EMP Preparedness For The Non-Prepper And For The Prepper

image: Starfish Prime from Honolulu

I was recently emailed the question,

I am working on a paper which is based around EMP attack probabilities, and what to do if one were to occur. What would you suggest to do in such a situation for someone who is not a prepper? Also, for the prepper, what would you suggest they stock up on in this scenario?

Here’s my response:

What to do in an EMP situation for someone who is not a prepper

If by “situation” you mean after the fact (after an EMP), I would suggest (for the non-prepper) to adapt as quickly as possible to the probable reality that the modern world without the power grid, internet, and all else electronic, is going to be very difficult if not impossible to survive.

By definition, a non-prepper has not prepared and therefore likely does not possess the mindset, knowledge, or skills to survive an EMP catastrophe.

That said, a non-prepper’s best bet is to realize and accept the situation for what it is (most will not be able to come to grips with this) and to begin a rapid and honest assessment of their present situation.

It may be initially difficult to even know that ‘the event’ was an EMP for a non-prepper because most non-prepper’s don’t even know what an EMP is or what the symptoms may be. Presuming though that this particular non-prepper knows that an EMP has just brought down our modern high-tech civilization, then hopefully this person also knows that the likelihood of survival for most will be grim.

What should the non-prepper do at this point? If they’re lucky they will have a willing prepper friend that will accept them into their group. This however may be unlikely, depending on the variables of the situation (what type of person the ‘non-prepper’ is, their assets, what they can or cannot do to help the group, etc..). There will be many preppers who will not accept a non-prepper into their group after the event. This will vary of course, but don’t count on it.

Hint: Most farmers are themselves preppers of a sort, even though they may not call themselves preppers. Do you have a relative or friend on a farm? Sounds like a better place to be than suburbia… although there will soon be security issues as that farm…

That said, a non-prepper will be pretty much in VERY deep trouble in this scenario. Priorities will be acquiring a source of drinking water, safe shelter, food, and security.

An EMP of sufficient magnitude and detonation altitude will presumably destroy much, most, or all electronics below. This essentially will mean that nearly ALL goods and services will come to a grinding halt. Modern civilization as we know it will end.

How will anyone, including the non-prepper survive something like this for long?

What should a prepper stock up on in preparation for an EMP?

Wow. That’s not something that is easily listed in a short blog post. An EMP event is pretty much a worst case scenario and to survive a long lasting impact of grid-down and a damaged/destroyed electronics infrastructure will require a lifestyle change (ahead of time) such that transitioning into a world without electricity or “high tech” will be adaptable.

This will be very difficult, even for the prepper. The sheer magnitude of providing year round sustainability is lots more than most think. While you may have a water source nearby (although many will not), procuring food – enough to sustain one’s-self for a long period of time – will require tremendous effort, the right land, climate, food preservation techniques, and the right food choices to sustain human life for such a time.

Additionally, security will become an extreme issue in a very short period of time. It WILL become extreme in this worst case hypothetical scenario (especially dependent upon where you live), and it WILL be difficult to maintain superiority defending one’s “castle” under the ensuing chaos of the EMP aftermath (desperate people doing desperate things, as well as organized efforts to “take”).

Tip: Read and search this blog for all sorts of information on preparedness,

Note: EMP Category on Modern Survival Blog

Read this book for EMP preparedness motivation:
One Second After

Hopefully my short answer above will inspire the questioner to dig deeper. For someone who is concerned about EMP preparedness, I will suggest to start with the basics. Why? Because you will quickly become overwhelmed as you discover the magnitude of survival during the aftermath of such an Armageddon.

You might choose a quick fix by purchasing a ready made large quantity of survival food (see our advertisers listed on the right hand side of this page). There’s nothing wrong with that. However there will be other very big issues to deal with too. Assuming that you have acquired enough food and have a nearby water source, your biggest immediate subsequent problem will be maintaining a safe shelter – a safe home. Are you prepared to defend that? How?

And then, assuming that you survive the initial die-off and chaos, how will you sustain yourself and/or your family with enough food production throughout an entire year? What happens when your fuel runs out? How will you heat your house? Etc., etc… Not a pretty picture.

So don’t overwhelm yourself. Start somewhere. Start small if you must. Just start…

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      1. You all should just keep a positive attitude. All the Stupid people will be the first to die. Just try not to be anywhere near them when it happens. :)

        If I was to stock up on one thing it would be knowledge and practical survival skills. Unfortunately I drink to much booze and I would soon run out…
        That’s why I taught myself how to brew and distill. ;)

        1. @ White Cracker

          “That’s why I taught myself how to brew and distill”

          Agreed, although the distilling is only for water for purification, one would never think of distilling alcohol, that’s illegal here in the US, of course so is driving 56 in a 55MPH zone…..


          1. I make a mean banana brandy & sugar cane grows like a weed down here

          2. @ Nailbanger

            As a Brewer (beer), maker of Wine and Mead (which it legal up to 150 gallons per year here in NM) I have researched this topic quite a few times. Distilling of any alcohol for any “personal” use is illegal in the world Except for New Zealand. It is illegal and they will eventually catch ya if you do not get a License.

            A couple of excerpts;

            “be advised it is illegal to distill alcohol without having either a “distilled spirits permit” or a “federal fuel alcohol permit.” It does not matter if the alcohol is for personal use only, not for sale, etc.”

            “Federal law provides no exemptions for the production of distilled spirits for personal or family use. Under no circumstances should you ever distil or sell alcohol without a permit. If you choose to distill alcohol, make sure to obtain all applicable fuel or spirit permits (listed above). Additionally, check your state laws and make sure that owning and / or operating a still is permissible.”

            Distilling shows like “Moonshiner’s” and the lot are getting a lot of people in trouble and busted for this process…. Stay with store bought Alcohol.


          3. It may be illegal to distill spirits now, but after TSHTF all bets are off. I even read up on such things as growing pot, and will do so as an alternative pain killer once TSHTF. Right now there is no law against learning how to do something, you just can’t do it right now.

          4. Have you read about “Wild Lettuce”. It is supposed to be more potent than opium. The seeds are not illegal (yet).

          5. Peanut Gallery,

            Wild lettuce works. Well, sort of. It has no known chemical that kills pain, but it tastes so nasty, you forget about your pain until that nasty taste fades. Kind of like smashing your toe to forget your toothache.

        1. I can see Ken compiling a “B” list….. hehehehe

          FYI, Nailbanger started it, nada I…


          1. @NB & NRP, to be helpful-
            Butts (as in smokes of course)
            Bat (swinging type and edible)

            And yes, I did spitballs through a BIC pen barrel in class, been off subject most of my life!?

          2. @ Y-all

            Ya do Ken is going to blow a gasket when he sees the ” list” that Nailbanget started LOLOL


          3. I think he half expects specific “individuals” to go off the rails on occasion.

  1. After an EMP as you said, for the non-prepper would be very difficult if not impossible to survive and very difficult for the prepper to survive.

    For a better survival, one must have many backup plans with cunning and stealth against the despots besides weapons, food storage, gardens, seeds, livestock, tools, and plenty of natural resources that replenishes itself. Natural resources include water, wild fruit and nut bearing trees and shrubs, edible plants and fungi, healthy populations of wildlife, and heating/cooking fuel with a forest of trees living in a sparsely populated area when your “stores” run out. I picked my place to live basically for this reason.

    I haven’t read anything mentioning the worse case scenario when people are starving. As history of these situations show us, cannibalism may run rapid, not just on the dead, but the living as well by people who are not prepared. Just food for thought… ;-)

  2. EMP, CME, Nuke, Grid-Down, Asteroid, Pandemic, CWII, Economic Crash, Massive Crop (food) Failure, EPA turning the Rivers Orange, .gov Self-Destructing, Weather Catastrophes ….. The list is absolutely endless.

    What I do not understand is why don’t people of one of the richest countries in the world prepare? Is it they have never seen areas like E.E Borton told us of in Haiti? Is it they believe there is zero chance of “anything happening to them”? Are they just too lazy?

    Seriously my friends, I just do not understand why would Fathers, Mothers, Parents, not want to protect their families and loved ones from what “might” happen. Or is that the problem, the “might happen” not hit us in the face enough times yet? Is it we are so easy to forget that “something” hit those other people and not “me and my family”.

    I just don’t understand it

    1. Normalcy bias, right down the line. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told “That could never happen here,” or “We don’t need to worry about that.”

      The thought of their world changing just never enters their tiny minds. Maybe because it scares them, but I take comfort in those who get upset or angry when I bring these things up because that means they’ve actually considered it on some level.

    2. Hi NRP,

      Most people around me believe real emergencies will never, ever happen to them, or to their area, or to their family. They think extreme circumstances only happen in movies.

      We have one friend who thinks she is really planning ahead because she keep a “whole” case of water on hand in case there’s an earthquake. Another friend grew up in the Midwest; her parents did some light farming and she grew up gardening, harvesting and canning. Today, here in CA, she’s told me that if there was a serious emergency she and her family would be “so screwed” because she does not garden, can, or even keep a few cans of emergency food on hand. She was raised with a more self-sufficient lifestyle and still doesn’t do it for her own family – she obviously thinks it will never really be needed.

      I’ve tried using news events like Venezuela’s food shortage, or an earthquake somewhere else as a conversation opener to see if any friends are taking any kinds of prep measures, or even paying attention to what’s going on elsewhere, and it’s almost always the same thing – it could never happen to them – it would never happen in the USA – or, the worst – if it was that bad we would all be wiped out anyway – just like in the movies.

      I give up.

      1. I have also used Venezuela’s food shortage in emails and conversations with family non-preppers.

        “Mom, that’s down there”, comes back all the time.

        I now remind them how close South America is and that it’s not Syria or Serbia or the Balkans.

        I don’t bother anymore with non-family. No one in that category ever listens anyway. But family! I keep tryin’ cause I love them.

    3. NRP asked, “Is it they believe there is zero chance of “anything happening to them”? Are they just too lazy?
      Seriously my friends, I just do not understand why would Fathers, Mothers, Parents, not want to protect their families and loved ones from what “might” happen.”

      As was discussed in Ken’s post from yesterday (flock/herd behavior), the phenomenon is apparent. In reference to humans, herd behavior is more akin to crowd/social psychology and this is why I believe the majority of Americans will not consider preparedness and/or self-sufficiency important enough to adopt as a portion of their lifestyles.

      After my years at FEMA, I learned… the mass of people in certain parts of the US just don’t involve themselves in sufficient weather-related preparedness though their locations were always prone to disasters. They look around, do some comparisons, and realize no one else is doing it. To us, it’s that head-in-the-sand ordeal that’ll become a SHTF-event.

      Case in point: In Tornado Alley, what’s the percentage of people who are prepared for tornadoes? In both the hurricane-prone Florida and the SE coastline, how many people are actively prepared for hurricanes and the effects of serious wind-driven rains? (In fairness, though, Floridians are getting much better w/ preparedness because they have been paying attention!) But in flood-prone New Orleans (below sea level), where weather-related disasters are commonplace, who among them are sufficiently protected against disastrous floods? And how many homes in the dry western states actually prepare for wildfires (fire-proof/retardant homes, landscaping, etc)?

      Then there is the mindset of those who game the system and ‘protecting the family’ isn’t on their minds — it’s the payout they’ll get if they become a disaster victim. In the southern portion of Louisiana, disaster assistance is so rampant that it’s actually a way of life for many of the residents who rent. By not having any form of insurance, every Federally-declared disaster yields them upwards of $25K+ if their furniture got wet. Many of these gimme-dat types have learned to work-the-system and they open windows to let rains in for that free money. Oh, they’re inconvenienced and hate the mess but as renters, they know the drill: free hotel stays until they get their free money, and enough money to rent elsewhere and get all new stuff, with PLENTY of free money left over for whatever they desire. (Few are audited. Ever.)

      Not everyone is out to protect their families as we might think. Not everyone plays by the rules. You can’t fix stupid and these people actually set it up so that they can show a FEMA inspector that their stuff was ruined, hoping for their free FEMA money. This is a way of life for some — they will never learn or acknowledge that a Cat 3/4 hurricane or flood could become a serious disaster and cause life-threatening problems, even death.

    4. NRP
      As stated by Modern Throwback, So Cal Gal, and others.

      Those folks have been trained over time that emergencies shall be take care of by .gov, nothing worry about there needs will be met. Then there is the other matter, why prepare their food supplies are full filled by grocery stores having EVERYTHING one could possible want, and other necessities. Hop in to the car drive a few miles pick up what you are looking for, get back into the car drive home.
      This is my family, they think dh & I are odd for having a few extras necessities on hand.

      Per your one of your favorite saying..”YOU can not fix stupid”.

      We gave up on family members a long time ago for JIC, still care about them but somethings we keep to ourselves.

      1. @ Antique Collector & others, especially the one who sent Ken the Email.

        Well, being the Devil’s Advocate for a moment;

        If the .gov and many other resources are there to “take care of us”, and yes there are many resources Red-Cross, Salvation Army, FEMA, Churches, So-On, are we not the foolish ones that prepare and worry about TSHTF? If one looks back to recent history, every catastrophe has been resolved fairly quickly and quietly. JIT Inventory has not failed, Electrical, Water, EBT-cards, Shelters and so-on have all been supplied to those in need, has not practically everything been rebuilt that’s destroyed…… So what are we doing?

        Why are we all not out just having a good old time, living off the .gov, having others pay for our medical, collecting Welfare, the list is endless…….

        Indeed this relates directly to the Article, to the Question asked in Ken’s email. “If” and we all say “when”, there is a MAJOR SHTF are we actually better off than those not prepared? Now before one answer’s, remember all we have talked on this Blog, and on others….. Can someone or a “group” survive an EMP and prosper in 5-10 years? Would you want to if 95% of the world has died off and the sky is glowing orange? What about those in one’s family? What about what it will take to protect what one has? What about Blue?

        I ask because this is also a part of preparing. Thinking about a HUGE what-if, BOOM it’s all gone; One had also best be at peace with your maker and your own mind in order to survive.


        1. NRP
          My entire life, I have never lived in a house that has burned down. What are the chances of that actually happening? Should I cancel my fire insurance? Maybe use the money I would save for a nice vacation to Hawaii?

          1. @ Skibum

            Well I’ll play the Devil’s Advocate just a little more.

            Let’s say your home burns down, God Forbid, and you have no fire insurance.
            I believe these steps would be ones that some may take
            1. The fire department will totally destroy everything you had in the home, and the home itself, so you would get immediate assistance from the Red Cross or????
            2. A State paid investigator would be sent to investigate the cause of the fire, and file 300 reports
            3. If caused by faulty wiring, you sue the builder, if by an appliance, you sue the manufacture, if by a candle, ya sue the candle manufacturer. If a log rolls out of the fireplace you sue the fireplace installer….. and so-on

            So basically in this new world everything is someone else’s fault and others pay for everything that happens to you….
            Is that not what people believe that do not prepare for some sort of Disaster?
            Is that not what people think that buy a new $60,000 car and now can’t pay for it?
            How about that $750,000 house or a dozen children?

            So yes I look at my lifestyle as “insurance” for when/if something does happen…. AND I have all kinds of Insurances, is that not what a responsible person does??? Or am I the fool?


        2. NRP
          Yes, this household survived one of those devastating events. In 2004 a fire started by a tweeker, wiped out the house, well building, garage, carport etc. We started over, and yes FEMA was here, helping THOSE who did NOT have insurance on their properties, most were elderly below poverty levels. FEMA had us fill out the paperwork even through we told them we do NOT qualify, but they thought we might as dh was a disable veteran.

          Here is the part that gets me, our house was passed over by the fire department to do a stand by, because every year I work my arse off to see we have over 200+ feet of clearance on this hill top paradise. It should not have burned, but it did. You prepare for what you know you can occur and the rest toss it up into the air and what ever happens will, because it is beyond your control–lesson learned.

          Blue has a home here, but you will have to pack his over night doggy bag.

          You also asked about surviving after years with an orange sky. When one has something share, your knowledge of fishing, distilling ‘fine water’. How not to put red wine on the walls & ceiling of your home(sorry could not let that one pass me by lol).
          Striving to bring life back to this world for the next generations, passing on your/our knowledge to them. Being useful an given a purpose in life is what will be the driving force behind all of us that survive.

          You have been watching “Damnation Alley” to many times. lol

    5. Why??

      That should be answered by the idiots in Manitoba, Canada crying because their children were ‘starving’ when the only train in couldn’t make it due to the blizzard!!
      Hey, ever heard of air drops?? DUH!!

    6. @ NRP

      “…are they just too lazy?” Man! I thought I was the only one.

      Preparing for a massive cataclysmic event is difficult for even a hardy prepper. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like for the non prepper. I think, people don’t prepare because they are lazy. It’s not Normalcy Bias, or for any other quaint text book description. Over the years I’ve dissected several dozen “reasons” from many articles why people don’t prepare and came to the conclusion that all of the reasons except for being severely disabled had one single root and that was being LAZY. I also know a lot of people who don’t prep and all of the stupid reasons I’ve been given come back to being LAZY, no matter how you slice it and dice it.

      I know a few people who lead a preparedness lifestyle. They don’t consider themselves “preppers” and one old guy probably never even heard of the word but they at least grow a big garden and freeze or can their food, if nothing else, and they all have two things in common. They are hard workers and are old (from about 10 years younger than me 70, to 17 years older than me 87). Am I missing something here?

      Could it be as simple as that after multiple centuries of constant genocidal warfare the world over, most of the hardy human stock has been killed off and all that’s left are lazy, incompetent, stupid people?

      Ok… I know… this is just anecdotal BS coming from some crazy old fart but I had to throw in my 2 cents.

      1. Or take it from a different perspective–for thousands of years you had to be smart to survive. Now better healthcare allows the defective genes to not only survive but pass on their stupidity. Then .gov creates the ideal breeding ground and allows them to breed at leisure and get paid for it.

      2. Laziness is a factor for some people but so is “normalcy bias.” A co-worker once told me that prepping was a waste of time and money because nothing would ever happen and even if it did the government would take care of it. Is her attitude based on laziness or normalcy bias? Let me add in the fact that she is very active in after work activities with her church and other organizations, she travels a lot, she walks and runs about an hour every day, and she has 2 kids. Does she sound like a lazy person to you? Nope – not at all. Her problem is normalcy bias, not laziness.

  3. The only answer is to use the resources available you. What did the Eskimos up north live on, what do desert dwellers live on, what did plains Indians live on, what did jungle dwellers live on, … there is not one single solution to survival on this planet. Reading about the resources some have that write to this site – I am jealous when I hear some are planting their gardens now when I am under snow, but we do not have as much drought as some areas and where I live, there are few mosquitoes. I guess the phrase “adapt and overcome” is most important.

  4. As this (wisely) points out, preparing a stockpile is a huge task. I would argue that providing all of a person/families needs (even ignoring securing it) through a catastrophy of more than 2-3 months is nearly impossible.

    So what should prepper’s prep? There are three things that will only die when you do: Knowledge/Skills, Training/Experience, Mental Approach.

    With sufficient of those three things you can overcome many, but not all, challenges. If you rely just on having and securing a stockpile, you will die, be it one week or one year in. Even tools will break/wear out relatively quickly.

    So what is the value of a stockpile? It is to last you until you adapt to the situation. If you have a stockpile for a week and do not manage to adapt in that time, you will die. If you have a stockpile for a year, you have a year to adapt. Ideally you will phase out the use of your stockpile. When your stockpile is half-way gone, you should be producing half of your daily requirements.

    Better than a stockpile: plant potatoes, yams and other weed-like ground roots in your local parks.

    1. @ thelittle

      “So what is the value of a stockpile?”

      To buy time, that’s pretty much it. 99% of the “preppers” I know have the skills to “survive”, unfortunately most of those skills had better be hidden for at least one year. I will promise you if ya have a very nice Garden growing and TSHTF, escaping people WILL find it and it WILL be gone. If you have the Skills to build a fire, and the hordes see it, you will be toast along with your stash.

      So to answer your question, the “stockpile” (of food) is for nothing other than to buy time to outlast the other 95% that have nothing.


      1. The first year is to get your feet under you. More important than that garden in this scenario is the seeds to start again, or better yet the perennials and trees which will come back on their own in the spring.

      2. NRP< "I will promise you if ya have a very nice Garden growing and TSHTF, escaping people WILL find it and it WILL be gone."

        I have given advice at MSB to stealth gardening, as I have found ways to hide a garden and grow nutritious food that people do not know is eatable. What you say is very important and true. A good time to start practicing where a good hiding place or cammo gardening should be is this coming spring and not wait until SHTF.

        1. @ Stardust

          I’m not even going to hint as to where I have planted a patch of Beets this year…. My Neighbor is pissed I took his Pot Planting area… LOLOL

          But you are exactly correct, knowledge of “wild” foliage and eatables is another “skill” y-all need to learn….. FYI Cactus Fruit is FANTASTIC!!!!!


          1. One good benefit living up north in a national forest I found lots of delicious wild goodies–Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, June berries, Gooseberries, wild red cherries, chokecherries, wild hazelnuts, wintergreen, pineapple weed, (all on my land) plus wild apple and wild crabapple trees, wild grapes, wild plums, high bush cranberries, maple trees for syrup, cattails, wild rice, wild violets, wild lilies, lambs quarters, dandelion flowers, wild roses, staghorn sumac, birch trees for the early leaves and columbine flowers, all tasty plant food that is renewable in the acres around me. I did plant many of the fruits as they were low in number when I first moved here, planted on and off property, so I would have plenty even in a bad year….

            And yep, cactus jelly is GGRReat! That was my favorite jelly when I lived in Az….. and that Mexican food, oh, yeah! I didn’t know what a Ja-lop-i-no pepper was until I moved there and neither did the other square-heads whom I met there from Minn-a-SO-Ta.

          2. 3 months or One year seems un-attainable to some people,and it may be very difficult for those who are economically challenged and have “want -itis” or who have serious health issues and high medical costs…it can be done with careful planning, I think 2 years of preps should be the smallest goal, having many of the base needs that are good long storing items. Seeds for a minimum of three years, with seeds for a cooler temp than I plant for now… as in a shorter growing season planning.
            The stash gives us time 1) to keep our head down and avoid being a target and 2nd,to get our own production up. every thing that we can have that is toward our self suficiency…esp. hand tools, that ability and knowledge to maintain the hoe,pick, sharp shooter and shovel + to replace those handles..
            Raw materials and the ability to turn those materials into to things we need. whether it be taking old T shirts and turning those into cotton yarn or taking pallets and using those to build a building and/or replacing hoe handles and making knife handles.
            Birch trees and sweetgum trees are among those that can be tapped for syrup making,
            For the majority of those who are un prepared ANY event can be the end of the world.

        2. “I will promise you if ya have a very nice Garden growing and TSHTF, escaping people WILL find it and it WILL be gone.”

          And the response to that is usually….”I have a fence around my garden….blah…blh..blah…

          And my response to that is….yeah, cause when TSHTF no one will have wire cutters!!!

    2. One of our local parks has peach trees, garlic, grape vines. Nothing to do with me, of course.

      1. When the center of our city got knocked out by an Earthquake, they knocked down the houses but … left all the tree’s, vines and plants from people’s gardens. When the fruit is in-season I head down fairly frequently and grab some fresh produce (and often bottle it). I wish more places did this.

  5. Okay, if you lived way up north your “B” list would be blubber, boats, bows, beads, … take that you “B”‘s. All this EMP proof just to stay on target for Ken.

    1. Blubber doesn’t taste too good, trust me. Bows aren’t too effective to bring down a moose if you could find one. Beads are not very useful and a boat without a motor in Cook Inlet you will find yourself on the way to Kodiak.
      There are streams here in town that have salmon in them and depending on the time of the EMP there would be few people there to harvest them.
      Without .gov help in winter in about 2 or 3 weeks many people here would either starve or freeze.

      1. Howdy OldAlaskan

        When younger I did get a pair of beaded sealskin mucklucks from some Eskimos but they did not last as the tanning was not very good. Seals were shot with guns but spears and bows were also used. Not talking Alaska but northern Canadian tundra. When dried fish run out, dried cariboo runs out, … then blubber for nurishment and fat for heat may be welcomed. But I never lived that lifestyle so I am no expert.

  6. @NRP

    I think one of the reasons a lot of people don’t prepare is because
    they are not taught to. There was a time in this country when we had
    a civil defense program. I guess you’re in your 60’s. Well, I’m in
    my 70’s and I can still remember the sirens going off once a week and
    it was scary. But we all practiced evacuations and tuck and duck under
    the civil defense program. And prepared with supplies. The concept
    wasn’t a foreign one.

    Time marched on and the theory of mutually assured destruction kept
    us from destruction for many years. And since we didn’t blow ourselves
    up the country gradually drifted from the civil defense program and to the
    idea that a nuclear confrontation would not be survivable to setting
    up FEMA for lessor exigencies. Hopefully, everyone reading this blog
    (and Cresson) knows that 90% of individuals can survive a nuclear
    strike. But what was taught by the government at one time was lost
    to the following generations. And I drifted away, too. Time has a

    Those huge tankers that carry crude cannot turn on a dime and
    neither can a government. But after visiting the …foodstoragemoms…
    website yesterday I learned about FEMA’s Health Department Point of
    Distribution sites where FEMA is setting up sites to be used as
    sites for distributing supplies and medicine in emergencies,
    disasters or in disease outbreaks. Not controlled from the top
    but from the bottom and under local health departments, utilizing
    local churches and under local control in cooperation with local
    entities and the CDC.

    They are especially seeking out individuals who are preparedness
    minded including doctors, nurses, medics, anyone especially who
    can give shots if there is a disease outbreak. They are preparing,
    for example, to provide doxy and citro if there is an anthrax attack.

    If we have any chances at all, it will be by working locally with
    our communities at the locale level and I was thrilled to read about
    it. The article that will contain all the links is her…Why You
    Need to Know Your Point of Distribution – FEMA…

    Maybe we are starting a new civil defense program after all. Just
    not called that. You can also just google…Health Department Point
    of Distribution to find out if any is in your area yet. The CDC says
    they need 60 some people to create a POD. It would be a wonderful
    opportunity to participate in something which will make our country
    stronger and more prepared especially with like-minded folks.

    The Russians are doing a huge amount of civil defense preparedness
    at this time. They are preparing to survive any nuclear exchange. Did
    you ever think why?

    That was my non-political contribution for today.

    1. @ Ladywest

      Good post, thank you.

      I certainly understand the need for FEMA and others to organize, as I have read the Russians are also building their population in this manner. I agree where is going to be a HUGE need for the .gov to try and take care of the populist in a big way “if” something of an EMP magnitude happens.

      I have no idea if the 90% survival rate of a nuke strike is valid, of course those close are not going to, so a single strike? Probably, but I have also read the .gov commission on EMP strike, not as large of survival rate is predicted, more like 90% die off in the first 6 months if the entire grid goes down; Hopefully not.

      I guess like you, hopefully, the .gov will be able to handle, but I do not have much faith in the .gov, I personally don’t trust a single word anymore coming from them or the media.

      You make a good point, for those that do not prepare one had better know where they can go for FEMA help and volunteer if they are needed, I don’t know if I would head to a “FEMA Camp” unless completely out of other options. Hence I live the lifestyle and Prepare as well as I can.

      And yes I remember the “mutual destruction” drills and diving under a desk to avoid a nuke…. Interestingly enough I also remember the movie Wolverines. I kinda think that’s what really got me interested in this lifestyle….

      “The Russians are doing a huge amount of civil defense preparedness at this time. They are preparing to survive any nuclear exchange. Did you ever think why?”

      Ohhhh yeah I have thought of that ever since the US and the “pac” decided to give Iran the ability to builds Nukes a few years back…. If I were Russia I’d be building a HELL of a lot of bomb shelters…. And food supplies.

      Thanks for the non-political post…. HAHAHA had the read the name a few times to make sure it was you LOLOL, Just kidding ya know, I do enjoy the conversations.


        1. As much as has been given away , I would be surprised if there is a months suplies in any gov storage.The only thing being bought is emergency food supplies and bullets.

        2. I read several times and several comments that there is wheat in the silos–I’m still laughing!!:-(

          I have years of food…wheat?? I don’t think so.

        3. Silos are empty. The last of the stored wheat was sold, I believe in 1996. At this point the “strategic reserves” are held entirely in cash in the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust. It is not intended as reserves, but to supplement .gov programs if there is a shortfall.

          From the USDA website (emphasis added by me): “The Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust makes funds available to provide emergency humanitarian food assistance TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. When a food crisis arises and food aid is not available from other U.S. government programs, the Secretary of Agriculture may authorize the release of FUNDS from the trust in order to quickly meet immediate needs. Cash in the trust provides the U.S. government with the flexibility to purchase appropriate U.S. commodities based on availability and specific needs.”

          i.e., it is used only OUTSIDE the US and holds no grain or other commodities, but is a cash only slush fund for use if there is a shortfall.

          1. Lauren,

            Thanks for your post. That is not very reassuring. They sold it all for cash. I’m sure they will use it properly. Ha!

            This is a great example why you need to prepare. We all know that cash is gone. The .gov will not be there to help you. Maybe use you in payment for a meal. That would be the same as slavery. Are you willing to give up your freedoms for food. But of course it’s for the greater good. Don’t forget about the children. Ha!

            Adapt and overcome.

      1. @ NRP, I think the movie you are talking about was “Red Dawn”. The Wolverines was the name of the mascot from the school. The kids kind of called themselves the Wolverines. I liked the original movie better than the remake.

    2. Look at the situation with the temporary evacuation centers near Oroville. The opened cneters that began by members of church groups were taken over in a few days by federal officials and their rulings… then they had a medical event with many being transferred to hospitals and some deaths from a bacteria not EVER experienced in that area before…. Huuummm, wonder whom was the importer of said bacteria? How convienient that it only appeared at that center. The more persons that they can recruit from the community, the less resources the community has, who are independent thinkers, with the ability to isolate and treat themselves. Think I will continue to try to get my stock of doxi and cipro up for my own stockpile for any rougue bacteria and work on my own anti-vira stockpile….Thank you very much!

    3. Ladywest

      I checked out the article from food storage mom’s. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. As you know, I have been working on figuring out just where my community is in terms of emergency response. I have been pleasantly​ surprised several times. It really helps that the town’s director for public works is “living the lifestyle”.

    4. I recall something about this a few years back. One of the senior nurses in my hospital was at a seminar about this. When she asked how long it would be before we could see it our area she was told no plans for it to come here as we were not vital enough. Hopefully that information has changed. I kind of doubt it though. I don’t think we as a government can afford to stockpile enough medicines or food to care for the masses in an emergency. Hell we even sold of our strategic grain stockpile.

  7. I was born 2 years after WWII and on our 7 acres we had apples, nuts, berries -you name it we had it–all the flowers were herbal remedies– and now I see why. They were preppers. They never told us kids so not to worry us. We learned how to make bread, can tomatoes, all that. They hated communists. I have food stored away but the nearest river is 4 miles. I have a bike. God forbid another war.

    1. Like many others we are still trying to get our fruit tree production up. with many weather changing events and freeezing temps there will once again be little fruit in this area of the south. So the plan is to get what I can before the shortage becomes evident to the masses.

  8. Thank you, this is very helpful. everyone should be prepared. this is a very dangerous world we live in.

  9. @NRP

    HAHAHA to you too. Thanks. Very funny.

    Why I found it so interesting is because it’s not a FEMA camp.
    Won’t go near those. But this seems to be sufficiently local
    to avoid many problems. And it’s a recognition that FEMA realizes
    it simple can’t handle the really big things.

    The survivability issue amounted to this. Your toast if you’re 2-4
    miles within the exact blast radius. The thermal blast and light
    takes 10-30 seconds to reach you then. If you can react within that
    time to drop to the ground and cover your head and face as best you can
    you have a good chance of surviving. You need to keep covered from
    radiation for the next 48 hours when most radiation will dissipate in your area.

    You may be unprepared beyond that to survive because you have no food
    and supplies etc but if you have supplies like you said you have bought
    yourself time.

    Cresson’s book showed how you can fashion a crude trench to protect
    from the thermal blast and explained the rate of radiological fallout
    to be aware of. When that meteor crashed in Russia about a year ago
    the injuries were from flying glass and other articles to those who
    looked toward the crash site.

    If you see a huge flash, don’t look toward it and drop and cover as
    best you can.

  10. No power, no refrigeration, no comms–
    But hey, I can make beer!
    I guess if the world is gonna end, getting drunk and partying ain’t a bad thing–

    1. Dont forget some good strong sedatives as well,, gulp down that handfull of barbituates with a nice big glass o bourbon! Then smoke some bud,,,,

  11. Emergency management always involves these basic categories: air, water , shelter, food, light, medical, hygiene and security.

    For the non prepper, ask what are you preparing for? Each of the categories will be modified to meet the demands of the emergency. For an EMP event long term storage and faraday cages for electronics are the focus. For a tornado, it would probably be shelter. Nuclear fallout? Shelter and three weeks storage minimum.

    An interesting observation: people will often refer to Preppers as doom and gloomers, extremists, apocalyptic nuts but when the topic comes up about, say nuclear bombing of a city, they are the first ones to say it will be catastrophic and the end of the nation and that they hope that if there is a nuclear war that the bomb lands on their head ( yes, I actually had a relative say that to me). No matter what happens, pandemic, radiation, volcanic eruption, war, terrorism, they just know that it is the end of the world. And yet they believe we are the extremist???

    Perhaps the question should be, “How do we prepare for the non violent prepper?”

    Stay frosty.

  12. If your a non prepper you better have awesome luck and a very useful skill for a prepper team. I have made friends with non preppers that have great skills and attitudes (aside from NORMALCY Issues). We have extra beans and rice (cheap today friends) for them. I hope they bring blankets. :-) The hand pump for the well is quite a workout, will be a shared duty.

    As far as surviving the angry mobs/uniformed thugs remember what is easy to detect from far away.

    #1 Light, go dark for several weeks is my plan.
    #2 Loud sounds, shoot only at last resort as everybody will home in on the shots (you must have stuff). Avoidance of trouble is my choice.
    #3 Cooking smells/smoke smells, solar cooking/rocket stoves retained heat cookers to reduce smells. A BBQ will get a lot of attention.
    #4 If they are giving out food take some, do not be the odd one that never demands food, blankets etc. Grey Man is not a foolish idea friends.

    If the bulk of your food supplies/Well Hand Pump are easy to find expect to lose them “For the Greater Good”. Decoys are not just for ducks.

    Note I am not 2000 miles away from town and wealthy. I spent time in Bosnian warzone and noted how the survivors succeeded. Thus I have no dream of shooting my way out of everything. No my name is not Selco but I met many like him.

    In a few weeks if your group avoids trouble and has decent luck things will get better. Still very hard but compared to angry mobs and mass deaths, better. As Selco says often the survivors did what they had to do and live with bad dreams. I hope a Bible is your friend.

    NH Michael

    1. Selco has been a great source of reality,,,
      Running and gunning wont last long, real high mortality

    2. @NH Michael

      FANTASTIC comment!
      No one here ever speaks of Selco’s experiences and his writings but he offers eye-opening advice into a world that almost no American has ever lived through here.

      Your 4 tips are spot on. If there is a serious SHTF-event, go as low as you can go to maintain. Keep a grey profile and a zero footprint as much as possible. Hunker down. This is the time when thermos-cooking or FD packet-food will serve you well (no scents).

    3. @NH Michael,
      Really smart comment! Thank you! The hand pump to our well is hidden, but now you’ve got me thinking, not hidden well enough… How do others hide their hand pumps?

  13. In 2012….I moved from Phoenix to a very very remote mining town in N Central Nevada pop 180 and declining. We have no services you have to drive 80 miles to the nearest ‘city’ to get anything. I learner to walk the walk and not talk the talk, over the last five years I have renovated a 80 year old cottage with an extra vacant lot. Acquired a bugout 24 foot toyhauler for a retreat area last ditch residence. Put in a climate controlled 8 by 22 foot storage area for 1 year rotating stock of canned/condiments plus 2 years of freeze dried foods for 2. Installed in 250 gallon water supply for the house 100 gal for the toyhauler. Back up generators,extra fridge/freezer 200 gal fuel diesel /gas. Atv have their own trailer with supplies for 2 for 1 week. The lesson learned was forced by necessity of being remote and no stores next door. Planning ahead, lists of needed items for shopping are a must. Another point when buying anything think of barter items so what might last you for the reset period….also have extra to trade for things you may run out of…….barter markets etc will be the new money for the interim. I still enjoy the information here, as it always adds to my total understanding but really living the reality now is a whole lot better then trying to adjust to a new dawn where the do-do has hit the fan.

  14. I have always lived rural and have lived with no electricity. I garden, hunt, fish, can food and have the skills and equipment to smoke meat, trap, procure food many ways and survive bad things. The problem is there are not a lot of people that have the old skills and natures learning curve is very steep. The majority of people have no ideal of life after a collapse and show no indication to even make the smallest preparations in case it happens. Even most country people live off of the grocery store and it takes time and equipment to farm that they will not have. To have a chance of long term survival takes a plan, preparations and some knowledge because in a real collapse forget about someone else having enough to feed you among the tens of millions of empty stomachs. Keep your preparations and knowledge gathering going and your chances of survival in a collapse might just get you through it says the old swamp rat.

  15. I have talked to people about SHTF Scenarios. “I’m too broke to stock up” is a very common answer.
    Blissful spending on gadgets etc is another.
    “I just bought a new car, I can’t afford to stock up”

    I’ve heard too many excuses.

    What do you do? Prepare with what little you have.
    Start somewhere.
    STOP SPENDING money on gadgets, and spend a little on insurance – your future… a few cans of food is a start, and that… is insurance.

  16. So then technically I’m a preper? Cuz I have spent hours reading/watching all of the best stuff available on the topic. So thx!

  17. Admittedly, I am intimidated by a massive EMP strike. Grandkids moved 1600 miles away, so how would we make contact with our son, and his family in such an event? We will be discussing some type of beginning preps for that”, when we are out there in June.
    I can easily foresee a cyber-strike EMP power grid failure on a massive scale, even bigger than the Canadian power grid and N/E US in 1999, occurring from an enemy, or from our friendly peaceful cartelitos to the south of good old Estados Unidos. I find that scenario far more probable than the malignant NORK Dwarf exploding an EMP nuke over the central Us. Perhaps that’s my normalcy bias showing….don’t know anymore. All I know, is I feel woefully underprepared for any kind of an EMP attack or grid-down “event”.

  18. I believe that the likelihood of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack is pretty low but the possibility of a social-economic collapse is much more probable.

    If our enemies have the capability to pop an EMP, why wouldn’t they just light off a nuclear weapon on the East Coast (Washington D.C.) in addition to an EMP which will cascade over the rest of the country? This is not good.

    Here’s a clue in what to prepare for (not just an EMP but any massive life-ending event): In Russia during and after the Russian Revolution…millions died from starvation and no heat in the winters. Food and medical supplies didn’t existent. Their food system completely collapsed. Also in Russia during WWII…hundreds of thousands died (if not millions) from the same causes, starvation and no heat.

    My priorities are food, water, heat sources and OPSEC.

  19. I am not going to rollover and give up…

    But most are clueless as to what might or go on incase of an EMP or other extremely serious event…

    Those are going to be the ones who will go in the first couple of weeks…

    The better prepared one is the longer one will be able to survive… After maybe a year the vast majority (estimated around 75% – 90%) will have died off…

    Those still around will be entering the “new normal”… Of living in the 1850’s again…

    Adapt and survive….

    1. [[After maybe a year the vast majority (estimated around 75% – 90%) will have died off… ]]

      Which begins the next phase…what do you do with 7 of 10 households of dead bodies??
      This is NEVER discussed and I had a list of things important to document and discarded it as I renewed my notes and such.
      Things like noting important birthmarks, tatoos, etc. Dating the death.

  20. I believe that the likelihood of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack is pretty low …me too…till I read about Kim Jong Un.
    Don’t give children the keys to a car.

  21. Two decent sized nuclear EMP blast could wipe out just about all of the U.S. power structure (due to how its made) Texas is independent of the rest of the country in its power grid system, due to this the U.S. might possibly have a chance to retaliate to such a threat. This could be bad, because we a crippled (at that point) country, would be trying to win a war. If we kept extra breakers and motherboards on hand then we might have a chance to recuperate. Because (I assume y’all know this) an Electromagnetic pulse surges through and overloads these vital components, rendering them useless. But if you build a Faraday cage, it will change the course of the EMP wave around the objects inside. Personally i would suggest making one and storing a HAM radio at least inside. This radio works on frequency and does not depend on towers to relay the signals, thus you can talk from Canada to china easily. TPSnodgrass I would suggest your son’s family and you get these, they are GREAT for keeping contact with everyone, this way preppers can contact each other. That’s my 2 cents for today.

    1. Alaska also has its own electrical grid. However, a few well placed explosives could bring it down.

  22. Pretty good response for the time and space allowed. Basically, storing nonperishable foods like rice, beans, lentils, oils, salt, etc in rodent-proof containers, and having the ability to process a sustainable supply of safe drinking water. This will require some amount of electricity, so alternative power will be a necessity.
    Solar panels are NOT particularly vulnerable to EMP. Charge controllers probably are, but spares can be stored. Batteries I recommend are gels or forklift batteries….far bigger bang for the buck, as forklift batteries last for 30+ years with care. A good water filter system is marketed by a company called Equinox out of Michigan. It’s called the Lakewater Filter. Designed to process pond, lake, or stream water for culinary use. Requires power for the UV sterilizer at the end of the filter array. 55 watts, I think. You’ll need a pump to provide enough force to get the water through the chlorinator and filters. Main carbon filter has a projected life of 700,000 gallons, and sediment filters are inexpensive. Can produce 100 gallons per day for 20 years…..about the time you’ll be on your own after an EMP laydown.
    FORGET the rosy estimates of one to two years for recovery. Bronius Cikotas, a man well known in government circles for being a wizard in infrastructure vulnerability, says recovery will take one to two decades. So don’t be shy when you buy beans and rice. Buy it by the ton….olive oils and other basics, too.
    Don’t forget basic hygiene and sanitation…..there is so much to address here, but water and food will be the top killers in this arena.
    Forget trying to save your laptop, tablet, i-Phone. You’ll be too busy working on water and food to care about silly toys. Did I mention meds?
    Leave the city. Once the water system fails (minutes to hours), the cities will die. Modern American cites are engineered to fail without power and a long supply chain.


  23. Would the auto batteries from old cars be subject to an emp ? Would
    old batteries running off a wind mill or wind turbine after the emp xplosion, with an old automobile generator work to give you some after your emp ?

  24. I bought a video camera so I can document the mass deaths of people who failed to prepare. Someday my video footage will be worth a fortune. I wonder if I can pre-sell the footage to Ken Burns for a future documentary? Hey – don’t condemn me for being cold and heartless – it’s just careful financial planning.

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