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EMP Survival: Is Your Home Ready For The Blackout?

Thursday, October 13, 2016 5:34
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EMP Survival

Any prepper knows “the rule of three”, but I bet most of them think about applying it only in a bug out situation. Well, let me tell you what I think: in case of an EMP, you need a safe and warm shelter, clean water to drink, and also proper meals to preserve your energy and temper for the hard times to come.

Now that you know that, think about how your home would resist to an EMP blast. Would you have enough heat and food, and would your OPSEC be the same when left in the dark?

Let’s address these questions below, and find that answers that might save you and your family in case of an EMP!

How Do You Know it Was an EMP Strike?

There is at least one way to get an easy answer. All you need to determine whether you are experiencing a regular power outage or an EMP are only three transistor AM/FM/ Shortwave radios.

Using three transistor AM/FM/Shortwave radios, an improvised Faraday cage and a simple SOP, you can determine whether you are experiencing a simple blackout or an EMP and if it is an EMP, whether it is geomagnetic or nuclear in nature.

There are a few steps to take in order to find out the answer, and you’ll find them detailed in our article Total Blackout: How To Tell If An EMP Has Happened.

Can I have a Faraday Home, Please? And a Garage, Too!

Most preppers already know that the basic EMP proof tool to protect your electric and electronic devices is a Faraday cage. They’ll definitely use it

Since a box is still not enough to protect everything that might get broken by an EMP (solar panels included), here comes the question about EMP-proofing bigger spaces and even a whole building.

Yes, it’s doable, but there is much more to take into account than having proper materials for the job.

“Quonset Huts have a steel skin, and steel is a conductor, so they must provide some shielding against EMP. Almost 200,000 of the buildings were manufactured for WWII, some are still in use by the military to this day and many others are still knocking around as surplus, so maybe this could be an inexpensive way to build a shielded home or retreat or some sort. But the subject of EMP is complex, and a building is a major investment. For most people, it would be a considerable waste of resources to erect a building that did not serve its intended purpose.”

Some people would think about turning a Quonset Hut into an EMP-shielded house, like the reader whose question was posted above, but, as our writer Cache Valley Prepper thinks, with this question the devil is in the details.

If you decide to give it a try, read his article about how to turn your Quonset Hut into an EMP-shielded home before renting a crane.

EMP Proof CarAs for your car, there is such thing as EMP proofing. If you decide to create a viable EMP proof car and you have the time, money, and patience to make the car roadworthy, then you can truly start your search for pre-’80’s cars in the local scrap and junk yards. You’ll find the hints to follow in our article EMP Survival: The Essential List For Your Car’s Top Systems.

Think twice when buying a new vehicle, as most of the new cars are vulnerable to an EMP strike. We have a list that might help you, if you read our article about Top 10 Vehicles For Your EMP Survival.

The last but not the least – your energy stockpile. Start small to build big: get pocket-sized solar power solutions first, then man-portable solar energy means, and finally, think about larger alternative energy solutions. Find a guide to help you out through the process in this article about building your energy stockpile.

Heating & Cooling

When talking about alternative sources of heating, there is much more to explain than one single article might cover. You could start your research reading this Survivopedia article on heating without electricity and follow the links within, then build small heating devices like this candle heater that our writer Carmela Tyrell has made.

Don’t give up cooking just because the power grid is down! Read our article about how to cook without electricity for the basics about cooking off-grid, and you can switch to unconventional methods like cooking on your car’s engine. Theresa Crouse wrote an article that you shouldn’t miss about how to use your car for cooking, which also includes a few recipes to try on the road. Literally.

We almost have winter at the door, so the first thought about in case of a blackout is losing the primary source of heat. This is common sense in October, but you would think the other way in July: you need cooling for you, and at least a part of your food too.

As EMP-proofing your air-conditioner might not be an easy project, you will probably turn to other cooling devices, as these low cost 5 projects you can DIY.

Water

You think your running water won’t be affected in case of an EMP, but you might be deadly wrong. Tall buildings reliant on most types of booster pumps will lose water pressure past the bottom floors. Buildings with rooftop tanks have water until the tanks run dry.

Entire cities will lose water pressure forcing boil-water advisories into effect for any water that does make to you or that you manage to scrounge up. But without electricity, most households will be unable to boil water. Remember that the NE US blackout of 2003 left millions of Michigan residents without any water.

This is the moment you turn to your water reserves. Reusing grey water is a back-up, but remember that most of the systems require a power source to work properly. This is one of the aspects to take into account sooner than that, when you start building your energy stockpile.

Defense

Considering the current trend of integrating microelectronics technology into everything that we have in our home, including security devices and firearms (especially those integrating lasers), an EMP will likely change the elements of your defense. Then what should you do? The answer is also a two-parter.

Part 1: Train without technology before you train with technology, which means among others:

  • Learn to use a map and compass first, and then a GPS.
  • Learn to shoot with open sights first, then with a red dot.
  • Learn to shoot in low light with tritium night sights first, then with night vision.

Part 2: Go through your SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) from a post-HEMP paradigm. Walk through them step by step from imagining what would go wrong if a HEMP had occurred. It might mean

  • swapping a battery powered keypad lock for a mechanical one,
  • “down-grading” from an LED lamp assembly in your Surefire tactical flashlight to an incandescent lamp,
  • selecting an ASP baton over a Taser or practicing using a secondary technique after your primary fails, just like you practice failure-to-fire drills when you learn to defend yourself with a side arm.

Turn to off-grid home defense methods, like traps, defensive bushes or spooky pets that will keep the intruders out.

Our power grid is old and vulnerable, and a long term blackout – whatever its cause would be – could easily change our world in the worst possible way one can imagine. Prepare yourself and prepare your home for an EMP, and then you could survive any type of disaster!

EMPCover2This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia.

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