It’s not something many Americans think about: an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) attack on the nation’s electric grid. However, both peer competitors (Russia and China), and emerging threat countries, like North Korea and Iran, are perfecting this strategic weapon.
The White House is taking this potential threat seriously. On March 26, President Trump issued “Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses” in an effort to assess the risks of such an attack to critical U.S. infrastructure. Preliminary studies indicate that a catastrophic EMP event could cripple the U.S. economy and its military.
EMPs are pulses of energy that can be emitted from the blast of a nuclear weapon, portable devices like high power microwave weapons (HPMWs), or even certain natural phenomenon. These powerful pulses – when interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field – have the ability to damage electronic and electrical equipment such as computers, cell phones, transformers and transmission lines, as well as critical communications infrastructure. Even worse, the design of America’s electric grid means that damage to certain critical substations could cause cascading failures across the entire country.
While the threat of an electromagnetic pulse has been around since the first nuclear bomb (all nuclear denotations generate an EMP field), our heavy reliance on technology and the interconnectedness is unprecedented. The Commission to Assess the Threat from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack has warned since 2001 that essential U.S. infrastructure is at risk to an EMP event, stating that a high-altitude EMP (HEMP) attack would be “an existential threat to the survival of the United States and its allies.” An HEMP would likely involve the detonation of a nuclear weapon miles above the United States, where kinetic damage would be relatively harmless but the EMP effects would be at their most potent.
While the U.S. reaped its post-Cold War “peace dividend,” little has been done to address the EMP menace. The unipolar American moment is over, and the windows of vulnerability are again ajar.
Are you preparing for an EMP? It’s about more than just the Faraday cage. How many threats and voices will our nation shun before the lights go out and America starts to eat itself?
Here are 10 items to hoard before an EMP attack:
A successful EMP attack is the end for modern heating and cooling systems. We will be thrust back hundreds of years and outside our ingenuity, wood will be how the average man stays warm. Fire will be a massive part of your life. You will use it to purify water, cook food, heat your home and preserve food.
Forget the bow drill or the fire plane and just hoard tons of lighters so that starting a fire is something you never have to worry about. Lighters are one piece of modern tech that we can take into a post EMP setting.
Americans are just terrible when it comes to saving money. The good news is there is no better time to start. Don’t throw all your money in the bank. When the EMP runs through your neighborhood it will shut off those ATMs permanently. How will you get your money?
Keep a healthy store of cash either in your home, in a safe or hidden somewhere that is easily accessible without electronics.
Ideally, a months’ worth of cash makes for a great disaster fund. Your EMP goal should start there.
Related: How To Go Off The Grid With No Money
Whether you plan to barter or besiege your way through the post EMP landscape you will need ammo. Ammo makes every list of best bartering items and for good reason. Here is a great method to get cheap and reliable ammo for SHTF to start your stockpile today.
Store ammo for your weapons and popular rounds for weapons you may not own.
.22, .22LR, 9mm, .45apc, 5.56 are all great options to store and buy in bulk.
Right now, tools are cheap. Dirt cheap. High-quality tools are being produced on a massive scale and waiting to be gobbled up. What’s the harm in storing multiple sets of wrenches, hammers, axes, and sockets?
Beyond just the tools themselves, now is the time to stock up on things like the mineral oil to protect our metal blades and tools from rusting. Also, hoard some linseed oil for treating those wooden handles. Tool maintenance will be a huge part of surviving an EMP.
Also, stock up on sharpeners. If you are out of electronics you will at least want the sharpest axes and knives and saw blades to make the demanding work a little less taxing.
Related: Five Emergency Survival Tools
The process of creating commercial cooking oil will take a huge hit following an EMP. The large harvesting machinery and the manufacturing machinery that produces the oil will all be offline following an EMP. Cooking oil is one of those items that most preppers forget about. Right now, you can buy basic cooking oil for less than $3 a bottle.
While we all have access to the oracle through our phones or computers it won’t be there after an EMP. Some experts think that the effects of an EMP will not be completely felt by all electronics, I can promise you that our intricate network of information will fall apart after an EMP, even if they are right.
Suddenly you will be left with only the hard copy information that exists on your bookshelves.
Prepping (of course)
These are all great options for the average person to have on their shelves.
WATER IN MANY WAYS
After an EMP water will become a gamble. While taps may work for a limited time, there is no assurance that we will have clean and safe water coming out of them. In order to prepare for this, you must start hoarding water today.
Do not depend on one source for your post EMP water. Instead, take a tiered approach to water storage and maximize your methods for water procurement.
You should have access to plenty of water that comes from the sky. Rainwater collection is a crucial method for hoarding water. While the 55-gallon barrels work well, you may just want to make the investment in a massive 1200 gallon cistern.
Retail water can be purchased and stored as well, or you can use tap water to fill things like water bricks for the future. If you do store retail water just be sure it gets cycled through because the cheap plastics will no doubt leech toxins into your water over time.
Medicines are tricky. You gotta have em and you should most definitely hoard them but you should also be careful when it comes to cycling them out. Unlike food, you can’t just pull an older bottle of Tylenol out of the cabinet and have it for dinner. That is unless you don’t want to worry about the EMP anymore.
After a medicine expires its effectiveness will begin to decrease and this will make it harder to dose properly.
When it comes to hoarding meds, I think you have to take a loss on some items. It’s a bet. When meds get close to expiration start asking around. Someone will need them. Buy a fresh stock and start the process again.
Spend a little extra and buy things like children’s medications even if you don’t have kids. These will be gold in a collapse.
Filth, pests and the diseases they harbor. Remember, waste will sit around, trash will sit around. You will be working and moving more than usual to survive. You are going to get cut and you are going to get sick.
Along with basic first aid, you should also hoard the materials needed to set up a simple quarantine. Our scientists will not be working around the clock to create vaccines for illnesses anymore. It will be up to good hygiene, immunity and the ability to quarantine the sick.
Rolls of plastic
Plenty of Soap
Trash trucks are broken down, the water system is compromised but all your trash and excrement must go somewhere. Do you have a plan for that? Trash bags will give you options when it comes to how you handle your waste.
This will affect your general health exponentially. It will keep pests away from your home and you will limit your exposure to the harmful bacteria both in pests and in waste. Sickness will be one of the biggest killers in a post EMP world.
Starting a Stockpile
I subscribe to three hard and fast methods of stockpiling or hoarding items for a collapse. These methods will give you options based on where you are financially as well as where you are on the rungs of preparedness.
The supermarket hoard is a slow and plodding process that involves buying a handful of small extra items each trip to the supermarket. This is how you build a strong first aid haul or how you slowly gather your lighters and trash bags.
Think about it this way. You hit the supermarket about 52 times a year. If you grab an extra box of trash bags half the time imagine what you could have by the end of one year!
If you are in a hurry and have the means you can also bulk purchase items. This will work best if you can get neighbors or other preppers to join in on the purchase. When it comes to things like ammo this is your only option.
The bulk purchase will consistently get you more for your money, but you must have a chunk of money to make the purchase. Do not make bulk purchases on credit unless you are paying them off quickly.
If you have the time and the inclination you can also hunt for hoarding deals. Mastering the world of coupons and discounts will allow you to build your stockpile fast and at a great price. The world of discount can offer you incredible benefits.
Of course, the only problem with discounts is they are inconsistent.
Use a combination of all three methods to assure you are hoarding all the items you need to survive an EMP.