a points distributor isn’t mentioned anywhere in it…we looked.

            My Dad could make a motor run sitting on a palate on the floor. He was a Kentucky jury rigger from way back. Point is, it probably can be done in your case.

            • MOST Newer vehicles ( 2000 up) do not have a distributor. They have a crank and cam sensor to send a impulse to the ecm for the coils to fire(one coil per cylinder). Most cars will not be affected as the ecm is shielded.

              • That tells you two thing about me: 1. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually been under a hood, and 2. I never could afford a really new car. I’ve generally had old clunkers.

                Thanks for the update.

                • Sixpack, same here with me, back before I started getting company vehicles. At least I could keep the clunkers running. Each one was on ‘life support’ when I bought them but I knew how to ‘support the life’.

          • Easier to just keep a spare ignition module. Cheap enough and only takes a few minutes to replace on most older vehicles. IIRC you also need a spare hall effect pickup transistor for the Ranger, haven’t worked on one of those in quite a while so I don’t remember much other than it was quite a bit different from the GM stuff of the time.

            Trying to go to an old point system could probably be done, but it would probably require more than just a distributor change out since there is probably also an emission computer of some kind involved that will be looking for a signal from the ignition.

          • Archivist, Just go to the junkyard and buy a spare ignition and keep it in an emp proof container (ammo can), If your ignition gets wiped just install the spare, A lot easier than converting to points ignition and cheaper too.

            • I would guess the condenser might be affected in a emp but not a cme. If you still have a distributor and electronic ign, just buy a extra Hall effect pick up…if it makes you feel more secure. I wouldn’t bother though.

      9. Another History Lesson

        The Power Brothers, WWI Draft Resisters

        htt ps://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/05/no_author/anti-military-heroes/

        and may I add
        I hope Woodrow Wilson is burning in hell for his crimes against the country

      10. For those who might place an EMP attack into the unlikely file, there is a very good article today on “The National Interest” site written by one of our Professors from our Military’s War College.

        In the article he outlines how a conflict in Europe might lead to a possible nuclear war between NATO and Russia/China.

        The frightening thing is that his conclusions are based upon the known military doctrines of both NATO and Russia.

        Good article JJ, watch out fur them hogs son!

      11. I have a question?

        I have a very deep basement and I have all of my electrical equipment, (Solar panels, Night vision, Walkies, Deep cycle batteries Ect.) All of these are still in there boxes and covered with a mylar blanket. some are also in large plastic tubs.

        I live in a large two story farm house with lighting rod all over it and they are still in good shape stuck in the ground. The question is are they safe from an EMP?

        Setting pretty good on the 10 things that he has set forth for us to learn about.


        • The lightning rods won’t have any effect on EMP. Electronics need to be completely surrounded by metal.

          What I have done for all my small stuff, such as hard drives and radios, is to wrap each item in plastic. Then I wrap it in aluminum foil very tightly. Then another layer of plastic and another layer of foil. Then I tape on a label and identify the item, because I can’t always tell what’s inside, and in the case of hard drives, it makes a difference which one I unwrap later. Larger items get wrapped in plastic or other insulator and stored in metal trash cans. I use some aluminum foil scrunched up as a gasket and mash the lid down tight. Then I set something heavy on top to keep it sealed tight.

          • That’s exactly what I had in mind, Archivist.

          • Archivist, when you say wrap in plastic, do you mean like some plastic food bags? I already do that with each and every electronic item in their own separate bags and the shipping bubbles I use for insulation are plastic. If I also need aluminum foil for insulation, I’ll do that also. Thanks.

            • The aluminum foil is a Faraday cage in miniature. I use two layers of foil and plastic just to be safe, in case I didn’t do a perfect job on the foil on one layer.

              I used some nicer plastic shopping bags. The flimsy grocery store bags might be okay, but I would probably use Ziploc freezer bags instead because they’re thicker and won’t tear or abrade through accidentally.

              • the plastic needs to be the NON static type it is made specially for electronics you can buy it in many types and even in bulk rolls, then you can also use galvanized trash cans after you pack up the individual parts will work well.

              • Archivist, I keep smaller items in ziploc sandwich bags and bigger items in ziploc freezer bags. I’ll add some foil for good measure. Thanks.

        • Sgt; Have not been in a Radio Shack type store in years, but they used to sell metalized bags to ship Stuff in that you didn’t want X-rayed. IMHO they would work just fine for EMP and they were cheap.

        • Think of the EMP as a radio signal. A simple test is – will a radio still receive in the environment to be tested? AM/FM radios offer one level of test but high frequency signals may still get through. Higher frequency signals find smaller gaps to get through shielding. A cell phone usually operates at higher frequencies and offers a better test but still not one that assures complete protection because an EMP covers ALL frequencies. Some special mylar bags offer RF protection, but general purpose mylar does not. Lightning rods offer no protection against radio signals. If a cell phone can receive while down in the basement under mylar, there is no EMP protection.

          • To all of the above.
            Thanks for your come back.
            I will take your advise. Again Thanks

            • I Feel Sick! your so prepared, I have tried but so far away from ready, Knowledge–Know How & Money to buy all these things my daughter is ill, its of much concern, Have Your Bible’s Ready at Hand if nothing else Candle & Pray In Jesus Name. If we all could be so prepared Bless you all, be safe Jesus will be coming all need to be repented & ready I say that with true Heart

        • Id throw all that shit away, sell it or use it now, then if it fails during a emp, go back to the hand tools of the 1800’s, such as a good grain mill, cream separator, cultivator, packer pumps, gravity water tank, pelton or water wheel…. you will have to some day when your high tech shit breaks, gets ripped off, or confiscated.

        • Sgt.
          I have all of my small stuff wrapped in bubble wrap, placed in a large popcorn tins, lined aluminum foil then with 1/4 inch corrugated cardboard, a hand warmer (to take out the air). Them lid put on top , duct taped around the lip and the seam. Then mark what is in there. I’m old and can’t remember anything!;-{, what were we talking about????
          S.T.S.F.P. N.Reb

          • I do something similar with Xmas cookie tins. One or two items per tin, double wrapped in aluminum foil. I use cut up flour sack towels for insulation between metal layers. (good bandages, toilet wipes, etc if needed). The nice thing is that you can layer a couple of tins and they fit inside a 5 gallon bucket which can be easily hauled or stacked – then if needed it can be used for hauling water or as a latrine.

      12. I have gotten more spare hard drives to store backups of my huge library of reference books and classics of literature. Many are in plain text format. You can get almost 50,000 of them from Project Gutenberg at:
        ht tps://www.gutenberg.org/

        Project Gutenberg also has books in various ebook formats. I would recommend plain text for all of their books except ones that might have illustrations.

        Another way to obtain Project Gutenberg books is to get an ftp program, such as WS_FTP from Ipswitch, and download ebooks directly from a Gutenberg ftp site such as:

        To get a huge amount of really useful books, you need to get a Usenet newsgroup software, such as NewsRover, and download from the various newsgroups. The group that has the tech books is:
        They have hundreds of thousands of books on every technical top imaginable, pretty much all nonfiction categories.

        Another newsgroup that has old magazines, some of which are very useful, is:
        A lot of the magazines are pulp fiction, such as westerns and scifi, but there are some with practical info.

        If you need specific books about old technology, such as farming, steam engines, electronics, etc., then go to:
        ht tps://archive.org/
        You can search by various keywords. Most of the books are actual scans in PDF format. Besides technical books, they also have old books on religion, history, etc. They have enough to keep you entertained and informed for years.

        One thing I would avoid is keeping ebooks in formats other than PDF or text. Most computers can read those formats, but might not be able to read the other formats. Calibre is a free software that I use that can read most ebook formats and also convert them between formats. I am converting all the books I downloaded from the newsgroups into PDF. Also, when you download books from the tech newsgroup, many times a particular book is available in more than one format. I always choose the PDF format if available.

        If you find a website that has a lot of good information on a lot of separate pages, you can download a backup copy of the site, either part or whole, using a free software called HTTrack Website Copier. I use that, and it works well.

        Back to preparing for possible storm Ana that’s brewing off the coast. We are expected to get a lot of wind and rain. I think the ice and snow storms this past winter pruned our trees pretty well, so I don’t expect any real damage from the storm, but the power is almost guaranteed to go out at some point.

        Actually, I think everything’s done except moving a few light items inside, such as bird feeders.

        • Archivist, need to look into that site, is it free to download?

        • Sorry, disregard last question, thank you for the link, excellent!

      13. I would highly suggest people start by understanding the different type of EMP events, of which there are three. I would recommend this website as a great resource:

        Future of Science

      14. Just a heads up. All the references to this article are “broken”.

      15. Doomer porn? Not quite. See the Washington Post article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/05/05/scientists-spot-evidence-for-superflares-blowing-away-anything-weve-ever-seen/

        No, I don’t like the leftist/fascist lamestream media either, but this one is an eye-opener. True, nothing could happen for a thousand years. Then again, I have been commuting to work in Indiana for 4 months now, and the only two times I took an alternative route there was a fatal accident. Also probably a once in a thousand year event.

        • What’s interesting is that there was an X2.7 flare not too long after the article came out, about 6:30PM. There had been a number of smaller ones before that.

      16. If you seal your trash can lid with metal tape it will help guard against EMP provide you insulated your gear inside the can. Same goes for Ammo Cans. Video on Utube.

      17. Jesazz, Koverist. I cant even turn my back for not even one Hr, i just had to come on this new article. Here is a youtube video of what to expect during shtf season.


        The Road. This is what happens when your are not prepared. belive me, we need to prep.

        • Yes, ‘The Road’.
          You must have the Fire!

      18. Somehow I have the feeling that we are stumbling around bumping into each other on a open field.

      19. Well…I have no resources to do all those fancy things to ward off the effects of an EMP…except my ammo is in cans and my bolt action will work just fine.

        Live Free or Die…beware of the shadows in the dark

        • Plastic bags can be gotten for free, and used but clean foil is free too. You can get old popcorn tins for very little, especially if they’re dented or scratched, which doesn’t affect how they protect against EMP.

        • Im with you there, dont have much in the way of electronic doodads and same as you anything that will really matter is manuwel

        • Talon1776, none of my weapons have any chips, circuits, etc. They work in pre-EMP times and will still work post-EMP.

      20. Links to QST articles don’t work. What comes back is:

        The requested URL /tis/info/pdf/88615.pdf was not found on this server.

        Have a better link?

      21. Something is defiantly up. It just seems that lately they are really pushing the EMP articles in the crap media, looks like they plan to do it..this is getting really spooky. This is why I had to begin prepping. Anyone who gets caught off guard when this hits is in deep commercial pig crap, not looking good..and now they have rolled in the military to take advantage of the staged false flag. This stinks to high azz heaven.

        • Yeah. I noticed a lot of news coverage on the topic too.

      22. Activated charcoal in with the ground rod helps make a good ground. Also a 8′ ground rod does not have to be 8′ deep. It can be buried sideways if you have shallow bedrock.

      23. One of the biggest things to know if an EMP hits is ‘where did it hit’? If you are looking at a regional or local EMP then you just need to survive for a week or two and help will arrive. It might take months to restore power, but you have the ability to head to an area outside the EMP zone where things are normal and hopefully civilized.

        If the EMP is national, then you won’t be getting any help, and you won’t have many transportation options, nor will you have any nearby places that can handle refugees.

        Agree with others – water and sanitary are huge issues you better prep for. But don’t forget a small multi-band radio receiver with batteries to learn where that EMP hit.

      24. I’d like to add that you shouldn’t be in a hurry to raid your Faraday cage after an EMP. There is a very high possibility that there will be another not long after the first. My reasoning is that if we come under EMP attack the intent will be to decimate our population. After all, a single attack then a few months later the aggressor lands an occupation force. They will want to be sure that survivors are as helpless as possible. There is a good chance that the first few months following and EMP will not actually be the most dangerous.

        Another thing is to be sure and nest cages. If your cage has a reduction of 50 and you get hammered with a super EMP then your stored items may not survive. The current theoretical limit of an EMP is 50k V/m with stress on “theoretical”. Since no one has ever tested this theory no one really knows for sure what the limit for an EMP actually is if any.

      25. As a nerc rc system operator. I promise that everything to get the system back will be done. But if the transformers are smoked and breakers. Than it is almost impossible to place it all back together (grid). Maybe your local utilities could run as a island. Which means they will be limited to who they can serve. And with the general stockpiles of coal is usually less than two weeks. Well you can put the rest together. Good luck. P.s. energy prices are going to start climbing fast. Stop the epa.

      26. Great article and comments too, thanks!

      27. how about a 55 gallon drum with a metal top and band seal?

      28. Prepare yourself for the silence and darkness. Heat and cold will be a factor for many.

        Talk about withdrawal. Electronic addition might be worse than drugs.

        • I don’t call it “Electric Crack” for nothing.

      29. JJ –
        Really enjoy your contributions and find them spot-on with my way of thinking and planning. I don’t post too many comments here, but I “lurk” daily; have gotten several good tips from folks on here. My old Cold War era training is coming back and seems to be still relevant! Hope to make through with all of you.

      30. A lot of survival articles completely over look solar power (and yes if you have a up and running system now you will lose it when the EMP event happens). But if you have a back up Charge Controller, just wire the new controller into your system and you should be good to go. You will need to keep some spare LED lights and other 12 volt devices in a Faraday Cage and even then I would wrap them in alternating layers of plastic and tin foil and then store in a Faraday Cage to be sure.
        A little planning and foresight and you can have lots of power after an EMP event. For more info check out:

      31. I’ve been hearing a lot about EMP in the news but little on how to prep for it except for have some extra food and water and candles etc. So I am very grateful for this article Jeremiah.
        I would just like to offer a cooking tip for those who like to BBq with charcoal. When my neighbor said I could have the wood of a large walnut tree if I would cut it down for him i agreed. Instead of cutting into 18″ lengths for fire wood I cut it into 3 inch slabs. Split into 3″ chunks or smaller. When seasoned they light quite well in my charcoal starter and are excellent for smoking and cooking meat of all kinds. Odd how my mouth is watering now thinking about that smoked possum I had last year. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Poooooooooooooooooooosum!

      32. A cargo trailer with aluminum siding may work pretty well as a faraday cage for larger items like quads, arvs, motorcycles, chain saws etc. Also a 55gallon sreel drum would work quite well if lined with cardboard or other insulating material. I keep a small tv, radio, and some batteries in there. Good luck with all your preps guys.

      33. Laptop? What for? If the grid goes down how the heck you gonna down load anything. Same with radios,if it is an EMP event,who the hell you gonna call?

        OFF TOPIC

        Does anyone how to acquire self-generating power source? The one where part is a bicycle hooked up to create power. It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

        • Same with the watch, don’t need it maybe a calendar though.

        • Why save a commuter if the Internet is dead?

          One of the things I picked up years ago is an inexpensive computer to OBD-II interface for a cars computer that let’s me fix the suckers. Best investment ever after the gas cap gets left loose, the check engine light comes on, and the car spends the day at the dealer spending your money.

          The laptop I connect the OBD-II with is so old it’s window 2000, and I don’t dare connect it to the Internet anymore (see note below for exception). It is now reserved for car repairs, but it could read/play any info on disks or thumb drives. I have seen people recommend downloading and storing survival info to CD’s. Not of much use if you can’t read those disks post SHTF!

          I spent the morning troubleshooting my nieces Toyota with it today. A couple vacuum lines needed replacing, I could see the trouble code and sensor outputs on my laptop. Toyota would have handed me a bill for a few hundred, and asked me to grovel and thank them. It cost me about four dollars in new hose to fix it.

          I also downloaded to CD a copy of Linex that I can put into this same computer and safely go onto the Internet with. What is really cool is Linex only talks to the CD and ram so it can’t be permanently infected by a virus, and when shut down the computer retains no information from the session. Restart it and it always starts fresh.

          So yes, I am thinking this is precisely the type of computer well worth protecting in a Faraday cage, like a large ammo box from an Army Navy store. I rarely use it anymore, but when I do it’s golden.

      34. Wood ash from a woodstove or fire pit does wonders for keeoing down the flys and smell from a latrine or even a bucket buddy.

        • Way Cool, good tip.
          I will keep that in mind.
          I think people should get practicing with there preps now.

      35. Does anyone know how to make a self-generated power? The kind you hook up a bicycle with

        • Look around on YouTube.

        • You could probably just grab an alternator and a bicycle to charge a battery. Or if you didn’t want the exercise, weld some magnets to the back tire and set a speaker magnet somewhere to make it move.

      36. The alternator in your car would be the most likely means of recharging up a connected battery bank. That alternator could in some places with adequate wind be turned by a turbine. On windless days, a solar trickle charger could top off the battery bank.

        Look up a wood-gas generator. It’s a way they used during WW1 and WW2 to run combustion engines by the controlled off gassing of heated wood. Wood fumes in this manner (a method of creating charcoal) then are flammable. As such, one could power up a generator to create electricity too. Long past the time that derelict generators can be found (for the owners no longer can acquire the gasoline to run them) if you’re a smart prepper who knows how to use wood-gas, then you can still power up that generator in this manner.

        The problems are it’s still loud to run a generator. It means sourcing and seasoning wood to run it.

        As far as I know, the main reason people want electricity is to run lights. Why? Because if you really study up on it, it is difficult to harvest sufficient fats to make candles UNLESS you have a livestock operation and can seasonally harvest from them. Then you render that fat fo candles and soap.

        However in a post-collapse scenario, then you need the fat for caloric intake plus you need to stay clean to keep skin infections down (a major problem in times past). The smallest skin infection, or lack of cleanliness, leads to eventual contagion in a household or community. As such, I think if you sit down and pray about it, then you’ll see how it will be a huge trade off to make candles.

        The easiest way to create artificial light is to utilize rechargable outside solar lighting by charging them on your roof in a collapse, bringing them inside at evening, and using them instead. By doing so, you won’t be concerned about home fires from candlelight, and this is a very valid concern especially with children and untrained spouses using them. The problem is that eventually you will not be able to recharge them and/or damage will lead to no way to creating solar lighting easily.

        Dynamos are a proven way to create short term lighting and/or run something like a radio. Again, it only works as long you understand how they operate, can repair them, but ultimately these will also fail.

        • Look into something called a Savonius Turbine. These things are super easy to make and a natural for running something like an automobile alternator to charge a battery bank.

          Depending on how large and simple or sophisticated (not a whole lot of difference between the two) they can be a bit noisy with a sort of humdrum sound when spinning rapidly that irritates some people.

          Kids science fair project was to make one from a coffee can cut in half and a little DC motor for a generator that could run an LED array.

      37. What about a microwave ?

      38. You truly do not want to be in any neighborhood, county, state, or country when this happens. If you are not prepared you will probably:
        1.panic and die from shock or suicide
        2.lose your mind completely
        3.be killed
        4.suffer from a massive heart attack
        5.die from thirst or hunger
        Even if you prepare yourself by following this article, you could simply be “delaying” the inevitable- #1 thru #5 listed above.
        Then again-repent, pray and turn your attention to the Kingdom of Heaven. You just may get raptured!!!
        When you realize you have not been raptured, and you did not prepare or suffer #1 thru #5, rejoice and know that God had a greater plan for your life!!!

        • RajaSuda.

          How can you be so calm when everyone else is going crazy?

          Lock and Load, hehehehe!

      39. I have an 85% hearing loss in both ears. This is the first article that mention protecting hearing aids. They are small. They are expensive. I have a set protected as I would be in a world of hurt without them. Also I have a backup blood sugar testing equipment for my wife protected. Does any one know if the Atomic Clock in Colorado is protected from an EMP event?

      40. In the event of an EMP the U.S. may be able to shut down Nuclear Power plants . You can bet not all will safely be brought into control. That is secondary concern to onsite storage of years and years of spent fuel rods. Faraday cages won’t help with 100 Fukoshima’s. I don’t disagree in survival mode to do everything possible to extend. My scenario of an EMP is not all like I read here or in the book “One Second After”

        Would an EMP/Electromagnetic Pulse Cause Nuclear Plant …
        http://www.decodedscience.com › after-an-em…
        Mobile-friendly – Jan 25, 2012 – An EMP’s effect on the successful shutdown of a nuclear power plant must have consequences, …


        • is there any way to shield oneself from wind blow radiation? To secure the home(sealing doors windows etc)? I live NW of one and due east of another….probably about 50-60 miles from them.

        • I agree. All of the nuclear plants generating electricity and the on-site storage of spent fuel rods…these are major concerns in America. Lots of lots of uncontrolled plants and a lack of control of spent fuel rods should be a major factor in determining your bug out or bug in location. There are maps detailing these locations and will tell you which would be safer in the case of an EMP affecting them.

          But it’s not just an EMP. Post-collapse, all of them would do a controlled shutdown if given the amount of time to do so, but it takes fuel to run generators to control the spent fuel pool, doesn’t it? So this factor could happen with severe economic collapse, pandemic, or many other ways too.

          All locales have negatives to them for relocation, but to me, these places would be dead zones. At best, severe mutagenic effects would affect flora and fauna such as to forever alter the regions, in the very same manner as Chernobyl and now Fukushima. Nature adapts to this, even can flourish as has happened at Chernobyl, but human beings just don’t adapt in a positive way with radiation. A huge uptake in Cancer has happened (see Belorus and Ukraine orphanages and thyroid cancer and sterility). All species that die or survive are inundated with radioactive isotopes, and as they decay or are consumed in the food chain, then concentrated even more in a lethal manner.

      41. Tons of great advice! Thank you everyone!!!!!

      42. Remember the common microwave. It is made to keep “energy” in and will also keep it out. Put a cell phone in one and try to call it…no signal.

        • I have put my cell phone in a microwave and it rang normally. Microwaves do not make good faraday cages for EMP. While they have built in shielding to prevent RF leakage, it must be designed for specific wavelengths only. This is easy to test by placing a radio and/or cell phone inside the microwave (DO NOT TURN ON THE MICROWAVE WHILE DOING THIS). The higher frequencies seem to penetrate easily. Simple tests doing this with a shortwave radio shows the microwave does shield somewhat in the 100 mhz range but does not above that range and cell phones that can operate in the Ghz range do not experience any shielding effect at all.

          • Simple enough to test on the spot: I just tried it with mine and my cell phone would not ring.

            Maybe some microwaves are better than others? FWIW, this one is a Tappan brand I’ve had for about 25 years, a very good and fairly expensive one when I bought it that still works perfectly so it is a high quality unit (paid about double then for what a replacement would cost today).

            • That is a great idea. I think its the same with old vehicles…your old microwave is likely made differently than the newer models. I have an old microwave that I might reinforce and see if it might be a plausible option.

      43. For our family of five, we have two teens and a kindergartener,we went thru the what ifs of an empty scenario. What do my older ones do? I told them to come home no matter what. They have a list by our fridge of what they need to do(secure the home,fill water jugs and tub, ready generator etc) thankfully I work at home… so while I’m retrieving my youngest one on foot( after shutting off gas etc) everyone knows their plan of action.that’s been valuable to us is knowing the plan….and the contingencies. When all hell is breaking loose( planes crashing, traffic snarls,transformers exploding,fires and panic..)having a plan and a cool head will be a big edge. A question for shtf folks, and others……during an emp, does the gas lines that run to your home run the risk of exploding because there is no regulating? Second, would disconnecting our car battery serve any use to help charge anything?

      44. Can anyone tell me what an EMP would do, if anything, to a solar panel?

        • The only electronic component in solar panels is a diode which may or may not be affected. You could have some spare diodes in an emp proof container for good measure but you should have a spare charge controller for sure. Most charge controllers have diodes in them also so it’s redundent. Charge controllers and diodes are cheap on ebay.

          • It is unknown if an EMP will affect the semiconductor junction in the solar cells themselves. Mine have survived a lightning hit because I use polyphaser/transtector protection on the panels themselves and all cables leading to charge controllers etc. I lost the transtector DC protectors, they went dead short, and one solar panel frame was scorched looking after the hit.

            Hit was on a tree behind the panels and a step leader went to the better ground of my solar system from what I could see. Tree was scorched until it got to the height of the solar panels then it jumped. Tree is no longer, I cut it down to keep it from hitting the panels if wind took it down.

      45. I’m thinking all our awesome super bright LED flashlights will be effected if not protected.

        • All led bulbs will be fried if not protected in a Faraday cage. Have the flashlight inside or at least spare bulbs to use for replacements after the EMP hits

      46. I know people who buy the old tube type radios and been told they are immune to EMP. Change priorities for that aluminum toolbox in back of your truck. More efficient to use aluminum tape around the top edge of garbage cans for a tight fit. Boxes and paper are good insulators. Garage without a metal floor is not a metal box or Faraday cage…too much leakage. Heavy aluminum foil around a box is good enough…use aluminum tape. The night is dark and full of terrors…good to see in the dark.

      47. EMP would fry the diode on back of a solar panel, buy extras.

      48. Folks want to be able to drive after an EMP? Get a vehicle with one ECU computer. Yes it will have to older but not 54 vintage. Now get on ebay or a junkyard and buy a spare and put it in a 50 cal ammo can wrapped in towels. include the tools it takes to use it. you may need to have it flashed for your vehicle. Test it. Put it in your car and make sure it works. Then put the other in your ammo can faraday box. I wrap mine in a towel, then tinfoil, then in the ammo can. 1/2 hour of tinkering and you will be back on the road. You might want to put a baofeng UV5R radio in there too with batteries, and a nice wristwatch. See my website if you want to contact me with more great tips. Ron

      49. Question: Will an old microwave oven work as a Faraday cage? And how would someone know when it’s safe to take electronics out for use? Once the EMP hits, is it over and therefore safe to take electronics out, or should you wait a certain amount of time before opening? It would be a bitch if you had all your electronics stored safely and you took them out too soon and they were ruined…

      50. I just bought a Percheron – I think he will do well during an EMP blast – no electronic parts to ruin. lol!

        Now I just have to break him to drive. 🙂

      51. Here’s a couple of thoughts from various replies from above.

        I frequently see well meaning comments from fellow Christians regarding post-collapse and the Rapture. They feel that ultimately God will take us out when things get that bad, and thus it’s their bottom line on peril. Frankly, I have major doubts about what the majority of today’s preachers are teaching about the Rapture. That concept is a fairly new one from a theological standpoint. There are two alternative theories on the End Times, both of which detail the suffering of Christians such that we will still be here and only taken either halfway or will suffer nearly the entire seven years of the Tribulation.

        Folks, if you’re a Christian, pray about this and read all three of the major theories on the Rapture and Tribulation, and not rely solely upon your Biblical understanding. For if you do so, and not prepare adequately, or assume a higher value on your saintliness, then you may find yourself still HERE during the End Times.

        I know a ton of Christians who are not preparing whatsoever because of this mistaken idea that they’ll be raptured before they have to suffer, or assume they’re so good that they need not be concerned. That’s a major gamble.

        The main reason people think about generating electricity is lighting. Electronic devices use up power in watts, and to create enough steady electricity (for too much variation will cause damage to the devices). How did the Native Americans create lighting? They sure didn’t use candles.

        Look up the way of amassing fat in a container and impregnating an absorbent material to wick it and make a serviceable candle-like object. It’s superior in the aspect that while smelly, it works with far less care than a candle. Pioneers and our ancestors also utilized “rushlights” by igniting them and switching them out as they burned. However this would be a real fire hazard. Torches and burning pitch produce too much smoke to utilized inside. Oil lanterns will be difficult to make unless you are growing either canola seed plants or sesame. You could also extract oil from soybeans too.

        If you use candles, then look up a candle-follower. It’s a way to control the burn of candles in an even way such as to still produce as much light, but greatly slow the rate of burn. When I watch post-apocalypse films, I always see tons of candles burning, and I laugh because your candles will be so difficult to make versus eating those fat calories or making soap, that it’s rather ridiculous to imagine someone burning ten candles at a time to create romantic ambiance during the apocalypse.

        What you won’t be able to do in all likelihood is run any electronic devices that use up too many watts of power, for it will become a losing battle of making too much noise to run a generator (and attracting desperate folks to your locale). It also would mean a steady amount of timber felled and seasoned to create wood-gas to run it (and knowing that prepper skill). Clearing forest also means revealing your location plus generating much more woodsmoke than normal.

        Look up an Earthship which is an alternative way to live underground, maintain a constant temperature to reduce the need for heating, plus have easier access to a root cellar.

      52. Does anyone know if a Conex Metal shipping container work as a Faraday cage? thanks.

        • Still wondering about the Conex shipping container as a Faraday proof container? Anyone?

          • Missed your question first time through.

            A conex would work but you would need to electrically seal around the doors, seal any holes with metal and put in a bonded metal floor. You are trying to seal the container so nothing leaks inside. Any opening will allow waves of that size and smaller in. Everything inside would have to be isolated from the container itself.

            If you are going to inhabit the container you would want to ground it for lightning protection. I would suggest a star configuration using about 1/0 cable or even larger. It doesn’t necessarily need to be grounded to act as a faraday cage but you could get one heck of a jolt if it’s hit by lightning.

            • Hi, I’ve been thinking about attaching angle iron to the doors so that when closed they will make a metal to metal contact. As for the floor, it is wood over the steel.What do you think? TY, Joe.

              • Angle iron is a good idea. Hadn’t thought of that. I didn’t know there was a steel floor under the wood. That makes it easier.

                I think it would work as long as you can seal all openings. I’ll be building a container home later this year. I’m planning on using at least one for a faraday cage.

      53. Even if you don’t garden, buy a good selection of garden seeds every year. Package them in a ziplock bag, label them with the purchase date and place them in the fridge for storage. Mine are still viable after 3 years in the fridge. Nothing beats having an established garden, but at least have the seeds stored for use, barter, etc…

        • Anyone not gardening now is making a huge mistake, IMO. Especially if any of them are like me and use the cannon ball dive method when it comes to learning or doing things– in other words, I don’t sit down and research before I do something. I just leap right into the deep end and learn as problems come up. 😀
          Gardening has been a HUGE learning experience, and while I’m getting pretty darn good at it, it took two years to learn to maintain the garden so that it hadn’t disappeared in the weeds by June or July. Lol
          Then experience with cucumber beetles, squash bugs, squash BORERS, and the newest invader last year… the blister bug.
          First year gardening– what food could be had and found in the weeds lasted the gardening season. The next year I had some in December. Last year’s garden, we finished the very last of it this March.
          Last year’s garden was the first one NOT overtaken by weeds and it was the first that was pleasant just to go and sit in it. 🙂
          I also learned last year NOT to blanch and freeze whole okra. YUCK.
          And bugs and weeds are far from being the ONLY lessons in producing and storing food.

      54. Great article and responses, JJ. TY 4 dedication.

        Scenario 1-

        It would be JUST my luck to be driving when an EMP were to cause my 2003 Tundra or 2003 Echo to die alongside other commuters. I drive less than 200 miles a month.

        And of course, it will happen when I am 19.4 miles away (Walmart, gander mt., HomeDepot, Asian food store, etc), instead of normal 5.5 mile distance from home (Kroger, gun store).

        Probably happen in my truck that I baby, instead of the gas mizer Echo that I use like an appliance.
        I love that truck! Just my luck! EMPs suck!

        I DO know that I won’t be 105 miles away on the big river, hunting ducks, with 60 pounds of gear and guns. I am not going to make that trip again, until I can make it in a ’69 or older car. It is the only time I use the Interstate. I can afford a good deal on a good VW ’67 Beetle now… probably not post-EMP. I already have a Chilton repair manual for it, though.

        As hard as it would be to do it, I would walk away from my truck. I would grab my GHB and walk home IMMEDIATELY.

        I have read One Second After, and many other TEOTWAWKI-type books, and I would know what has happened.
        I would ignore the people staring under their hoods at their engines and tapping their cell phones, kicking their tires…
        and GET HOME before the evil fucks in this world, that know what WE know, start with their bullshit.

        There’s a good chance I won’t see other stalled cars coming to a stop. I use township and county roads mostly. I drive well maintained Toyotas. They just don’t stop working for no reason while your driving.

        But, I will know what’s happening.
        The quiet will be deafening!
        No trucks? No cars/motorcycles? no cell signal?, etc? I’ll know.

        Needless to say that I would be adhering a rule a wise man once wrote… Always Be Armed .

        I am confident I can walk 19.4 miles in under 15 hours, avoiding people and LEO. It would not be stormy weather because I wouldn’t make the once a month, 2hour, supply trip in iffy forecasts. I am thinking 8-10 hours at my present physical condition, carrying ultralight GHB (BIG bag, little gear).

        Hopefully I am home when the cars stop, but if not, my only objective would be to get home ASAFP!
        I travel only in the AM… home by 1400 usually, so hopefully, worse case, I am home by dawn…
        the day after.

        The day after…

        After 1-3 days of NO cars, no internet, no TV, no radio, no EBT, no ATM, no nothing… the S will hit the F!, and I want to be home, using lists to … finish up or start to…

        -Put vital BO gear in that old Beetle(or two) I hope to have, in case we need to bug out(pun) to hidey hole 67.7 miles away.
        -Working a deal for a horse and/or mule at stable/farm .6 miles away if no old bug.
        -Making my house look like it’s already been looted and burned out (Joe Nobody tip).
        -Re-instructing my wife on how to put in a full Glock 17 magazine into a KelTec Sub2000 to replace the 31 rounder that she might have to empty someday… soon.
        -Remembering to smile while instructing wife.
        -Finding out if that Faraday cage can thing worked!
        etc. etc.

        I do have a faraday cage. Galvanized trash can and lid with 2″ aluminum tape seal and cardboard.
        I don’t have a lot of hi-tech stuff, but there is a pair of midland walkie talkies, an old multi band/ham receiver, and LED flashlights and batteries in it. I would like to, someday, add a Baofeng, and a computer module for my 2003 Tundra 4×4 to it, inside 11mil thick, 55 gallon drum liners. (this reminds me to inspect that the aluminum tape is still adhering to it).

        But if this SHTF EMP were to hit right after I click the submit button, I will be relying on some old tech stuff.

        Old tech information gathering…

        The local VFW is about 250 yards from my house. After I get the Honda generators hooked up(if they are working)to the frig and small deep freezer, and get my wife reacquainted with the KelTec Sub 2000 (again!) and many G17 magazines (31 round, 9mm), I will double time to the VFW and play dumb.

        The VFW is next to our small, rural town Post Office, across from the only gas station in town, the local pharmacy, and the local greasy spoon. From this location I will get a read on what the locals are doing, and how they are reacting/organizing. The local LEO station is 500 yards from home, but there is a 80 feet deep ditch in between.

        old tech heat… if winter.

        Wood burning stove on industrial strength dolly, with exhaust piping for connection to homemade window insert, and 100 feet of flexible ducting with holes every few inches or so, running it’s length, to help disguise smoke signals.

        etc.etc. blahblahblah.

        I have collected a bunch of old tech stuff, similar to what you and others have mentioned, that might come in handy when the balloon goes up. I hope to add some hi-tech goodies before then.

        If any SHTF event does not happen by the time I relocate my wahine back to her family, I will sell off most of it (real assets hold value), and jump off that bridge when I come to it.

        Most likely using information from your relocation article and readers comments.

        In the meantime, I will continue to take frequent breaks from prepping to shower my wife and bull terrier with love and affection, enjoying their ignorant bliss, while we still have power and transportation.

        Enjoy it while you got it!

        • Well said! You’re a head of me. I have some water and a few large plastic tubs of food. I have a few gadgets to put in my trash can (faraday cage) as soon as I buy one. I have a small LED flashlight and a few GOOD knives. My garden went to heck because I broke my arm, and some surgeon decided he needed to put a rod and a few screws in it; damn him!! I expect my preps will get much better when I got back to work. I hope work starts in couple weeks. I started to seriously prep a couple months ago. Basically in the past couple months I been downloading every pdf and reading all my emails and articles i come across about prepping and ordering a few small things and adding to my list of things to yet get. I believe I have a fair start on my knowledge base. The information infinite and addictive. There are certainly worse things to be addicted to. I appreciate your position you portrayed in your comment.

      55. J.J. While I agree with you on most, I think you missed the mark on how to cook and/or can. My thought is LP since it has virtually no expiration date and it can heat, cook and potentially cool. A 100lb tank can be purchased via Craigslist or at a local garage sale for next to nothing. If you wanted to have a fuel source that would last for a considerable amount of time, look at a fatboy (100 gallons) or even a 500 gallons tank. That would last you until the proverbial “Cows come home.” Any storage contain and a high BTU output burner (could even be on your BBQ grill) is enough heat to operate a canner or pressure cooker. I personally would recommend a Turkey cooker as they can be purchased used for next to nothing. Fact is, this year they will be giving them away since we will not have a turkey population for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Sorry, got side-tracked… I have canned for many (many) years and do not believe if I had time to prepare, I would ever use a Coleman stove for canning. Breakfast maybe. Propane can also be used with a vent free fireplace to provide heat for a period of time. I am going to forego the safety warning and put it like this: If you don’t know what is safe to use already, there will be a truck with the FEMA sign on the side of it, just go ahead and get in…
        God Bless each of you during these trying times…

        Second to None!

      56. The most likely long term ways to cook (post-collapse) won’t be LP gas. Yes, it’s certainly invaluable to have LP gas (and one should note that the volume changes with temperature for refilling it).

        The most likely method of cooking in the wild will be a Dakota Hole fire. Please look it up to see a very clever method of creating a rocket stove that Native Americans came up with in history. The hole creates a draft to charge the fire with more oxygen, as well as concealing much of the flame, and in addition using a fraction of the firewood.

        The most likely method of cooking short term in neighborhoods will be preppers teaching their neighbors the importance of cooking with a rocket stove by either using bricks to create a stucture or using discarded cans (if they have gloves and tin snips to fabricate them.

        Why? There is a limited amount of seasoned dead wood lying around your neighborhoods. If everyone begins burning up wood, then in desperation they will begin burning up green wood. Wood will become an important commodity and much of it wasted by routine methods of cooking. It takes real intelligence to cook over a wood fire, and most people lack the experience and common sense to do it. Not to mention they won’t have the essential tool of a Dutch oven.

        If you don’t teach the people around you, as your mentors taught you, then you won’t have a community of people in order to heal the sick, care for the fragile, teach the Gospel and educate future generations.

        However, as time passes, without adequate replanting and nurturing of wood reserves through planned forestry, then rapidly you’ll dimish the forest around you. This is why Native Americans would strike the camp and move to a different place for hunting, fresh water, and wood.

        What is done in 3rd world nations is to teach people to utilize the sun with solar ovens. If you don’t then incorporate this as a strategy long term, then you’ll end up with rapid deforstation. As those forests give you acorns, tree crops like honey locust beans, invalubale cleaning agents from pine, etc, then you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.

        LP Gas in not a renewable resource, and so it cannot be a true prepper solution for the long term. When a collapse comes, it will take forever for stability to occur, and only by design. Be that stability not only for your family, but also for your brothers and sisters.

      57. In a post-collapse world, while we might desire electricity and electronic devices, the instability of our world, and the lack of infrastructure to produce components, and a lack of a supply chain to deliver them, will mean greatly modifying our desires. We will temper them versus what can reasonably be possible.

        Heating need not be done by electricity, but without circulation fans to deliver the heat, well that means a significant need to alter our expectations. Because the amount of BTUs needed is based upon the burning of fuels, coupled with insulation of our homes, and the ability to grow renewable fuel sources, the most logical solution is to live underground. I have no doubt of this for that is the clear method by which one can minimize fuel needs, reduce the amount of time to cut and season wood, and to be much warmer based upon the ambient temperature of underground living. Naturally these places are better insulated and so also reduce the fuel needed by heating up the natural 55 degrees Fahrenheit (maintained by underground living) to a comfortable level. It also produces a natural cooling effect in summer. This means heating only to take the chill off, nothing more. It’s entirely up to the survivors, live as humanity lived normally in the 21st century, or adapt so as to reduce the necessary work in gathering fuel to burn.

        Lighting can exist without electricity, but for only a span of decades, for the survivors will be able to cannibalize electronic components, especially bulbs and LEDs, and hence still produce light. They won’t be able to manufacture these things though. Under and overvoltage will be a constant issue and hence we can expect a high amount of electronic component failures post-collapse.

        We can make light by a variety of methods with the most likely candidate for oil lanterns utilizing either sunflower(only some varieties bear enough oil) or canola oil as the oil bearing plants (for sesame will not grow everwhere and it was used in history). This will be a thriving industry post-collapse. We cannot easily produce parafin oil. We obviously cannot produce kerosene easily. Carbide headlamps might again be utilized if we can mine for it.

        The main most reason we need electricity is refrigeration. It created a significant means of chilling food items and even freezing them for later use. We’ll have to adjust our current methods by jerking meat, smoking it, canning a tiny amount, for as time goes on…we won’t be able to create jars and lids. The most likely method will be dehydrating foods as it reduces shelf space, is shelf-stable, but the main issue with it is storing fat. Fat cannot be dehydrated without going rancid. This will be the most important food source to be canned as fat produces twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. Fatty meats can’t be jerked but obviously hams can be smoked and they do have some limited fat on them. Those who can smoke hams will certainly have a marketable skill. Fish can be salted, but I’ll bet most will turn up their nose at how it smells even when still possible to eat it.

        Our ancestors used three primary methods for refrigeration: evaporative cooling in desert regions done in clay pots and with damp cloth, roots cellars, and submerged items in large reservoirs of water. If springs are around, then by recirculating the chilled water through them, then this form of refrigeration was commonly utilized to chill milk. Sure, you can use ice blocks and sawdust to lengthen the amount of time before spoilage. This largely is contingent upon locating it in Winter but it’s arduous to drag it back, right? While Ice can be found in the mountains, getting it back safely is difficult, and to do this in sufficient mass that makes it useful.

        As far as I know, there’s only two others ways which could also be used for refrigeration. One is to pull a vacuum and in the formation of that, water will boil at first and then turn to ice. This phase change can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOYgdQp4euc

        The other is to connect a pump to a bicycle and pull a vacuum across certain materials and hence create refrigeration. That only works if the case is very insulated and as long as someone wants to cyclically continue to pump to keep the case chilled. This is called zeolite refrigeration, a method used to keep medical items chilled in 3rd world countries where there is no electricity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpEG0ATylzo

        Other than this, the main reasons for using electricity will be small low watt devices. Obviously a large searchlight could occasionally be used in emergencies or for essential work from your battery bank. Most of this kind of use will be to occasionally run a laptop to access information, for communications, and for miscellaneous use.

        There’s a high chance of shortwave radio being long range communications, but of more use would be an AM transmitter as AM is so very common. AM radios are already around (though unused) and we would certainly be making crystal radios post-collapse. Small scale AM transmitters could even be used as a warning system to these crystal radios in a community.

        Welding and operating power tools will be the biggest drains on electricity that is created. Things constantly break under construction and agricultural use. Welding takes a lot of current (heliarc, spot, and arc welding). Try doing a home project without power tools, and you’ll see the tremendous loss of time to do what formerly took minutes. More labor translates to higher tool breakage, many more calories (as food) for the people doing the work, and makes small scale creation of electricity essential in the trade off of this.

      58. A hand crank flashlight has an electronic charger circuit and voltage regulator circuit and most of them use LEDs (semi-conductor prone to EMP) as a light source. By contrast an old battery flashlight with an incandescent lamp (wire that gets hot) and a mechanical on/off switch is a lot less likely to be destroyed by an EMP.

        Your wrist watch (being tiny and isolated) is unlikely to fail (unless field strength is exceptionally high). I mention this because I don’t want people who experience an EMP but who see their digital watch is still working to incorrectly conclude it wasn’t an EMP.

      59. There are two primary ways EMP could happen. One is natural from a solar flare; the other is artificially from a lobbed nuclear device high in the atmosphere to intentionally cripple electronics.

        If it’s solar, we might have warning because there’s alarge body of people watching X class solar flares plus whether they are Earth-directed. So in those cases, then faraday cages could be utilized to protect electronics.

        If it’s EMP, then of course we won’t have warning. Expect for that to eventually happen, most likely from an unstable nation like North Korea or Iran. Iran currently lacks the capacity, but North Korea, especially with their space program, might be able to at least lob one device. Iran however wishes to usher in the age of the Mahdi, their former of saviour (who certainly sounds like the Anti-Christ), so why I’m concerned about Iran.

        Regardless, the mostly likely scenario would be submarine based launches and at least three. Why? Submarine based launches would give the least warning. That’s been in the ex-Soviet’s strategic manual forever. True instability with Russia might cause them to try that, but only out of desperation, as our own military facilities are hardened and retaliation would destroy both. Mutually Assured Destruction after all. But a rogue element or a coup within Russia could result in such uncertainty causing a release of three or more EMP devices.

        80% of the USA’s citizens live in urban areas. To cripple the USA’s infrastructure, and based upon the area-of-effect of an EMP weapon, the most likely case is an East Coast release, a West Coast release, and maybe one in the Texas region. That would cause the most bang-for-the-buck, crippling electronics for the most people, and most would fall within those areas of effect.

        But not all of us. Which means even though artificial EMP release would get most, it would be highly likely for pockets with low population density to be only somewhat or unaffected. Even if they lack Faraday cages.

        It would be nearly impossible to have all of the information stored in printed books to survive a major collapse. Public libraries would be important, but most are filled with nonsense information that has no practical value. But if one had a means of surviving, had a portable hard drive with prepper information stored upon it, then that repository might be accessed as some of the most valuable information for the survivors. Sounds cheesy, but within the realm of possibility.

        You can’t count upon it surviving, or ever being accessed again, and should rely upon printed information, but this is strategy that might work with something as simple as a solar battery charge, that portable hard drive, and a device that can read those files (like a Kindle or a laptop).

      60. I recently received a very convincing and compelling 40-minute video that some type of cataclysmic event will occur within the next 18 months, meaning somewhere between any minute now up to 18 months from now. What I don’t understand is why millions of foreigners are buying up expensive East coast (mostly NYC), and West coast (mostly Silicon Valley, CA) real estate — not modest homes to flip, but homes and apts ranging from $1 million to $40 million.

      61. At one time there was an illustration for file cabinet “security” that I can no longer locate. Is that by design, or am I just inept?

      62. First off, I too spent some time under a green beanie. Also, was in the 82d (2/325 RECON). Not cred’s, just sayin’…

        Another paratrooper by the name Arthur T. Bradley has written extensively on the subject of EMP. He actually works in the field for the gov’t. His books are on Amazon & he has numerous UTube videos on faraday cages & EMP. DOL

      Commenting Policy:

      Some comments on this web site are automatically moderated through our Spam protection systems. Please be patient if your comment isn’t immediately available. We’re not trying to censor you, the system just wants to make sure you’re not a robot posting random spam.

      This website thrives because of its community. While we support lively debates and understand that people get excited, frustrated or angry at times, we ask that the conversation remain civil. Racism, to include any religious affiliation, will not be tolerated on this site, including the disparagement of people in the comments section.