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How to Survive an EMP Attack or Power Grid Hack

An EMP attack is one of the worst survival scenarios that could actually happen out there. An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack would devastate everything that uses electricity to operate, making it almost impossible to do many things we take for granted every day. Unless someone is sufficiently prepared, it would be extremely hard to survive an EMP attack. Continue reading this article for a detailed explanation of EMP’s, how to survive an EMP attack, and how to survive a power grid hack.


What is an EMP?

An electromagnetic pulse can be caused by either a solar event, a nuclear explosion, or a non-nuclear explosion. An EMP essentially is supposed to take out all the electronics and power within a certain radius of where the explosion occurred. An EMP basically sends a strong surge of electromagnetism through the effective radius where the explosion occurred. This strong surge makes different electrical components in nearly everything we own act as antennas, which essentially sends a huge electrical surge through the entire device. Electromagnetic pulses do not harm humans, but they have the potential to harm humans due to electronic components going out in automobiles, planes, and many other modes of transportation. EMP’s caused by non-nuclear explosions are mild compared to what a nuclear EMP would be like.

Nuclear EMP

Nuclear EMP’s have the potential to really destroy huge chunks of the power grid of the world. While many experts and scientists argue about the exact size of the effect on the power grid, it is virtually universally accepted that an EMP would cause a lot of damage. Nuclear EMP’s send out a large amount of gamma radiation that creates a large magnetic field which causes a large “pulse” of energy through various electrical components, rendering most devices that rely on electronics useless.

How to Survive an EMP Attack or Power Grid Hack


Solar EMP

Probably the single most terrifying event that is much more likely to happen than a non-nuclear or nuclear electromagnetic pulse is a solar EMP. Scientists say that every year the Earth runs about a two-percent chance of experiencing a solar electromagnetic pulse. About once every 100 years, there is a terrible solar storm from the surface of the Sun that sends particles flying through space and into the Earth’s atmosphere. It works much the same way as the other EMP scenarios were described. Any event the Sun goes through has the potential to spew charge ions through Earth’s atmosphere and would create a huge surge of electricity, destroying so many things humans have become dependent on.

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Hacking the Power Grid

As crazy of a possibility as this sounds, it is a very real threat. As of today, there are hackers worldwide who have been hacking nation’s power grids. Not only are the energy sectors of the economy being impacted, but so are the network and computer infrastructure. This is happening in many countries and some countries are doing it to each other. Whether it is state-sponsored terrorism or an actual nation doing the hacking, it is still extremely dangerous. The power grid hacking scenario is just as serious as the EMP threat and could cause much of the same damage.


How Much Damage Could an EMP Cause?

Keep in mind that everything that is electronic has microprocessors or other electrical components. Any vehicle made after the 80’s, all devices (cell phones, cable, the Internet, computers), anything you plug into an outlet, planes, buses, helicopters, hospitals, emergency services, power grids, and almost everything else that is more complicated than a pencil. If this is not the most terrifying scenario you can think of, it is hard telling what will scare you.

If you think about it for a second, you will realize that this is only the primary consequence of an electromagnetic pulse. The real danger of an EMP is what will happen once the pulse has occurred. Once everyone realizes there are no emergency services, communications, or power, not to mention food sources and basic supplies, countries will go into a massive panic. There will be looting, murderous thugs, and every other possibility you can think of. It is a profoundly serious and very real threat.

How Likely Are These Events?

While certainly not out of the realm of possibilities, the likelihood of one of these events happening is fairly low. That being said, the Sun is highly unpredictable and could cause an electromagnetic pulse at any given time. It is also possible that a terrorist group or a foreign nation could use either a nuclear or non-nuclear EMP device that could devastate the world. While there is no need to lose sleep at night over it, it is important that people understand how serious the threat of an electromagnetic pulse is. Luckily, everyone can prepare for such an event, as terrifying as it may be.


How to Survive an EMP Attack or Power Grid Hack


Get Prepared

If this article has scared you up until now, that is good. The purpose of this article is to inform people how serious the threat of an EMP is. If you want to take action for this profoundly serious threat, these next several paragraphs are meant to help you know some ways to prepare. Keep reading to find out ways to increase your likelihood of surviving this catastrophic event.


Stockpile Food & Supplies

If COVID-19 has taught the world anything, it is that you can’t take everyday supplies for granted. Whether it is toilet paper or fresh meat, there is always the possibility of a disruption of the supply chain. Make sure to buy hygiene products, toilet paper, medical supplies, and medicine, in addition to more food. It will take a long time for these kinds of supplies to be manufactured again if a disaster of this scale occurs.

Some food products to stockpile are the staples, such as rice, beans, canned meats, canned fish, canned vegetables, canned fruits, applesauce, freeze dried foods, and many, many more. Make sure to do research on how long these supplies will last before you buy it, as it may surprise you how fast some foods go bad.


Non-Electric Appliances

Regardless of whether or not you have power, you and your family are still going to need to eat. You probably do not have enough canned food stockpiled to last you through this scenario, and it is important to have fresh food if only for the nutritional value. Keep in mind that you will need to open canned goods with no electric can opener. If you don’t have any manual can openers, it is really important that you purchase several, as they are well worth the money.

Consider purchasing a solar oven, as the Sun will never stop shining, and if it does, there are bigger things to worry about. You can cook food and boil water in a solar oven, making it a necessity for most people. Buy a meat grinder and butchering supplies, as you will eventually need to harvest some wild game. Depending on how you prepare the animal and if you have jerky supplies, it could last hours, or it could last months. Making jerky is a great option for those who will not be able to eat the whole animal quickly enough. If you have a well or cistern on your property, you will want a hand-powered water pump, as you will always need water.


How to Survive an EMP Attack or Power Grid Hack


Faraday Cage

Put simply, a Faraday cage is any structure that is conductive that would protect what is inside of it from the large pulses from an electromagnetic pulse. This is the best place to put spare electronics and any other devices that would be destroyed by an EMP. The Faraday cage might be the one tip on here that could potentially save your life. There are a lot of unknowns about how safe devices are inside of a Faraday cage, because there has never been a real EMP strike to see its effects. Scientifically and theoretically it should work great.

An easy item to use a Faraday cage would be an old microwave. Some other good options are an ammo can, metal safe, or a metal garbage can. These items need to be tightly sealed and covered with tin foil. The items on the inside that you are trying to protect should not be contacting any metal surface; if they are, make a cardboard liner. Hopefully, this will protect your goods from an EMP.


No normal human being enjoys violence, but violence will be prevalent in a post-EMP society. You need to be able to protect yourself and your family from any threats. One of the best ways to do this is by owning firearms and ammunition. Depending on what your laws are in your area and whether or not you are comfortable using firearms will determine if this is feasible for you. Obviously, if you go the gun route, you have many options of firearms. There are whole articles devoted to helping people figure out what survival gun is best for them. On top of a firearm or several, you will need a lot of ammunition. Whether it is for hunting game or defending yourself from looters, you will want a lot.

If you don’t want a gun for this scenario, consider owning some guard dogs. Oftentimes, a bark is enough to scare away malevolent beings. Pepper spray is always an option, as are knives, brass knuckles, and baseball bats. Regardless of what you want to use, you always need to remember that protecting yourself and your family from an immediate threat is your priority.



If an electromagnetic pulse scenario were to occur, the first semblance of a new society would be the barter economy. Bartering for what you need is excellent, as people have certain niches of expertise or skills that cause them to have an abundance of a certain item. One an excellent way to have a leg up on everyone else in this kind of economy is to have a huge surplus of common supplies that will store for a long time.

One of these items that is a great idea to stock up on is silver in any form. Be it coins, rounds, bullion, or jewelry, this precious metal will always have a demand. It might not be as valuable as it is now, but if it buys your family a much-needed meal, it is well worth it. Other great items would be batteries, pasta, rice, beans, and many other supplies, both food and household.


Learn & Practice

One of the best ways to prepare for an EMP strike is to learn and gain as much knowledge as you can about all things survival and self-reliance related. Remember that recovering from an electromagnetic pulse or a power grid hack could take years. You will eventually run out of stocked-up supplies and at that point, you will have to rely on your own knowledge. Whether you create some improvised materials or tools, or you must do first aid on your own, it is so important to have learned everything you can. Some great ways to do this are simply by reading prepping or survival blogs online, reading magazine articles, watching YouTube videos, and buying some survival books and reading.

Of course, all this learning is useless without practicing what you have learned. It is always easy to know how to do something in theory. Putting this knowledge into practice is much more difficult. If you watched a video or read an article on how to make an improvised hatchet, it is a great idea to go out and practice it. Once you feel you have mastered it, do it again every few months so this newfound skill doesn’t just go away. Always remember that the more you practice, the more likely you are to survive.


The thought of an electromagnetic pulse destroying everything we know is terrifying. The thought of a foreign nation or terrorist organization hacking our power grid is also terrifying. While the likelihood of these events happening is low, there is always a chance. There is no need to panic and worry about it, because if you prepare using some of these tips, you will be much better off if it does ever happen.


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