What To Do If An EMP Strikes While You Are At Work


A high altitude EMP (electromagnetic pulse) is something that has not happened before (yet) by way of a purpose-built weapon designed to emphasize the natural occurring byproduct of a nuclear explosion – a pulse of energy that in theory will destroy much of the electronics infrastructure within its explosive ‘line of sight’.

The devastating EMP effects from the initial nanoseconds of its ‘E1’ pulse will zap electronic semiconductors to the extent of destroying all or nearly all things electronic beneath its cone of influence as it couples with the atmosphere while zapping tens of thousands of volts in far less time than a blink of an eye…

Since a purpose-built nuclear EMP has not yet been used for its intended purpose (high altitude detonation), the follow-on destruction is largely theoretical, with the exception of ‘Starfish Prime’ – a high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States in 1962 out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 250 miles.

Starfish Prime caused an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale, causing great difficulty in getting accurate measurements. The Starfish Prime electromagnetic pulse also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometres (898 mi) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link. The EMP damage to the microwave link shut down telephone calls from Kauai to the other Hawaiian islands.
-Wikipedia, Starfish Prime

Many theorize that in addition to most all things ‘electronic’ being destroyed, your vehicle too may become inoperable due to the many electronic systems integrated within.

Should this occur while you are away (most likely at work) then you can only imagine what you will be in for…

So what to do and how to prepare for an EMP while you’re at work?

Odds are that you may be ‘at work’
Since we spend so much time away ‘at work’, odds are that a SHTF event may occur while you’re at work. We should all be prepared to some extent to deal with that potential reality. More likely events such as severe weather, earthquake, etc.. may leave you stranded there – so at least a minimal ‘get home bag’ and/or supplies kept in your vehicle may help you deal with the situation.

An EMP though is about as serious as you can get, so preparing for that possibility while being away from home is a daunting thing – and will require much stamina and fortitude to deal with…

Quick decision
When you have identified that an EMP event has occurred, then do not wait to start your journey home. Get out of there. While most others will remain in place while expecting the lights to come back on and an eventual return to normalcy, the initial time of indecision will benefit you while you hit the road…

Note: The probability is such that if an EMP occurs, it may be followed by nuclear war retaliation. I would expect that this will occur if the aggressor has been identified. A follow-on nuclear war is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say that if you are in a major city, time will be of the utmost importance…

Objective: Get back home
Your natural objective will be to GET HOME. If you’re lucky, you work only a few miles from home. Most people however commute much further than that and will be facing a long journey without their vehicle.

Although difficult and cumbersome to carry as merely a ‘just in case’ backup in your vehicle, a bicycle would indeed be one of the quickest methods to get back home. They do make ‘folder’ bicycles but they will still take up a lot of room (or might not even fit) in an ordinary vehicle today – especially since today’s cars are so small.

Walking shoes
Depending on what you ordinarily wear on your feet for work, you really should keep a pair of walking shoes or hiking boots in your vehicle. Don’t forget a decent pair of socks. You most definitely will be attempting to walk home and shoes that are not meant for long distance walking may lead to debilitating blisters on your feet.

A detailed street map for your region
Most everyone drives to work on the main routes. While this may or may not be your best option to get home, you really should keep a good detailed street map. Many quality road atlas maps will go down to street level. I always carry them for my state and surrounding states, however you may find more local street map detail by searching online for your area. Also note that when you’re walking, things will look very different than when you’re used to quickly passing down the roads…

You will need water much more than you will need food. Start off by always carrying some bottled water in your vehicle. However you will likely need a decent (small) water filter to refill from water sources along the way. The Sawyer Mini is probably the best in this regard.

Think ‘calories’. Estimate how long it may take you to walk all the way home (which may become many days). You should plan to carry at least 2,000 calories per day of travel. Since many foods can be heavy, choose calorie-dense foods. Emergency food bars are one good choice.

Since your walk home may take many days, you will need to shelter and sleep along the way. At least carry a simple tarp and cordage to erect a simple shelter.

Appropriate clothing for the season. Plan for wet weather and carry at least a rain poncho. Hypothermia can kill you so be sure you’re prepared for that. Stay dry. Most people when off to work do not plan on needing adequate outerwear to be able to walk home in comfort and safety.

You must be able to carry your supplies, so some sort of backpack will be ESSENTIAL. There’s no excuse for not keeping one in your trunk (along with the other emergency supplies to get back home).

Fire-starter materials
You may or may not need to make a fire on your way home. But with that said, it’s simple to carry what you need to do so. Lighter, matches, Firesteel, etc…

A good LED flashlight will likely be an important and comforting asset to your get-home-bag.

Lets hear from you. Add to the list as to what you feel is most important to make it home from work without a vehicle.

From your comments:

Security (firearm, etc..)
Topographical Map
Cordage (Paracord, etc..)
Emergency Blanket
Toilet Paper
Moleskin (for feet – blister prevention)
First Aid Kit
OTC pain tablets (Ibuprofen, etc..)
Wool Blanket


  1. If, indeed,you are ever faced with that situation, you will not be seriously prepared if you have not included some type of self-defense in your pack. You will definitely need it.

    1. I’m glad that the first comment suggested is this… I left it out on purpose to see how long it would take to come up ;)

      Security will become very important indeed.

      1. One thing a lot of these articles fail to mention. Your surroundings. I have several pawnshops within blocks of where I work. Pawn shops always have bicycles. Usually very cheap. Keep enough cash at work to buy one immediately before anyone can figure out what is going on.

  2. I would certainly a include a quality, all-purpose knife.
    And, possibly, also a quality multi-tool.

  3. How about defense – bear spray, a knife, or a pistol?

    An important flip-side of being stranded at work, would be to prepare your family for being stranded where ever they are (work, school, etc), and then planning what to do when not all family members have made it home yet.

    1. A can of wasp spray shoots at least 10 feet I keep one in the house to hose-em-down should I have a home invasion.

  4. You should always keep a certain amount of Cash for traveling expenses, preferably in small denominations.

  5. I have my cc but work in another state that does not believe in cc. Can not cross state line with any type of self defense. I have heard rumors that they pull names of people with cc permits and pull them over for spot checks at the toll road. This is the only way into the other state unless you drive several hours out of the way.

    1. While not perfect or a firearm, there are still many self defense items you can carry that the police cannot prove are weapons. Carry a padlock in your car and keep a strong sock handy. At the first sign of trouble drop the lock in the sock and drop the perp (situation dependent of course). This won’t stop someone with a firearm but makes a very handy improvised weapon. Sprays of many kinds, like hornet spray will reach out and touch someone as well. Tactical pen, rolled up newspaper, roll of dimes. Plan these improvised weapons ahead of time.

    2. I hear this all the time. Man up! If stopped in a state w/o ccw what are you going to do ? Shut up, if you don’t tell them they will not know you are armed. If they ask to look you say No Thank You. You do NOT have to let them in your car w/o a warrant.

      1. It’s pretty unlikely that you will be stopped by the Law…. if your vehicle is not working, neither will theirs..

  6. I’m retired and don’t have to go to work anymore but I do have to go to town once in awhile. Getting home after an emergency is something that I started thinking about many years ago. In my case, it is not as simple as jumping on a bicycle or having good hiking shoes, but rather how to cross the very large body of water that was between me and home.

    Those of you that have to cross large bodies of water or swamps to get to work might consider carrying a kayak or a pireaux on top of your car, or a blow up raft in the trunk… just in case. Think about it… you have to cross the Mississippi River to get home every day, or maybe you live on the North side of Lake Pontchartrain and work in New Orleans, or you live in Lafayette Louisiana and work in Baton Rouge. Maybe you live on one side and work on the other side of the Okefenokee swamp or the Everglades.

    If an EMP is detonated and all the traffic comes to a standstill, you will have a much bigger problem getting home than most people. All traffic will come to a standstill and the police more than likely will close all points of egress, especially large bridges across large bodies of water in and around areas containing critical infrastructure. A good pireaux or kayak will certainly come in handy. Both are small, light and easily ported. Plus, you better hone up on your swamp survival skills. Man, there ain’t nothing like being out in the middle of the Atchafalaya swamp in the middle of the night!! This is something most of you probably have never thought about. Just saying.

    And, in case you are wondering, I never carried a kayak or pireaux on my truck (although I thought about it several times) but I did have a BOG in the back and several life jackets inside the cab in case I ever went into the water. It’s something to think about.

    1. I lived down in Lafayette for about 10 years. It was hard enough driving on the I 10 causeway when the vehicles were running, it would definitely be a nightmare if they all broke down.

      We were constantly camping in the Atchafalya. I still miss it. I had some Yankee friends out there one night, scared almost to tears! They kept sayin’ “What was that noise??”

      I would look at them real serious and say “Boy, you don’t wanna know!” They probably still have nightmares. LOL????

  7. I’ve been told by people knowledgeable on the subject that hybrid and battery electric vehicles have to be EMP hardened just due to the EMF and myriad of electrical pulses and emissions inherent to the technology.

    But I suppose even if that is true, I’d have a problem getting around all the other disabled cars on the road at the time of the event. Except for travel which is thankfully much less now, I’m 13 miles from home. Surface street travel on foot would take me through some rough areas of town.

    Some ‘guero’ hoofing his way through the barrio with a large backpack might attract some unhelpful attention. Guess I haven’t thought this through all the way.

    1. Hi McGyver,

      I’m in much the same boat you are – minus the electric car. If you are in rush hour, I agree that there will be so many dead vehicles in front of you that you aren’t going to get far in your car.

      My post talked about my thoughts about walking along the freeway with the crowds versus the streets in some neighborhoods I do not want to have to walk through.

      If it is early enough after an EMP, I think the “locals” will still be milling around in their neighborhoods trying to figure out what is going on… that’s my window to haul butt on foot and get as far as I can as fast as I can. I have about 20 miles to cover. I sure don’t want to get caught walking through the bad areas (especially after dark) once the locals start getting restless.

    2. Chances are that all the traffic management signalling equipment would be out of order which reduce any vehicle traffic to bedlam. There will most likely be completely jammed up roads so even if you have a functioning automobile it wont be going anywhere.

      Bicycles, motorcycles and feet.

      At the age of 64, I have taken up cycling to work – 12 kilometers. I have lost 30lbs, feel much better in health and my pocket is heavier with fuel money every week.

  8. I think the bike is the best “alternative” travel method.

    If you don’t have one in the car there are usually several unused bikes in every garage (one advantage of our kids being addicted to video games). Go through a residential neighborhood (if it looks safe) and knock on a few doors. See if they will sell it to a desperate individual such as yourself trying to get home. If you took the oft mentioned advice to carry cash on you, you may even be able to buy one from a retail store (just don’t quibble about getting change).

    If you want something small to have in the trunk a less than ideal alternative is a razor scooter. It doesn’t give you the same utility as a bike but just being able to coast down hills and have something to wheel your GHB on will make a big difference in shaving some time off your trip.

  9. I work only 3 miles from home, the wife is much further and has very bad knees. After we recently read, Going Home, we are now working on a strategy for that. There are some places she could get shelter and (help?). As always, ken has us thinking and that is good.

  10. I am so glad I chose to retire when I did. When I worked for the census bureau, I was often up to hundreds of miles from home. No way I could have walked even at the age I was then. (I was 68 when I retired.) I had a diabetic cat and a dog at the time. If I was planning to be away overnight, which was often, I would board my cat, so someone could give her insulin twice per day, and my dog was usually with me. But if I was working in this county or the next (which could have been up to 90 miles away,) my cat and possibly my dog were probably at home with no one to give them food, water or insulin.

    I had a carry permit at the time and always had a handgun in my trunk with some extra ammo. I also had food, water, and my backpack with first aid, matches, extra clothing, etc.

    Even now, if I have a doctor’s appointment or something, I have to drive to Cody, which is about 60 miles away, and my dog and 2 cats are home alone. It might take me up to a week to get home. I have cancelled my doctor’s appointment for next week (follow up after I had the spine injection) because I don’t want to go that far away and spend a half tank of gas doing it.

  11. It occurs to me that a folding shopping cart, along with a large plastic trash bag, and a small number of aluminum cans, along with a crumpled, well worn jacket and hat, could be useful. Place get home bag into trash bag, place into cart with cans scattered in cart, don the old hat and jacket. Travel along as if you are totally unaware that the world has gone to sh_t. I doubt anyone will choose you as a target for theft or view you as a threat. (wouldn’t hurt to dab some dirt on your rosy red cheeks.)

    1. Dennis, probably the best “Gray Man” scenario I’ve seen yet.

      Since I retired, but wife has to wait till next yr., if something goes down while she’s at work(exactly 20 miles) she is to hunker down and I go to her because the 20 miles is a treacherous 20 miles.

    2. Great idea. Wouldn’t hurt to mumble to yourself and act a bit crazy.

      God forbid a EMP hits but you just gave me a new way to hopefully get home without attracting any attention. Nobody really thinks twice about a homeless person walking down the road. Thanks.

      Plus you can probably find a shopping cart in any small town. So really no need to carry a collapsible one.

      Adapt and Overcome.

      1. 11HE9,

        Small towns, yes. Many big city stores have perimeter lines that lock the wheels.
        Hmmm… but then we are talking about a grid down, so those locks wouldn’t work. Yep, your idea sounds good.

  12. This is a situation we have prepared well for since my husband commutes about 35 miles to work. The distance would require a 2-day walk in best conditions, and includes crossing a river. We’ve included a topo map in his bag.

    He takes 1 gallon of water to work each day and it would be carried along w/ his backpack. His bag holds 4 days of food, Datrex bars, a Life Straw (there are ample streams and creeks everywhere), change of socks, additional seasonal clothing for layering, gloves & hat, tarp, cooking pan and spork, paracord, emergency blanket, fishing kit, bandana, TP, fire-starter tools, moleskin, first aid kit, basic OTC pain tablets, cash in small bills, compass, multi-tool, and of course fire-power (CCL holder). Since crossing/swimming across a river is necessary, a dry-bag is packed in, too.

    I am to stay in place. If I happen to be away and become stranded, I beat-feet home. I have enough in my truck to get home (I never travel more than 15 miles w/out switching my everyday bag to the larger one).

    This is one scenario that we have prepared considerably for. We both keep a good pair of hiking boots in our trucks at all times. Foot comfort should never be underrated! Anyone who drives more than 10 miles to work should think this situation through.

  13. Thank goodness I work 2 miles from our home. But my hubby does not. In this Texas heat, we really need to think his way home through. It is supposed to hit 100 all week. It is so hot. Being outside for a few minutes is unbearable. We have thought about getting a pre 1975 pickup that is in good condition. Might look a little over cautious to some, but if something were to happen, would be nice to be able to get home. Especially from the deer lease which is 4 hours away.

  14. I am a woman and drive to work every day on an Interstate for a distance of about 8 miles. My question is this: would it be safer to return home on the Interstate or cut through town (mid-size, relatively safe)? This would shorten the distance by a couple of miles. I imagine that there will be groups of people walking on the Interstate, but most would be heading toward town, not away. I don’t know what people will be doing in the neighborhoods. How soon will looting occur?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      I posted the same scenario, but I have a longer walk. I am thinking the highway will be safer for a little while as the locals in some of the bad areas are still milling around their neighborhoods, probably causing trouble close to home on the streets. But, that would not hold too long – so I would have to move as quickly as possible to get through the bad neighborhoods before they completely erupt.

    2. @ Michelle

      Most people will be unaware what has happened for the first 12 hrs, safety in my opinion will not be an issue. After that, all bets off, I’d get home as soon as you can. When it happens everyone will be just sitting there waiting for some kind of MAGIC to start their cars.

      1. I agree. Lots of people would still be sitting at work wondering what was happening or starting their own trip home. Like the article says, move and move quick. Keep your head on a swivel and situational awareness switched to high alert.

    3. It depends of the size of town or city. Once police can’t respond and people know it, store alarms and security doesn’t work, communications are down, there will be looting and anarchy since laws can’t be enforced.

      Smaller towns will take a longer time, but larger cities it will happen within an hour—especially when banks shut down and EBT cards quit working. Once the stores are cleaned out and consumed, they will raid private homes. A very bad scenario for city dwellers.

  15. I’ve given this one a lot of thought because the office is about 20 miles from home (more if I have to walk a round-about route for safety).

    Because DH and I drive separately to the family business, and each spend a fair amount of time out of the office with clients, vendors, etc… and usually don’t work the identical schedule, we may or may not be together if/when an EMP hit. So, I have to plan for the worst which is walking home alone.

    I usually take a freeway much of the way home, and about 1/2 of that travel is through an area I would not want to walk alone after dark – I would stick out like a sore thumb in some of the neighborhoods I would have to cross through. So, I mentally debate the safety of walking on the freeway (through the dead traffic) to get through the worst areas.

    The freeway will be full of stranded people, but that seems safer (at least for the first few hours) because the homeless and jobless folks who populate street corners in this area would probably not think of walking straight up to a freeway on ramp to mug the masses walking along to get home. I keep thinking the thugs would more likely be milling about in those first few hours in their own neighborhoods, maybe robbing the local liquor stores. I could be wrong, and have a number of routes I can walk… but I think I am better off those first few hours up on the highway than down in the bad residential areas. No good choices, and all input on this is welcome.

    Thanks for the important topic, Ken!

  16. Timely topic. Planning the day to now include a return to Home Depot I headed up the freeway. This Home Depot is 20+ miles away but close to the freeway. Get into the store and what do ya know. No buy, sell or return due to all the registers being down. It was late morning and while the store was not real busy there was a steady stream or people and now none were happy campers. Just that quick a bunch of unhappy people.

    Thinking about it, I decided that it would not be a bad place to be if it had been an emp. Freeway was fairly busy but I know the back roads but it would have added a few miles if I had to walk. Would not be a 1 day trip.

    Left there and stopped at the dog park and talking with a guy there and telling him about Home Depot he immediately went into the satellites overhead, how it was only a mater of time until an emp happened along with civil war and gee, he would really like to move. Talked about Montana.

  17. Glad I only work 8 miles from home! I have a lot of gear in my car, the problem is…what gets left behind!

  18. EMP Strike? LOL Computers just went out the window and back to stubby pencil! My office is located in very close proximity of 3 company warehouses that are choke full of what would be considered a prepper’s wet dream. Most likely employees will be asked if they’re into pulling 24/7 armed guard duty if such an event were to happen.

    It’s interesting this discussion came up. Upon starting my employment, I asked the big boss if there was an SOP written up for such events. He looked at me like I was from Mars. I was dead serious. He quizzed me on what should be done. I’m not an expert, but with my military background; I let him know that it needs to be planned out and executed when the time does arrive.

    Worst case- grab the get home bag and bicycle it out of here. I figure it’ll take me 2-3 days of steady riding to get home, baring that Someone doesn’t kill me for my bicycle between points A and B.

  19. For me it’ll be a 3 day, or night, hike on back country trails, NOT hitting the free/highways at all. People WILL be crazy the first 8 hours…. have a river (small river) crossing to make a few times, so water gathering is not a problem.

    Have a full loaded GHB (and weapons) for the planned trip, and yes Blue has to carry his own. I’m NOT carrying dog food.

    Being in full on stealth mode is going to be key to making the trip.

    Thought about alternative transportation, only one for sure would be some of the older diesel construction equipment that is around and just plow the way down the highway, but not really very practical…..

    Something to think about, good Job Ken.


  20. 60 miles one way from work to home, have the 3 day assault bag, food, cloths, defense stuff, shelter tarp, as an “old fart” (64.5), will take awhile. From small city to rural, plenty of mole skin and TP!

    1. Right on. 62 miles one way. I keep an office/carry bag plus a three/four day bag in the truck. Starting out of Austin will be a crappy place so I plan on making tracks as quick as possible to get ahead of as many wackos as possible. Other than that, pistol and 48 rounds and then a knife.

  21. I’ve read in a Jackie Clay column in Backwoods Home Magazine that its editor, Dave Duffy, has a satellite phone and a small computer which he uses sparingly to keep in contact.

    I prep in a very small apartment but I hope eventually to do the R.V. dream of traveling most of the year and often wondered if a satellite phone would be the way to go.

    So, my technical question is, do satellite phones use only one satellite (which could go down if within the circumference of the EMP blast area) or do they have several in place and if one goes out will another be coming along in a regular rotation?

    I’ve also read where whitewater rafting companies carry all supplies in a white waterproof bag and that might be helpful in crossing bodies of water.

  22. 250 miles from home, have a large ALICE pack with MRE’s/granola bars, water filter(s), extra ammo for pistol, also have a K-BAR knife and some other knives, first aid kit(FAK), water containers, TWO good pairs of boots, 3 season tent, sleeping bag, CAMO. tarps, maps, compass, face paint, fire starter(s) etc.

    Will have to go through/around eight cities/towns (all under 20,000 pop.), cross 4 rivers, and about eight streams/creeks. I figure it will take me about 2-3 weeks to get home.

    1. That is doing good for 250 miles. Also sounds like a nice wilderness vacation if not for the EMP thing. With streams & rivers you have a good source of food.

  23. It seems everyone is headed home after an EMP. Please read the book “blackout wars” and I think everyone will need to change their plans, at least once they get home. Almost all homes/buildings will not exist due to fires. The melting of the home wiring, etc. will start structural fires. I hope readers here have a building without wiring, etc. to live in. Grass fires will burn due to melting electrical power lines also. I hope my fellow preppers will plan accordingly. Good day to all.

    1. Yes- it is said that the Carrington event sparked fires in telegraph offices, etc. I know that an EMP weapon is different from a CME, but even so I think a good homeowner prep is having enough garden hose to reach all around your house.

  24. Has anyone thought about an EMP while you are on vacation? We have traveled out of the country on several occasions, (less frequent now due to the terrorist attacks) but what if you are in another country or even just another state?

    1. With me, it would depend on the state & if my dog is with me.

      Since 2009 I stopped flying, & since 1997 I stopped traveling overseas. Figured the USA had enough beautiful sights to see.

      I live in NC & if in VA or TN would take hwys. to home if still live where I do.
      77 straight shot from VA to home & 40/26/74 straight shot from TN to home.
      It is a steep mtn. though.

    2. At 9/11 all flights were grounded. After an EMP attack flights worldwide will be grounded.
      There will certainly be some great numbers of aircraft which may potentially fall out of the sky after an EMP attack.

      An EMP attack will certainly cause a financial nightmare. If you have no local trad-able currency or rely on electronic money you will be in trouble.

      Relying on your own countries diplomatic resources within the overseas destination will maybe your only solution.

  25. I work on the 7th floor of an office building 30 miles from home.

    In my truck (parked in the back lot, never in the parking garage), I keep an old backpack with a wool blanket, tarp, rope, multi-tool and a knife, 1st-aid kit, duct tape, four pints of water, energy bars, jerky, and fire starters. And sneakers – 30 miles with a full pack not fun in dress shoes. (And my .380 w/ spare mag).

    Wife and daughter know to get home and stay home, and start stowing water – we shelter-in-place. I will be home ASAP (probably in a day or so – avoiding the main roads).

  26. I’ve been doing considerable research on EMP effects on vehicles, and after reading all the “expert” opinions and test results the consensus is – nobody knows for sure.

    In some tests cars didn’t die, some that did just needed “rebooting” by disconnecting the battery for 60 seconds, others needed serious repair. It appears that the tests were conducted using an EMP jolt that might well be a fraction of a real one but that’s one of those imponderables that can only be theorized about. The best article I came across was: http://www.futurescience.com/emp/vehicles.html

    Luckily, we’re retired. When my wife was still working about 25 miles away our plan was for her to stay put, while I came for her on our 1952 8n tractor pulling a small trailer. The route wasn’t likely to be clogged with stalled vehicles.

    As I mentioned in Saturday’s prep discussion I’m currently having our ’88 Bronco retrofitted to eliminate the computer and electronic ignition. One thing that can’t be changed is the alternator, which contains several diodes (transistors) that would likely be affected. The only answer I’ve come up with is having a spare alternator, ignition coil, and starter in a Faraday can.

    There are so many variables, ranging from the intent of an attack, magnitude of the blast, even to time of year that can’t really be factored for. If we get hit, best of luck to everyone.

  27. We have an old 1966 trail ways bus that has a Detroit Diesel engine. No computer. It holds 168 gallons of fuel, 200 gallons of fresh water and has 6 solar panels with inverter and converter. It has been converted to a pretty nice motor home. I can’t tell you how many people wonder why we hang onto the old thing. Excellent storage bays underneath for propane, generator, preps etc. I tell them it has sentimental value and they roll their eyes.

    1. Miss I Made It Myself
      Let them roll their eyes now, you know you have a major need covered should anything occur. Smart move on your families part-congratulations.

    2. Your answer is a good compromise. If you told them the truth, their eyes might roll all the way back and get stuck like that.

      So easy to tell the ones who have never faced an immediate threat to their life before.

  28. Hi Guys,
    In this scenario, team up with other motorists going in the same direction,e.g N-S-E-W. I am sure at least 5 to 10% of them are in the same mindset. I am retired young but my wife still works & commutes to a large city. We discuss various scenarios how to get home with her backpack. She knows her most effective weapon is her mind and can do attitude.

  29. Most of the time I am working from home but I always have a small bag in my truck. I call it my 24 hr bag but it’s more than that. When I travel more than a hr away from the house my GHB goes in the truck. Add those 2 bags and everything else I always have in the truck (clothes, weapons, ammo, water,etc) I think I am as set as I can be.

    The wife travels 25 miles to work and had a GHB in her car at all times. Plus a weapon, etc.

    If a EMP hits she is to get on the interstate (most direct route home) ASAP and head to our sons school. I suit up and head to my son’s school. We have a meeting place already planned.

    I figure in the first 24-48 hrs most the sheep will be in shock and not really know what to do. After that the violence will increase tremendously. If you have to travel more than a day or 2. Start traveling at night and sleeping during the day. Be sure you’re in a good concealed spot and eat a few hours before the sun comes up.

    Adapt and Overcome.

  30. I could be right near my home or 40 miles away if an EMP hit while I was working. I carry water, a Swiss knife, whistle, and some tidbits in my work bag just in case the company truck with campground supplies breaks down and I am stranded, but it could be a few minutes to a two day walk home for me since I travel all over the forest.

    My route home any way I’d go would take me past wild food growing and some springs and spring fed lakes. I have heavy duty plastic bags in my truck for keeping dry and to carry all the gear I need to get home. There is a 50 gallon container of water, empty bottles, and lots of toilet paper. Lots… and it would be an NRP dream with 60 rolls of “soft” TP. The work truck also carries a first aid kit, a map of all the forest trails, hand sanitizers, 6 rolls of paper towels, a small saw for removing road debris, a tire iron, hammer and tools, mosquito repellent, and an old ice fishing pole with hook and line I found at a trash bin I didn’t take home yet. I could just take a little of everything for two days.

    Yep, got all the fixins for getting home working spring-fall.

    1. @ Stardust

      Ya know every time you describe your preps and situation I get jealous as hell…. dang girl you got it made.


      1. @ aka

        Into it 4 chapters so far. Another good one it seems. Fairly small print, and a HUGE book. So may take awhile. So far it’s building some good charters. Will let ya know more in a few days.


  31. So glad I live where I work. Self storage resident manager. I have STUFF.

  32. I work 23 miles from rural home in small town know the area pretty well as have hunted pretty much between both areas, wife works 70 miles away and not in best of shape. What input would anyone have, for us trying to get to each other?

    1. I would say figure out a good spot to meet up. Figure out how far she can walk in “X” amount of hrs. Take into account breaks, health issues, etc and then you make up the difference to get to her. Then you go on together. Probably a test walk around the neighborhood to see what she can do is your best way to figure that out.

      Just my 2 cents. But that’s what I would probably look into.

      Adapt and Overcome.

    2. DVS

      I know exactly what you’re facing. DH works 60 miles from home and is handicapped. Walking home isn’t an option. We’ve considered a scooter, too hard on his joints and can’t stand long enough. Riding a bike for 60 miles isn’t possible either.

      What I’m currently thinking of is a ladies bike for him as he can’t put his leg over a men’s bike. Something with a comfy seat, not a racing seat and low enough that his feet can reach the ground from a seated position. He can use his “good” leg to push himself forward like a scooter. That way he can try and pedal for a bit and coast downhill. Uphill will be difficult but doable. As it is, I’m trying to convince him to have 2 canes in the truck to make walking easier.

      I’m retired and have mobility issues. Since I normally only drive about 10 miles from home, I can walk with my canes or if in town, can “borrow” a grocery cart and use that for support to get home.

      I’d also suggest your wife keep knee braces handy just in case she does need to do some walking. Canes would also be real handy. Wish I could give you better suggestions.


      1. In some cities the grocery carts are “rigged” to not leave the store’s parking lots. They lock up on you.

        1. I rather suspect it would stop working; to the extent it would no longer roll even on the store property.

      2. What about one of those seated bicycles? They’re low, three wheeled, and designed for people with mobility issues. Some have been adjusted to allow someone to pedal with their arms. I don’t know how compact they are, though.

    3. I agree to pick a point that she can reasonably get to in X hours and plan your travel to get her. Don’t know your situation, but a tandem bike with a pull behind little trailer (like for kids or stuff or saddlebags) may be beneficial if she can ride when you get there. If not a three wheel bike (like a giant tricycle) can be modified.


  33. I had to think about this one for a bit. I have a temporary job caring for an older woman that is only about a twenty minute walk from my house. However, at least once a week I have to take her to her doctors appointments.

    She currently goes to three different doctors. The closest would be about a 3-4 hour walk. The next would be about a 4-5 hour walk, but it would also pass right through a rough part of town. The nightmare would be the farthest which would be about 3-4 days walk. Unfortunately she is in a wheelchair forcing me to stay on the road. So I guess I will have to start carrying now whenever I have to take her.

    I always keep several bottles of water and snacks in the car. My GHB has everything I need to get home except my weapon. I fear that one old lady pushing another old lady in a wheelchair would make us easy targets. So I guess I have no choice but to carry from now on.

  34. How about a wizzer? Its a fold up foot powered scooter and could be used as a weapon if needed. It takes up very little room and would be faster than walking.

    1. I just took a whizzer. Lol. Actually I just saw something similar on TV. But since it is electronic wouldn’t that be fried if we get hit with a EMP? I don’t know either but it looked pretty cool and my first thought was the same as yours.

      Adapt and Overcome.

    2. I was thinking the same thing. Just have to keep it in a Faraday cage at work somehow though. Due to electronics getting fried in an EMP. :(

  35. I am resourceful and keep several go home items in my bags in my truck. I am just about 8 miles from home, so no big deal to trek back. My biggest worry is my wife. She works 20 miles from home in a larger city.

    Both of our kits include: backpack, Sawyer mini, $100 cash, 5 oz silver, several granola bars, four 20oz bottles, Large folding knife, large fixed knife, hatchet, weather proof matches, medical kit including tourniquets and gunshot trauma gauze, O.C., flashlight, headlamp, local maps, pre-determined back road routes that are based on foot travel, markers for leaving signals on the back of street signs, camo rain poncho, compass, spare batteries, bug spray wipes, Ibuprofen, whistle, camel pack, 100 feet of 550 cord, and a few other items.

    There is a handgun with 3 loaded mags and a box of 100 rounds for each pack. I also keep an AR in my truck. Thinking I need to add one to the wife’s too, but she isn’t thrilled with the room this stuff takes up. Probably going to wait on that for the time being.

  36. I had a training event this last week while traveling on I-70 West from Denver I encountered a 2 mile backup about 11 am about 10 miles East of Glennwood Springs Co. It took about an hour to get to the “checkpoint” and was told I70 was shutdown in both directions (due to a large rock-slide) for about 4 1/2 hours we were given a choice to park on an excess road or drive back the previous town about 5 miles back.

    Knowing the line would be stretching for miles I choose to wait it out in 100 degree heat. I had 2 2 Qt canteens (U.S. issue which I love) and a couple of ham cheese sandwiches and a few other goodies. As I watched the waiting group (and it kept growing over the next 4 hours) I saw people with no visible food and drinks, maybe a few with their now drained Starbucks, in their BMW or high dollar SUVs walking around their vehicles, mad, impatient, hot, and trying to decide how to get a drink or some shade…….made me think about an EMP event where the roads would become just like this a vast parking lot.

    People were going vehicle to vehicle trying to get a drink or whatever, being upset that their world was “on hold”. I am amazed how many had no idea about a “what if situation” and bet several would be doing a little planning in future outings. One family had a baby and no liquids, gave them some water to share….but had to wonder what they were “not thinking” by being on the road and nothing for water let alone food. After about 4 plus hours the interstate reopened….. but the backup was for many many miles in both directions. We really do have a nation where most if not all are going to be in a world of hurt in a major shut down situation if caught in a unprepared away from home event. OH MY!…it made me appreciate having those items that made my delay tolerable if not unpleasant.

    1. @icecathook:

      It was 1966. My husband and I were returning to Colorado from visiting his sister on the west coast. We decided to travel through Death Valley. We were in my husband’s brand new Mustang convertible — no A/C.

      We had no water, no food, no A/C. We stopped at the visitor’s center where they had drinking fountains. We asked to buy a container that would hold water. They had nothing – no pop machines, no food, nothing that would hold water. We begged and begged, but they could give no help. We should have waited in the visitor’s center until dark, but we were hungry, so we decided to keep going. We drank as much water as we could hold and continued on. When we finally reached the other side, we stopped at a restaurant and drank and drank.

      If we had had car trouble, we would have been toast, literally. There were no cell phones back then and we didn’t see a ranger car the whole trip, just a couple of autos with their windows up. Obviously they had A/C.

      The first thing we did when we got home was trade in the convertible for an Impala with A/C and we never went anywhere again without lots of water, as well as food, extra clothing, etc.

    2. icecathook What a mess, thanks for sharing that. Another great reason to always keep your gas tank full!

      I hope you are right about the people who were stuck possibly making sure they are more prepared in the future for “what if” scenarios. Especially ones with babies! Sheesh!!

      I for one, am going to go get me some more stainless steel thermoses! They are life savers for keeping cold drinks cold especially in the sweltering heat of day in some places this time of year!

      Also great for keeping warm drinks warm in the cold of winter!

    3. icecathook,

      What you experienced with the I-70 rock-slide was an aggravation for sure, and the preps you mentioned got you through it with minimal discomfort, but you had the comfort of knowing that the problem was being resolved and life would return to normal fairly soon. Those on this site know that catastrophe is around the corner and are preparing. Even with this knowledge and preparation, I believe none of us have fully grasped how bad a total collapse will be.

  37. Ugh! Starting a new job in Sept. after being SAHM for the last 5 years.
    An EMP happening while I am at work is not something I really want to think about! LOL!

    However, it’s important to always have a plan and be as prepared as possible. I know one thing; come hell or high water I WILL make it back home to my kid ASAP!
    She’s 16 and will have our three dogs with her.
    But I’ll just make sure we discuss possible scenarios so we’re all on the same page and know what to do.
    Thanks Ken! I think……lol :)

  38. This is kind of an interesting topic for me. I sprained my ankle over a week ago. Just getting to where I can really put weight on it. No where near 100%. No way could I walk home much less hump my GHB with this injury if an EMP happened while I was in town. I would have to hunker down somewhere while my ankle healed. Not a great choice.

    An EMP is a crap situation whether you are prepared or not. Having Comms that work will be huge for your survival and a big boost for your morale if you can talk with your family/group.

    I made a couple of small cases for the ham radios for our vehicles. Should be sufficient as Faraday cages.

    This is a scenario our groups do rehearse for. No matter how prepared we are it will be difficult to come to terms with no power,electronics,running vehicles.
    For some it will be too much to endure…

  39. I work in a school. If they went into lock down no one can leave. I am in a position that I would be expected to stay no matter what. So now I plan on getting out of the building everyday ASAP. Just up dated my GHB for the upcoming school year. I sure hope if something happens I’m not at work.

    1. @ Raised this way

      You bring up a very interesting subject, If a school “locks down” after a major “problem” let’s say an EMP, how long do you think TPTB aka principal or whoever could keep the “kids” there? How long do you think the parents would put up with their children being held there? Overnight? A Day or a week????

      Just food for thought

      1. I really think that in this area there would be a problem of students not being picked up at all. We are on the woods several miles from the areas they are bused in from. So I would guess several days before they just let the students walk out.

    2. That is unfortunate because you may be stuck there for a long time. What if parents end up walking all the way to school to pick up the kids. Most probably work in the same city, but there must be families that commute an hour away. Imagine those guys walking back.

    3. Raised this way, Ok, now I’m totally messed up!
      My job is going to be supervisor for an after school program.

      I will have teenagers working with me and about 60 elementary aged children in my care. Normally runs until 6pm.

      I am sitting here thinking about all the working parents that may not be able to get there.
      Wow. That’s a heavy thought.

      Meanwhile, my kid will be home. Does anyone have any suggestions on THAT nightmare scenario? Would love some input.

      1. Depends on the circumstances. If it’s full-on grid-down, you need to get those kids home. Do they all live in the general area, or are they bused in/carpooled in?

        It may not be feasible, but my first move would be to create some kind of emergency plan and let the parents know about it. They’ll be happy that there’s something in place, even if they don’t consider it necessary.

        If the kids all live in the general area, once it becomes clear that the parents are not going to be able to pick them up you could set them in groups, with older children responsible for the younger, and send them home, the groups determined by the direction of travel. If they live scattered out away from the location it gets trickier.

        In that case I would suggest that each of the parents provide an emergency pack, a small backpack with water-bottles, food and entertainment of some kind, enough to last at least a day.

        You’re right calling it a nightmare scenario. Makes me wonder what would happen to the elementary school up the street. At least five schools within walking distance of my house, not to mention the hospital.

  40. Try this to get a running Automobile. Purchase a spare ignition controller and Insulate it by wrapping it in plastic wrap then Aluminum foil. Then another layer of plastic wrap followed by another layer of Aluminum foil. Make sure the layers of Aluminum foil do not touch each other. Make it 7 layers deep and store in your trunk. Then if your car won’t start swap in the new Ignition controller. More than likely your starter will not be affected by the EMP since it does not have a completed circuit for current to flow. Your car battery will also be unaffected by the EMP.

    1. From yours: “Purchase a spare ignition controller and Insulate it by wrapping it in plastic wrap then Aluminum foil.”

      I have some bad news. Save for a few select models from late 70’s early 80’s, you may have more than one computer. Most modern cars have between 5 and 11 “computers” on board, all locally networked and dependent on multiplexed digital feedback from every major component on the car.

      With apologies to Jaws, the movie: “Yer gonna need a lot more foil.”

    1. I’m thinking no. A big concern really since all modern flashlights are now of this variety.

    2. Maybe, maybe not… So I have saved all my old CFL bulbs and a bunch of old tungsten bulbs for just in case…

  41. I live 16 miles from work. I figure I would have to steal someone’s bicycle so I can get home quick. Return it when things get better of course.

  42. Duct tape. Useful with everything from shelter construction to makeshift bandaging to bad-guy restraints, if need be. Plus an excellent application for NOT getting blisters.

  43. Where is a good place to keep your backpack in a pickup? Would a tool box in the back be good?

    1. I keep mine in the backseat, however sometimes I throw it in the bed (I have a cover).

  44. At present my office is about 12 miles from here, via the freeway(interstate) or 14 miles via streets. Most of the time now, it is far FASTER on surface streets than any other time, because the morons where I live drive like mopes anyway on the freeway at reckless speeds, follow too closely and pile each other up blocking the only north/south artery in the state.

    After reading this, it’s time to get the oil’ mountain bike tuned up, install the bike rack on the back of my beast, and keep the bike ON my vehicle (locked of course) and I park in an open secure area at my place of employment. It’s an easy thing to re-purpose my GHB to a bike pack and off I will go. Not any “bad” parts of town to go through (on purpose) so we are lucky there.

    Oh, and I carry my primary handgun and a backup to and from work all the time. Have access to both while at work.

    Keep plenty of water available in my vehicle and my bike pack has a bladder far bigger than the one I was born with, which, has shrunk with each birthday. So water intake is monitored by Me, to keep from having an accident and no place to go. When the EMP hits, and I’m convinced we will get hit by one or more, finding a place to go, won’t be an issue for me or anyone else.

    Oh, NRP, we always have a minimum of two rolls of Costco’s Kirkland brand of TP for each of us in whatever vehicle we are driving. I like MY TP and my wet wipes as well. Have my folding stocked travel rifle that also goes in the back of my main driver all the time each day.

  45. Maybe someone can relate to this –
    I travel on business. I can be as far as 375 miles from home, so I plan on having to walk/camp for maybe up to six weeks.

    – My absolute, number one priority is my gun and extra ammo. I’m never without it while on the road.
    – After that would be my Katadyn filter and LifeStraw.
    – Next comes shelter. I plan on draping a tarp over a tree limb for a quick A-frame.
    – Fire-making is next. In addition to three disposable lighters, I keep a small jar of Vaseline in my GHB. Just a small amount on a dry stick will light with one flick of a lighter.
    – Twenty ounces of silver.
    – I also carry a flashlight, a headlamp and a snap-on light for the gun. Some extra batteries as well.
    – I have a good durable poncho which is large enough to go over a backpack.
    Other items I carry, in no particular order of importance (they’re all important to me) are:
    – A machete with saw-tooth back
    – Leatherman Supertool
    – Large hunting knife
    – Gloves, toboggan, hand warmers, mess kit, first aid kit
    Since I’m traveling on business, I also have clothes/toiletries with me. I wouldn’t be able to bring them all on a long hike though.

    So how to eat for six weeks on the road? There’s no way I can carry anywhere close to that much food, even if it’s freeze-dried. I’ve considered carrying a .22 for squirrel/rabbit/bird, but that’s a lot of weight with the ammo for it too. Maybe I can do some hunting with my pistol, but it’s a G21 – a .45 Glock – which would probably obliterate any small game.
    Basically, eating comes down to depending on the good will of those who live in the areas I’ll be walking through. What I can’t shoot or forage must be obtained by barter or begging. Thankfully I live in the Southeast, where I grew up, and I understand these people and know how to approach them and talk to them.

    1. Bob

      (and I say this with no skill in it myself)

      Learn how to eat the weeds. There are quite a few sites with info (Green Deane Eat the Weeds, or some such), and many others.

      I have been truly shocked at the amount of edibles considered weeds..

      1. Excellent idea – I’ll look into it immediately. I forgot to mention that I also have a small fishing kit.

      2. Anon,

        I just read a book, Three Came Home, about some civilian prisoners of war held by the Japanese. At the end, they were living on a cup of watery gruel, 5 tablespoons of rice, plus what weeds they could find. They were trying to grow potatoes, but they were too hungry to wait for them, so they were eating the potato tops. I am growing potatoes this year and I have a lot of tops, but they don’t look like anything I would want to eat.

        1. The potato tops are actually poisonous (night-shade family, same with tomatoes) but when you’re hungry you eat what you can get.

        2. Thanks Lauren.

          I was thinking of trying one just to see what it tasted like, since the POWs had eaten them and survived. I guess I will wait for the tubers.

    2. “I can be as far as 375 miles from home, so I plan on having to walk/camp for maybe up to six weeks.”
      That is about 6-7 days of bicycle travel if you navigate well with paper maps.

  46. I always keep my emergency backpack in my car, with water filter, raincoat, etc.. But the most important thing in my trunk is my hard plastic Coleman cooler on wheels with a pop up handle. I always use it after grocery shopping, but if my daughter is with me, and an EMP occurs, I could pop off the top and pull her home.

    If I’m at work 10 miles from home, I could fill it with a water cooler bottle from work and any other supplies I could use. If needed, I could catch rainwater in it. It could be used to sit on if rest is needed. I would pull it until I found a shopping cart and then load it into the cart, and push that home.

  47. Thanks for the reminder to tune up my mountain bike. I am too old to cover much more than 12 miles in a day, on foot, with a backpack (being realistic here). I’m 18 miles from work to home door to door with 3 bridges/water crossings to make. This is why I fear earthquakes that bring down bridges more than EMPs at present time.

    To McGyver: If an LED light will not work after an EMP, what kind of light will work? (Mini mag flashlight? conventional bulb flashlights?)

    Some one mentioned waterproof bags used by rafters and kayakers: they are called Dry-bags and they have roll top closures with buckles that are far superior to the “ziploc” closures on some dry bags. I have several and they are handy though heavy(heavy duty vinyl). Most do not come with shoulder straps, frames or waist belts. The small size will hold only 1-2 rolls of NRP’s favorite TP. The Large size can hold a 36 roll case of NRP’s favorite brand of TP. (Charmin, Ultra strong, Quilted. Did I get that right?)

    1. CaliRefugee, regarding your LED flashlights:
      I thought maybe they could be put into a small cardboard box, then wrapped 100% with aluminum foil. As long as the flashlights are insulated from the foil they should be okay.

    2. “To McGyver: If an LED light will not work after an EMP, what kind of light will work? (Mini mag flashlight? conventional bulb flashlights?)”

      I’m really not sure. In the Carrington event, copper wire vaporized and fires started at termination points. If an EMP could produce that level of energy, then I doubt a small tungsten filament would survive. Overall though in a lesser event I suspect the filament bulb would have a better chance than a solid state LED.

  48. Do you have nearby neighbors you can trust? Train your child to go to them.

    1. Bob, we have one neighbor that we know a little bit, who is about 3/4 of a mile away. We have 3 dogs also. Ugh.
      We have provisions at home to last for months.
      I was thinking along the lines of her staying put, as long as humanly possible, unless there was a fire.
      And she knows me and her father will be doing everything we can to get home asap. (I will only be 11 miles away, but my husband will be closer to 20 miles away).
      Oh how I pray we will never experience such an event!

  49. It’s funny because I have a bunch of training days coming up pertaining to things like anti bullying, positive guidance, CPR, customer service, etc.
    I wonder how well it would go over if I brought up “what to do in case of an EMP” at a meeting! ROFL!
    They would probably fire me or try to commit me!
    Oh Lord have mercy!
    It’s funny but it’s not, because I am responsible for those children and all things need to be taken into consideration and plans need to be in place.
    I am thinking that since the site where the after school program is located is only 2 miles from the large state of the art YMCA facility that our program is run through, we could walk there and stay there as a home base. The police station is also directly across the street from the YMCA. Perhaps they could help in some capacity as well.
    I would have to leave a large note indicating where we were for parents who showed up at the site after we left.
    What a nightmare it would be to have no communications or working vehicles. I know the military would have hardened assets but I wonder about police departments.

    1. No need to go for the “extreme.” Whatever emergency is most prevalent in the area, use that, with the 2nd possibility for backup.

  50. About 10 years ago the school I worked at was a red cross shelter school. We had a hurricane hit and this is an area with an island that floods so I had to go to school after hours and spend 3 days at school with the families that were not able to get home to their island homes. Meanwhile my family (and home) were across the river in another state. I had to take care of these people because it was my job, but I still worried about what was happening at my house. Luckily my husband was home with the kids and this was just a short term problem. I did leave this school and take a position 15 miles farther away just so this didn’t happen again. Now I only need to worry about being there when it happens.
    Make sure your child has a plan and is prepared for anything that could happen. Is there any way to get your child there with you? Is there a neighbor or relative close by just in case. We have to work that’s why we prepare for situations that we can not control.

    1. Raised this way, Yes, I inquired about her coming to work with me actually. They said she could work as a volunteer.
      She just needs to fill out a volunteer form. I think I will have her do that! Will be a good experience for her, and will be something she can add to her resume!
      But either way, I will definitely prepare her for handling the possibility of being home alone in an “event”.
      Thank you for sharing your experience and advice.
      I really appreciate it.

  51. LifeLongLearner, I’ve often thought about this, too. If an EMP happened while I was at work, I couldn’t just take off immediately because I’m an elementary teacher. My situation is different than yours, since you are the only adult taking care of the kids, but like you, I am responsible for these kids. Besides, I always love them all and want what is best for them. While I’ve thought about us teachers splitting up and walking groups of kids home that live near each other, I doubt that anyone else in the school has thought of it. When the time comes, probably no one would even be ready to take that step until at least 24 hours had gone by. Besides, if we walk the kids home and no one is there to care for them, then what do we do? Leave them with a neighbor? Walk them back? Who stays at the school to take care of them?

    At the beginning of the year, I print out a map and mark each child’s home on it. It might be helpful for you to do the same sort of thing, although you’re correct that they YMCA might be a better option just because of having other adults around. Then again, the school may be better because there might be more food and water available.

    Thankfully, my child is in high school and knows to leave the school backpack, grab the GHB, and walk home immediately, not waiting for the inevitable round-up of students being told to go somewhere. Half a day’s walk may not be fun, but it’s definitely doable.

    1. Yes, my daughter is in High School too. But thankfully, when she is in school I will be home and we only live 2 miles from the school. I would walk to her and we could walk home together. But if for whatever reason I can’t get there, she knows to just head home.
      But she hasn’t taken the step of keeping a GHB in her locker yet.
      She’ll be a junior in the fall though, so maybe mature enough to realize the importance of that now!
      I’ll just tell her if she doesn’t take it and leave it in her locker for emergencies, than she’s not mature enough to have her permit and drive. That’ll work! :)
      And yes, with 60 kids in my care, I am going to need reinforcements. Perhaps I will suggest that the YMCA have food, water and blanket provisions on site for unforseen emergencies. I think that would be a responsible and reasonable suggestion. The food can be donated when time to rotate, and I will even volunteer to do the shopping and stocking!

  52. I have my GHB set up to stretch 7 days, with water filters to replenish. Also added a Henry survival rifle with the hopes of small game. What an EMP will take out is largely theoretical. So if I can find a working car I’ll take it. I have looked at folding bikes but have not purchased one yet. What ever the crisis the plan is to get home as fast as possible and by what ever means I can.

  53. The logic of choosing a bicycle as your emergency Get Back Home vehicle is obvious if you do the math.

    For the same energy, you can ride 3x faster than walking, traveling 3x further carrying 3x more load. Typical travelling speed is 10mph

    A hard 3-day hike can be done in 1 day on a bike. You then need to carry a much lighter load. You will be safe home rather than out on the road in a deteriorating situation.

    In Tokyo and London, bike shops sold out within hours of a GBH emergency situation.

    Any bike will do but if you can pre-plan, make it a quality one with good, modern puncture-resistant tyres, some kind of luggage rack. You can strap a small backpack to the rack, which gives you a walking option if needs be.

    You may use your “survival knife” a little, and you may never use your “survival gun” but in a GBH situation, you will be using your “survival bike” hard and long.

  54. While you will definitely need water, carrying plastic bottles of water in your car creates a different problem, chemical poisoning. It would be better to carry a filtration system, and a good bph free carrier empty. You can always fill it before you hit the road from a sink in the bathroom where you work if nothing else, and refill it with the filtration system from a creek if needed on the way home.
    Think light when you think of food as well, mre’s, dehydrated food packs are best instead of canned food. Also, if you’re a diabetic, or on meds you’ll need medicine in your vehicle, or in your desk at work for the journey.
    Last but not least, a weapon you can handle. It does no good if you have a .45 and can’t pull the slide back, or you can’t handle the recoil.

  55. Bikes would be the best thing except that I would have to leave something so that I could bring the dog (always with me)and he weighs 38 lbs.

    1. @ aka

      I agree, I have a 115# Black Lab….. he gets to carry is own “stuff” HAHA


  56. Well, Charlie can carry his too but I would have to carry him about half the time. Between my bad back and his (he actually does has broken discs) maybe we would do better with a wheel chair. : / What might be the ticket would be to have one of those trailers that attach to the bike…

  57. There are railroad lines that run between the area where I work and the area of my home. I have considered these “pathways” as secondary hiking routes. They are mostly out of the way of normal automobile and pedestrian traffic, but the increased difficulty of walking along the ties and ballast makes them suitable as a backup plan only.

    1. HG#28,
      I met guys in Ca.years ago that used to ride mountain bikes on abandoned rail road lines. They made a bracket off the front and back wheel fork with small metal wheels that fit the gauge of the train tracks.Then they just pedaled down on one side of the track. Might take a little trial and error to get it right. They said they could go pretty fast too. Wish I had taken them up on their offer to go with them one time… they said it was a little hairy going over the bridges. I guess it’s best not to look down!LOL!!
      Might be something to look into. Just have to keep an eye out for a train…Haha!

  58. Led lights are semiconductors, so they will be fried to.
    Keep some old type of flashlights avaleble. Also disposible batteries.

  59. As a teacher, I think about this question often. There is no way I could leave students at school, and yet I know many parents could not get to school to pick up their kids.

  60. re: ConcernedCitizen, thanks for taking care of our kids! We don’t pay teachers enough for what they do.

    My wife is a retired teacher. Whenever there was an early release of the students due to a snow storm, there were always a few parents that could not get back for whatever reason. So somewhat of a similar situation. But not all the teachers stayed until the last student left. Most teachers would buddy up and consolidate classes if one of them had to leave. Usually the Principal got stuck staying to the very end. You just need to figure out if you will be one of the first to leave, or one of the last to stay based on your personal situation compared to the other teachers. I imagine teachers with children of their own, or dependent parents, or medical issues, would be the first to leave. But if you are young and single, expect to stay the longest.

    In a worst case scenario, you will probably end up sending kids to stay with their neighbors, and even take some home with you. Now that is something to consider…

  61. the time of day that a surprise EMP attack would accrue would be rush hour on the east coast. and the time of year would only be before the start of the hottest time of the year or the coldest time of year. If it accrued at any other time of year, the terrorist or rouge nation would be mighty stupid. So if you have over 8 miles to walk and don’t have a bike, you are going to die. this is what you might try. If you happen to see a really old car driving down the highway that is still running, take out all the cash in your pocket and wave it in the air. If your lucky the old fart might just give you a ride home for your money. greed usually works. of course if the highway is chocked with stalled cars your still going to die.

  62. have you ever stopped to consider if an S.H.T.F. event happens and your walking down the road at night, just how dame dark it will be if its a cloudy moonless night. It will be as dark as North Korea at night.

    1. That’s why I always carry a small flashlight in my pocket. I also carry a big flashlight, headlamp, and matches in my car.

  63. Along with your GHB, consider adding a fold-up/collapsing handcart. These fold flat for storage, but are rated for near 150 lbs, and cost about $20-$25. Use this to carry your heavy supplies, like water, to give you more travel options. Look for one that has large diameter wheels, which roll better over less than perfect surfaces.

    If you opt for rolling luggage, pick one that uses rollerskate type wheels.

    Don’t forget to add a handful of bungie cords and/or straps to enable you to keep your stuff from falling off, or to add supplies you pick up along the way.

    Some carts may be tow-able behind a bicycle. Check at bicycle stores for more info about that possibility.

    Folding bicycles have improved considerably over the last 30 years, but they are not cheap!

  64. how deep into the ground would a EMP go? ie batteries in a root cellar or basement.

    1. @clutch45, Anything underground would be protected from EMP. Also, batteries will not be affected regardless of where they are.

  65. reasonable “weapons” to have in your pack: wasp spray (flammable, toxic, respiratory irritant(like mace only more dangerous)), and a hammer(strait claw with steel or fiberglass handle) these make good weapons. temp forearm armor 2 thick magazines and some duct tape(just need to do non primary forearm with one mag (2 is to have a backup or reading material) then you have a “shield”(duck tape) its actually duct)), mechanics stretch gloves with plastic protective finger plates. and these will not get you arrested should they be found by law enforcement prior to an actual emergency. food: multi vitamins(1/2 every other day), container of wheat germ(super high in energy per quantity, and filling) ..think carefully about your pack. you need to survive days at least but still need to be able to carry it for 20-30 miles of walking a day. by day 3 on it becomes increasingly dangerous to be in the cities without a support community. where are you going after getting home? do you have a plan? can you board up your houses lower windows? can you protect your house from 4-5 people casually trying out your defense till moving to an easier target?

  66. If there is an EMP near nuclear explosions will follow.
    Thus trying to get home is a bad idea. You will die because of the bombs itself or because of radiation sickness on your way home.

    A better option is to take shelter somewhere at your working office. You need to stay there for about 2-3 weeks. Radiation levels will be highest in the first 2-3 weeks.

    But if you are in the middle of a big city it is better to get distance between you and ground zero. Because at ground zero no shelter will survive a nuclear explosion.

    If you live in Europe, you will have about 1-3 minutest until the nukes will arrive.
    If you live in the US, you will have about 3-6 minutest until submarine based nukes will arrive and about 10-30 minutes till the ICBM.

    1. Stay I am unsure what your scenario is here. While there is some EMP from any nuclear weapon a True EMP attack is made many miles up in the atmosphere+ to create maximum EMP and distance affected. Almost zero radiation directly and way too high to pick up dirt into the Nuclear Fireball so no serious amount of fallout.

      There maybe follow up nuclear weapon strikes but the main point of EMP is destruction of the enemies power grid and unprotected electronics.

      As far as stay or head home distance and likelihood of being in a major target zone as to be thought out. My situation I’d head home ASAP before folks get VERY Freaked out. There is almost always a period of mental freezing and Denial which gives the prepared person time to beat feet. Hiding from fallout for a week would be a problem because in three days with no water or a week drinking bad water your near death anyway. I read smart souls talking about folding bicycles and such GOOD IDEA. The faster you can get home the less crazy human situation you have to face.

      Worth thinking about.

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