What is an EMP Attack and How To Prepare

September 01, 2022 8 min read

EMP attack

What would you do if a massive EMP attack hit the United States? An EMP attack could cause severe consequences as our country's critical infrastructure is incredibly vulnerable to such attacks.

It's essential to be prepared if an EMP attack happens. Practicing preparedness can minimize the risks associated with an EMP attack and ensure that you and your loved ones are safe. There are several things you can do to prepare. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about EMP attacks, how to protect yourself from an EMP attack, and what to do when one happens.

What is an EMP Attack?

An EMP attack is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that can disable or destroy electronic devices. EMP attacks can come from natural sources like the sun or manufactured sources like nuclear explosions.

EMP attacks can cause a wide range of problems, depending on their strength. A strong EMP attack could disable our electrical grid, wiping out all electronic devices within its range. Computers, cell phones, and even vehicles all contain vulnerable electrical systems. A weaker EMP attack might only disable some electronic devices or cause them to malfunction.

EMP attacks can also disrupt the power grid, and cause blackouts. EMP attacks are hazardous because they can happen without warning and cause widespread damage, so it's important you are prepared. 

Are You Prepared for an EMP Attack?

EMP attacks are potentially a serious threat to the United States. Such an onslaught could devastate our country, and preparing for them is essential. Here are a few things to ask yourself:

  • Do you have an emergency plan in place?

  • Do you have enough food and water set aside?

  • Where will you go if an EMP attack happens?

  • How will you protect your family, home, and yourself?

If you cannot answer these questions confidently, you may need to research and create an action plan. Stay abreast of current events and what the government is doing to prepare for terrorist attacks. Many resources can help you stay informed, including books, websites, and government publications.

What To Do if an EMP Attack Occurs

If an EMP attack occurs, it's important to stay calm and follow your emergency plan. If you don't have an emergency plan, you can do several things to keep safe.

1. Protect Your Devices

EMP-resistant devices are less likely to be affected by an EMP attack, but all electronic equipment can be affected. If you can, unplug your devices and put them in a Faraday bag or cage.A Faraday bag is a container that protects against EMP attacks, including bursts of electromagnetic energy and geomagnetic storms. 

You might think, “All the cell towers will be dead, so why would I need Faraday protection for a device that won’t even work?” 

Great question. Intranetwork services like goTenna and other mesh networks enable cell phone communication even when cell service, wifi, and satellite are unavailable. As services like this become more mainstream, it’s possible to become less dependent on cell towers in the future.

2. Stay Indoors

EMP attacks can cause problems with electronic devices, but they can also cause problems with power lines and other infrastructure. If you can, stay indoors to avoid coming into contact with high voltages.

3. Avoid Using Electronic devices

EMP attacks can cause electronic devices to malfunction. If you don't have to use your electronic devices, avoiding them is best until the EMP attack is over.

4. Listen to the Radio

In a dangerous EMP situation, information is power. It's best to stay informed about what's happening around you. A reliable way to do this is to have a radio that can pick up AM/FM, shortwave, and weather band frequencies.

EMP attacks are a severe threat, but you can prepare for them. Stay informed about current events and take steps to prepare so you can minimize the risk of an EMP attack.

How to Prepare Your Home for an EMP Attack

EMP attacks are devastating, and it's crucial to be proactive. There are numerous things you can do to prepare for an EMP attack.

1. Invest in Faraday Bags or Cages

By design, Faraday bags and cages protect electronic devices with an EMP shield. You use them as a shield for electronic devices to prevent EMP damage from EMP radiation.

A Faraday bag is a bag made of metalized fabric. The metalized material blocks electromagnetic fields, which makes the bag EMP-resistant. What this means is that an EMP can't fry your electrical devices.

Faraday cages are similar to Faraday bags but made of metal instead of fabric. Place your devices in a Faraday bag or cage to protect them from EMP attacks.

Faraday Bags for Computers, Cell Phones, and Tablets

After an EMP attack, you will likely be without cell service and internet, but tech gadgets tend to have your whole lives saved on them. It's essential to keep your devices safeso that you can continue to access crucial information. There are Faraday bags for computers that will act as EMP shield to protect your data.  

Faraday Bags for Solar Panels

EMPs can also damage solar panels. If you have solar panels, you'll want to have a way to protect them from EMP attacks. The ideal way to do this is to invest in a Faraday bag for solar panels.


Faraday Bags for Generators

Generators are an excellent way to maintain backup power, but EMP attacks can damage them. If you have a generator, consider protecting it with a Faraday bag. This layer of protection ensures that your generator still works after an EMP attack.

Faraday bags help prevent damage to your electronics in the event of an electrical or EMP attack, and you can also use them for other purposes. Use one to take a break from your phone and reconnect with your family or keep your data safe from potential hackers.

2. Keep EMP-Resistant Devices on Hand

EMP-resistant devices are devices that are designed to withstand EMP attacks. Made with unique materials that block EMPs, an EMP attack will not damage or destroy the device.

Some examples of EMP-resistant devices include:

  • Radios

  • Flashlights

  • Solar chargers

You can buy EMP-resistant devices online or at some stores. When buying EMP-resistant appliances, look for the "EMP-resistant" label. This label means that the device has been tested and is certified to be EMP resistant.

3. Depend Less on Electricity

EMP attacks can cause widespread power outages. To be better prepared, explore ways to depend less on electrical power.

Some ways to do this include:

  • Use battery-powered devices instead of plugged-in devices

  • Invest in a backup power source, like a generator or solar panels

  • Store food that doesn't require refrigeration

  • Stock up on toiletry and hygiene items

  • Keep plenty of candles on hand

  • Look at investing in alternative heat sources, such as a wood stove

  • Keep electricity-free tools in your toolbox

By having the electricity-free options on hand, you'll have peace of mind knowing you can survive when the power goes out.

4. Create an Emergency Plan

An emergency plan can support you and your loved ones in staying safe during an EMP attack. Your advance emergency plan should include a list of things to do and where to go if an EMP attack happens.

An emergency plan might include:

  • Going to a safe location

  • Unplugging electronics and appliances

  • Turning off the power

  • Contacting loved ones

You should also have an emergency kit accessible. A basic emergency kit includes non-perishable food items, water or a water purifier, and first aid supplies.

Bug Out or Stay Put?

One of your most critical choices during an EMP attack is whether to bug out or stay put.Bugging out means leaving your current position and going to a safe place. If you decide to bug out, you'll need to know how to get you and your loved ones to safety and what to do when you get there.

Staying put means staying at your current location and hunkering down.If you decide to stay put, you'll need to secure your area and what to do if someone tries to break in.

You should know how to survive without electricity or clean, running water in either situation. You'll need to assess the threat and decide what's best for you and your family based on your circumstances.

Food and Water Access

With widespread power outages comes disruption of regular food and water sources. Grocery stores, restaurants, and municipal water services are all subject to impact. Food and water are basic needs that, in a crisis, unprepared individuals may have to scramble for.

To be better prepared, find ways to store your own food and water. At the bare minimum, have at least three days' worth of food and water for each household member. Ideally, it's best to have a lot more stored for the long term.

preppers food

Food Sources

Where can our population obtain food after an EMP attack? If you prepped ahead, you already have some food stored for emergencies. Your food storage should include non-perishable canned or dried foods.

You may also consider purchasing MREs from an army navy store to keep on hand. MREs are Meals Ready to Eat used by soldiers in the field—packaged meals with everything you need to prepare and consume. These meals are designed to withstand long-term storage.

Gardening, foraging, fishing, and hunting offer more sustainable food sources. Learning to garden, forage plants, fish, and hunt gives you the tools you need for long-term survival.

water storage for preppers

Storing Water

Water is the most vital resource you need to survive. An EMP attack could cause widespread power outages and disruptions to the water supply, making it difficult to find clean water to drink.

The best way to store water for an EMP attack is in sealed, food-grade containers. Have at least one gallon of water per person per day stored away. You can purify water yourself or buy water purification tablets for long-term storage.

Safe Water Sources

EMP attacks can leave you without clean water to drink. Municipal water systems will no longer be able to treat wastewater properly. Drinking non-potable water can lead to severe illness.

You'll want to find a good water source. To do this, look for natural water sources like lakes, rivers, or streams. Another natural source of water is rainwater. To collect rainwater, set up a rainwater catchment system, such as a cistern or rain barrel.

Remember that you must purify water from natural sources in the environment. Boiling water for several minutes, using a water filter, or using water purification tablets are acceptable ways to create safe drinking water.

Protection After an EMP Attack

After an EMP attack, the world would experience widespread panic and disorder. It's essential to have a plan for protecting yourself and your family.

Remember to keep a low profile after an EMP attack. People begin to act differently in survival situations, so it's essential that you have a way to protect your loved ones and valuable property.

To protect yourself, consider purchasing a firearm. A handgun is the best choice for self-defense because it is easy to carry and conceal. Practice safely using your firearm and have a secure way to store it to protect children from harm.

If you don't have a firearm, consider other options for protection, such as a baseball bat or a knife. Please ensure you are comfortable using whatever you choose and have practiced it beforehand.

Take the Next Step

Now that you know what an EMP attack is and how to prepare for one, you can take steps to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe. Stay informed, have a plan, and store vital resources to be better prepared.

Take the next step and invest in a Faraday bag today. SLNT offers patented high-quality Faraday bags made to protect your privacy and your devices. Our bags are trusted by government agencies, now is your turn!


This article was updated & reviewed by SLNT's Privacy Experts on 5/16/2023.