5 Nanoseconds To Lights Out


The E1 pulse of a high altitude nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse) will bring modern civilization to its knees in about 5 nanoseconds. That’s 0.000000005 seconds. To put that in perspective, that’s 60 million times faster than ‘the blink of an eye’. Lights Out.

The effects of an EMP will go far beyond just the the power grid; it will take down (damage and destroy) many of the individual electronic components that we rely on today to maintain not only our lifestyle but our way of life (survival). Even if the power came back on, it won’t do much good when all the computers are fried (and everything else ‘electronic’).

To let that sink in for you, I thought that I would list some of the things that may no longer function at home after ‘the lights go out’…

The lights (your wake/sleep cycle will follow the sun)
Your furnace (will you freeze?)
Air conditioners (will you bake?)
Hot water systems (cold showers…)
Running water (whoops, sponge bath instead of shower)
Drinking water (got a plan for that?)
Sewage treatment plants (this could get messy)
Your fridge and freezer (no more cold milk and frozen dinners)
TV, gaming consoles (time to learn how to play cards)
Smart phones, computers, internet (no more Facebook? …oh my)
Dishwasher (time to learn doing it by hand)
Clothes washer and dryer (have a washboard?)
Most stoves/ovens (how long till your bbq grill tank runs out?)
Your vehicle (unless you want to push it)

Things to consider:

-You can’t go to the store because your vehicle doesn’t work anymore and the stores are all shut down anyway… so how long until you run out of food?

-Will ‘money’ do you much good in these conditions? and/or for how long?

-What are you going to do when people start knocking on your door in a complete panic?

-If ‘Lights Out’ drags on for long, you might be ‘toast’ if you live in population-dense regions, despite your preps. Have you thought about your security or bugging out under such conditions? When and where?

-Have you thought about self-sustainability or how you would begin to implement this?

As you can clearly see (or probably already know), nearly EVERYTHING you do at home (or away) is entirely 100% hinged on electricity and electronic technology to enable our very existence! We so take it for granted.

I’ve written about this general topic many times in the past, and I try to put a different angle on it every time. This time, think about just your home (forget about how everything else outside your home will be ‘down’ as well). Look at how quickly your own home may become non-functional or close to it…

Maybe one thing you can do to begin preparing for this overwhelming scenario (Lights Out, Grid Down) is to begin by focusing on your life at home and the things that you may be able to do to offset some of the technological ‘bricks’ that are now sitting ‘dead’ in your home. Think ‘what if’ for each of the things I’ve mentioned above (add more ‘things’ in the comment section below as you think of them). Then think about a solution to offset the problem…

Ideally, a rural home with its own well, spring, and/or water source. Your own septic system for sewage. A big working garden. A full storage of at least one year food supply. A working means of food preservation without electricity, canning, etc… Wood stove for heat, cooking. A backup solar-power system protected via Faraday cage techniques.

Most are not living in ideal locations and conditions, so think about what you will have to do in order to offset the immediate hardships that would be thrust upon you. Start with the temporary solutions to these problems (even though these supplies may run out – it will buy you some time). If possible, work up a better plan or more permanent solution…

Lights Out by David Crawford


  1. Ken,

    Just think of the ramifications if the EMP would have an effect(shorting out for example) on the dendrites or ganglion. Tests have shown that if the EMF/Meter is significant, then there is a white-out effect on the CNS, the length of time depends upon many factors.

    1. whoa dude – mind literally BLOWN! Made my skin crawl. Really not joking, are you?

    2. @No Joke, I had not considered that possibility – although 50kV per sq. meter and a peak power density of 6.6 megawatts per square meter is ‘no joke’… albeit within the time range of nanoseconds.

    3. The is no evidence that an EMP has any effect on organic electrical systems!!!

  2. Think like the enemy.
    If it was me, this would be the ideal way to conquer a country.
    No muss, no fuss, no bother.
    Wait 6 months to a year (a year would be better) then just march right in, with all infrastructure and facilities remaining in place, and the majority of population dead and/or dying.
    Can you think of a better way?

    1. Except the military machine is largely protected from EMP. While the civilian population would suffer, the military would still be quite capable.

      1. @ LORD SNOW –

        You are under a false impression if you believe our Military is completely EMP Protected. Only a small fraction of it is. A Very Small Fraction!

        1. Even if ALL our military was protected what is that, maybe 200 k in total and most of them not combat troops. I don’t think they are going to slow down an invading force for long.

        2. Your estimation of 200k is perhaps a little on the low side. The Marine Corps alone is in excess of 200k. I believe last I checked closer to 220k, the army is MUCH larger and the Airforce is also substantial.

          Without going into detail almost every unit has been strengthened to some level.

      2. While the military itself may be protected from EMP their suppliers are not, how good will the military be 6 months down the road when the supply of fuel, food, weapons, ammo, medical gear, drugs, etc. etc. has all dried up because the civilian manufacturers and transporters of these essential supplies have been crippled?

        1. The US military now uses “off the shelf” hardware for lots of equipment.

          Obutthole succeeded in getting Tomahawk cruise missle production reduced to 0. I think that was a couple of years ago. Inventory is being drawn down.

      3. The military is not totally EMP proof. Let’s say there are…who do you think supports the military’s efforts ? How would they get resupplied ? Logistics ?

    2. One thing often not considered are the many nuclear facilities that would meltdown within a month or so after the EMP event. The army “marching in” after six months would find the country saturated in radiation, with no end in sight..

    3. Yes, neutron bomb

      No need to wait 6 – 12 months

      Kill all the people, keeps the conquered countries wealth In tact

      It really is only a matter of will, who has the will to change the nature of power?

  3. EMP is one of the most immediate disasters I can conceive of. I’m not quite ready. I have not tested the solar system I purchased over a year ago. Have to test it and then develop a Faraday cage for it. We live in the city and will be focused on security when the SHTF so I need to get with it now. There won’t be any time after an EMP. I have made gardening and building a wood shed to protect my fire wood a priority. I had a dream of moving to a safer location when I retired recently. I would have moved already but my wife and I have come to an impasse on the matter. I am drifting off topic. Thanks Ken, for reminding me I need to be ready for an EMP. It will be sudden and without warning. When happens every thing will change in a split second.

    1. Hi! Do you know if the solar panels will be affected by a an EMP event? I know the charger and the inverter will be toast, just not sure about panels.

      1. I have been trying to get an answer to that question for some time now. I spoke with a NASA engineer about it just a couple weeks ago and it was his opinion that the panels themselves and the batterie bank would probably survive an EMP just fine however the charge controller (s) and inverter(s) would almost surely be toasted.

        1. So if any electronics are in a faraday cage they will be protected? How about a Craftsman metal tool draw? Can I keep my batteries and small electronics in that? Right now they are in a metal skill saw box wrapped in aluminum roll for garage insulation.

      2. Guitar Man, I am going to rap my panels with foil and keep them in storage, as for as I know all components must be protected. Ken has some info regarding a surge protector for panels. Ask him to reference this information. My plan is to test and then keep in faraday cage. I will also be testing how raping panels with screen or hard wear cloth might protect them. Of course this will probably cut down the amount of light. My best to you. I am a guitar player!

      3. Panels would be toast, they must be protected. Have spares in a faraday cage/ with welding tools and other essentials. That is my advice.

  4. Being a renegade, modern-style throwback, I just might be able to keep my cynical sense of humor when it all goes down. I’ll remember all of those naysayers, and those friends and family members who think I’m crazy…

    But I’ll be the one ready and able to keep the home fires burning. I’ll be the one with the goats, the horses, the rabbits, the chickens, the pigs, the wood cook-stove, the wood stove, the wood lot, the well, the gardens, the orchard, the filled pantry, the knowledge to spin wool, make my own soaps and cheeses, quilt, weave, hunt, and the common sense & fortitude to remember where-we-all-came-from. I’ve never been afraid of hard work — I actually like it.

    But when it all goes down, it won’t just suck to be a dependent person, it will become an inevitable life-threatening choice. Choices have consequences. I’ve never questioned my choices at all, only wondered why there are so few who are like-minded.

    Live like it’s the 1800s….We are probably going to be part of a time-travel event backwards.

    1. @ Modern Throwback
      Please remember, Crazy is not always a bad thing. I still happen to like my Tin-Foil-Hat.

    2. Modern Throwback want to say hello. Know there are two of us thinking the same and doing it. I pity the fools who do nothing and expect something.

  5. If this should happen, I think the biggest concern for us would be lack of communications. Phones won’t work, whether they are land lines or cell phones it won’t matter. Then radio stations will be off the air. So we would be sitting in the dark literally. We won’t know if it was North Korea or a CME. Not knowing what to look for, such as fallout from a nearby nuclear power plant or prevailing winds from a nuclear blast could be deadly. This is the scariest scenario in my opinion.

    This is why we keep a ham receiver in a Faraday cage. Although we will not be able to communicate, I think being able to get information is more important.

    We can pretty much deal with lack of power, its the lack of information that will be the hardest.

    1. @ Peanut Gallery
      If you have a “Ham” that’s working, why would you not be able to communicate? Trying to understand the thinking.

      1. It’s not really a ham radio but it has the capability to pick up ham signals. It’s very old, it was my father-in-laws. Off the top of my head I don’t recall the name. It was an odd name too. Not sure if he brought it when he came to this country. Not really sure if it is classified as a ham receiver or not.

  6. A great article to scare the bejeezus out of the unprepared, as well as the prepared.

    I certainly agree about the cataclysmic effect a large scale EMP would have on America, it’s almost unimaginable. However, to couch the speed with which it would occur as 60 million times faster than the blink of an eye is ridiculous. People can’t even comprehend the speed of a blink of the eye in relation to anything much less 60 million times faster. Come on people.

    This is similar to several other absurdly incomprehensible things that people salivate over, like…

    A coin size memory device that can store 360 TB of data for 14 billion years. Come on… 14 billion years? Whose gonna be around to prove this one?

    A gun that can shoot 1 million rounds per minute. This one takes the cake. The logistics of this makes it so stupid.

    50 trillion dollars of debt. Ok.. Ok.. lets hear the one about how many times 50 trillion dollar bills placed end to end will go to the moon and back. Really now, how many people have a rational idea of how far the moon is in relation to the distance to the nearest town?

    Something so small the most powerful electron microscope can’t see it. You gotta be kidding me.

    A poison so deadly a single drop the size of a pin head would kill 20 million people. I wonder if this has ever been tested?

    A Radio broadcast coming from something 6 billion light years away! JHC!!! They can’t even help someone across town, much less 6 billion light years away!! That a number and distance so big it is ridiculously meaningless to the average earthling.

    A wall that weighs ten thousand times as much as the Milky Way.

    And now…
    60 million times faster than the blink of an eye? Where is the beginning and the end of rational comprehension?

    1. @Crab, The fact is that a blink of an eye occurs during 300 milliseconds of time on average (which is 60 million times that of 5 nanoseconds). I used this fact to simply emphasize the point at how fast this will happen…when it happens. It is a dramatic statement, but it is factually true.

      1. @ Ken

        I sure wish you would go back to using “If it happens” or “If/When it happens” you’re making the natives a little nervous.
        But facts are facts….. AND there are a LOT of people that refuse to see or believe the facts.


        1. …yes I should’ve used ‘if’, rather than ‘when’, because we certainly hope there will never be a ‘when’… although given today’s world, who knows…

      2. @Ken

        Thanks.. I understand the facts and also understand your point of emphasis. I’m really not questioning any of that. I just had this brain fart when I read it because, up front, it is not easily comprehensible by most people, including me. I mean… I can do the math and it adds up, but it is meaningless when you really think about it. The same holds true for all the other ridiculous statements I posted in my response, all of which are probably true to one degree or another. Just because something is absurdly incomprehensible doesn’t meant it’s not a fact.

        I often wonder if there is a simpler way to communicate emphasis of the gravity of something that can be easily understood by the average person since there is a point beyond which, the emphasis is lost, and it just becomes meaningless and is simply glossed over.

        Anyway, I truly understand the need to place emphasis on something as important as an EMP strike against the US, given the gravity of the aftermath. I did get a laugh out of the comment though and added it to my growing list of comments that are way outside the ability of most humans, including me, to grasp beyond my initial gasp of WTF? Sorry, I’m not trying to offend or make fun of anyone.

    2. It is condescending to think that people do not understand 60 million times faster then the blink of an eye.
      Many of the readers will have a much high IQ then you and have no problem with the abstracted and/or direct associations of concepts.

      Of course there will be more that do not. But no need to dumb it down.

  7. I finished reading Lights Out by David Crawford & 77 Days in September by Ray Gorham last week, and just finished Equipping Modern Patriots (EMP) by Jonathan Hollerman last night.

    We have gotten so used to instant gratification and within a blink of an eye it will be gone. I’ve come to the realization after reading these books, that fear & hunger will turn any common sense person to an unpredictable animal. I have begun to build additional Faraday cages & convince other family members to do the same. The items I intended in trying to saving will help me & family members make it thru what I feel will the worst time frame that the world has known or seen. I truly feel & believe the next war will be with EMP weapons.

    I came across a NASA web site that maintains a daily log of the asteroids activity and the possibility of Solar Flare threats. Within the last week, there was a huge sun spot that could have fit 2 planet Earths in it. It was only reported in the Media after the threat was gone. It was dubbed the Heart Shape sun spot.

    I no longer have a bug option at my home due to the size of the city I live in. I’m currently in the process of looking to purchase an old vehicle that will most like work in the event of EMP burst.

  8. How many of you have weapons and ammo in a gun safe with an electronic lock? I have talked to my safe company’s representative and they can’t tell me if it will be affected or not so I’m changing them to dial combinations. I will be pretty tough to break into your safe with out electric tools.

    1. Archer, they actually make a lock that is both electric and combination for gun safes. Not being able to access the much needed supplies I carry in there is a scary thought I no longer wanted to entertain..

      1. Roger Silver, I checked and they don’t make them for the safes I have. If they did that would be the perfect solution.

    2. So, you bought a gun safe with an electronic lock and no back up key? Yes they do make them just in case some destroys the electronic lock or dial lock.

  9. What about the wall furnace in my living room? It heats by radiant heat so no electricity required. There is a pilot light that starts by pushing a button (electronic?) but I leave the pilot light on all the time, summer and winter. I know my main furnace would be fried, but what about my wall furnace? Wyoming Gas says they would have enough pressure to continue supplying gas for two months if the power went out for good. Long enough for almost any emergency except an EMP.

    A plumber told me that he could rig my wall furnace to take propane instead of natural gas for about $140. The problem is that my house is landlocked — no alley access, so there is no way for a propane truck to get propane to my property. But the crazy guy next door does have alley access. He burned down his house last January and was put into a mental hospital.

    The insurance company will have to pay his mortgage (probably already has) and the bank told me the insurance company will eventually own the property. It has little value; under current building codes, not much could be put on that property. I am considering buying it. Then I would have his garage and I could put a propane tank on that property. A big propane tank could heat my house for a long time if TSHTF. I have a small house with R-50 insulation, double pane windows, and most of the windows have storm windows as well. But, there is no point if my wall furnace would be fried.

    I see Modern Survival Blog is up to #18 Top Prepper Site.

    1. @ DaisyK

      Your “wall” furnace probably has a “thermal couple” safety device that “could” fry, the pilot light flame can be lite by hand not using the electronic igniter.
      Keep a spare thermal couple, learn how to replace it (very easy) and you’re set to go.


      1. It’s not on her wall, it’s not how it works. It’s not how any of this works. Lol Did you see the commercial?

        1. @Simmon

          ROFL! That commercial cracks me up everytime.

          Adapt and Overcome

      2. Thanks NRP

        I need to call the plumber since I have roots in my sewer again, (happens every few years) so I will ask him to sell me a thermo couple and show me how it works.

        Question for you: Assuming I could buy that small piece of land next door and buy a propane tank, how big a tank would I need to heat my house for couple of years if I was frugal. Just enough so I would not freeze.

        This is growing zone 4. I normally keep the house at 65 and wear a sweatshirt over my clothes in winter. I could live with a somewhat lower temp. The main part of my house without the spare bedroom, porches, and basement, is only about 700 sq ft and there is R-50 insulation in the attic and some in the walls (don’t know how much). My wall furnace is 30,000 BTU. It says “Williams” on the front.

        Thanks. You have been so helpful to folks on this site!

        P.S. I have acquired a number of alternate heating sources, including a Buddy propane heater, a couple dozen 1 pound propane tanks, a one-burner propane stove, an alcohol furnace with a couple of cases of alcohol, a sterno stove with lots of sterno, 2 Kandle Heeters with 4 cases of liquid paraffin 50 hour candles, lots of candles, 2 hot water bottles, lots of instant heat packs, etc. so I could use the propane only as a supplement.

        1. @ DaisyK
          I’m going to respond to your question over on last weekends “Open Forum”, I know Ken goes slightly crazy when we/I get to far off subject…..

        2. Thank you NRP. I found your answer on the other forum and am printing it out for safekeeping! VERY detailed answer. Thanks!

        3. I left one for you as well Daisy K.just some extra info to ponder…

        4. I live in a 1500 sq foot house with good insulation, and have a 500 lb. propane tank. I would say to last a winter you would need it filled up to the top, to make it 2 years I would go with a 1000 lb. propane tank, that would probably last you 3 winters.

        5. Thank you FoodForThought

          My house is half the size of yours. I would probably use the propane very sparingly, because once it was gone, there might not be any more. If things were very bad, I would have to block off all but a small space and just heat that.

          I wonder if my Little Buddy propane heater would still work after an EMP?

        6. It depends where you live (how cold the winters are), and the # of LP appliances.

          For instance, I live in a cold winter weather climate, use a propane furnace/boiler which heats hot-water radiators around the house (slightly less than 2000 sq.’ and well insulated). The furnace also heats our household hot water (tank). We have an LP stove/oven. We have an LP clothes dryer (although we don’t use it all that often). I have a 1000 gallon tank and we consume about 800 gallons per year. Of course during SHTF the thermostats would go lower to conserve fuel ;)

          So the biggest factor is your climate with regards to how long your propane will last…

        7. Thanks Ken,

          I don’t have ANY propane appliances that would hook up to my big propane tank (if I can acquire one). It would just be for heat. I have 1 pound propane tanks for my Little Buddy Heater and my one-burner stove. It does get cold here; I wish I could afford to move.

        8. Reminder for propane tanks, they will be filled by the supplier to only 80% of capacity due to legal constraints, (e.g. 1000 lb tank will be filled to 800 lb max) another option is to buy a in the ground tank that you own that allows you to pick your supplier in order to get the lowest price and in some states the supplier will fill an underground to full limits.

        9. @ icecathook
          Actually if you purchase and/or can show ownership you can have any Propane Supplier fill it, not like a Rented or leased tank.
          The 80% regulation has to do with expansion of the gas if the tank is filled cold and it sits in a warm location aka Sun, the fuel will expand some. If 100% full, the expansion COULD/WILL rupture the tank.

  10. Remember people, the CIA said it would be a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’!!! It maybe a false flag event but…..

  11. Many tests have shown that the majority of vehicles are immune to emp s but just in case I keep a old beater setting here, I think most of rural America would be just fine but in the cities it would become a total disaster, with all the people on the gov dole, relying on somebody to feed them and supply their daily needs. Just think, when Katrina hit or Sandy help was slow getting there, how about when every city over 20 k needs help, it ain’t going to happen.

  12. For me, there are two reasons why I don’t worry about an EMP.

    The first is that to actually set off an EMP in a way that would actually cause any widespread damage, is very, very difficult. You need a successful high altitude detonation. Even many developed countries have a hard time doing that, let alone a terrorist group. If a terrorist group was to acquire a nuclear weapon, something they have not managed to do despite decades of trying, the most likely use is for them to detonate it in a middle of a large city.

    The likelihood of a successful undetected launch on US soil and high altitude detonation, is too much of a risk to take for a terrorist group, considering they have a hard time getting a shoe bomb through airport security. All that for an uncertain result. A detonation in the middle of NYC, or LA, guarantees massive amount of death, and renders the area unusable for decades if not centuries, with much less effort and much greater certainty.

    If someone manages to successfully detonate a high altitude EMP over US soil, it is most likely going to be a nation which has sophisticated ballistic missile capability, in which case, the EMP will be part of an all out nuclear attack (for some reason or other). The fact that my TV is not working is the least of my concerns when there are MRV warheads raining down.

    The second reason is that truthfully, we have no idea what the impact of an EMP will actually be. There has been very limited testing, and the results have been very mixed. Tests on cars have resulted in most of the cars continuing to work fine. The Starfish Prime experiments resulted in about 3% of light bulbs blowing out. From the little that we know of the Soviet Project K tests, it seems an EMP will blow out power line fuses (at least the 1960s versions). As far as I know, current cell phones have EMP shielding, for purposes of preventing interference from other phones.

    I say all this not because I don’t think an EMP will be damaging, but because we simply don’t know exactly what the impact will be. Any list showing exactly what will happen after an EMP is just guess work.

    1. @ Rose
      Sure hope your right.
      Thank goodness Ken has a very open view of people’s comments, which I agree with.
      I may disagree with that you say, and disagree with the chances of an EMP, but you certainly are more than welcome here with your thinking.
      Only one honest question if you will, do you believe that NK or Iran, among others, would not EMP the States or give the terrorist the ability, and they do have the technology BTW. A simple SCUD missile launched from a ship in the Gulf near Texas would do it.

    2. Ross, although I also think a nuclear emp is a long shot, a blast from the sun isn’t. What I think people should do their own research which is quite easy. The north pole receives a lot of coronal mass ejections, we see the northern lights from it, it temporarily knocks out some electronic components but usually doesn’t destroy them, but these are not real major events, what will happen should the big one happen I believe is guess work.

    3. Rose, like you, I don’t worry so much about an EMP.

      I agree with Ted Koppel that it is far more likely that our grid will be hacked. While this means our cars and electronics will still work, we won’t have any electricity to run the gas pumps or power anything that is not on solar or other alternative power.

      In same ways I find this scenario even scarier than an EMP, because millions of unprepared people will be able to get much farther out of the cities before they run out of gas. If an EMP happened, and really knocked out all electronics, they would only be able to get as far as they could walk or bike, which for most Americans, isn’t very far.

      1. There are a few stations across the US that are not hooked to the electric grid. Unless those few stations were taken out physically, the grid (as a whole) would be up relatively quickly but at a much reduced capacity.

    4. @Ross, I concur about your findings as I have read similar studies about EMPs. Most likely any nuke would be placed directly towards an important city for most damage being easier, not several placed above the whole country not knowing what damage could be done. But understand whom ever delivers the first blow to us could be wiped out, our nuclear subs, and military/navy/air force based overseas unscathed and our protected underground missiles could take final action against our enemies. It’s the hacking of our grid I am inclined to think is more of a problem.

      No matter the cause of any event that takes out our grid, it’s not the loss of electric power I worry about most, it’s a desperate population that will become our worst enemy.

  13. @Crabbenebulea,
    You are correct in your assessment of what the 5 n-seconds means or should I say does not mean. In that graph, the 5 n-seconds is only the rise time from 0 volts/ meter to peak volts/meter. This has nothing to do with how quickly (or slowly) something will be rendered not functional(burnt out so to speak).

    Everything will have a different starting voltage/meter level at which damage will begin and everything will have a different duration time required for the EMP to have done its damage. Microelectronic circuits will be destroyed almost instantly (computers/tv) while things like your house wiring could take perhaps several seconds or perhaps not damaged at all. I point this out not to be controversial but to lower the fear level by putting things in true perspective. However, at the end of the day an EMP would change life as we know it for sure.
    Good day to all.

  14. What is the best way to protect solar panels?

    How can one protect electronic devices in bulk? Under 1 foot of concrete? Mixed concrete and copper mesh?

    Any ideas of how to make a room Faraday cage?

    1. @ hobbyshop
      “What is the best way to protect solar panels? “
      Probably the only sure way is to have the system stored in a Faraday Cage. Anything less than that, it’s a crap-shoot as far as being protected.

      “How can one protect electronic devices in bulk? Under 1 foot of concrete? Mixed concrete and copper mesh? “
      Concrete “may” work; except they would probably be inaccessible under a foot of concrete, additionally the “concrete will not give the proper protection from an EMP. The copper mesh or most any metal mesh of proper size, would work best, although it must again be made into a Faraday Cage.

      “Any ideas of how to make a room Faraday cage?”
      There are a few articles here on Faraday Cages. But any metal insulated box that’s completely sealed with metal should work as a Faraday Cage.

      1. How about one of those big shipping containers. All metal, double swinging doors, lined with plywood and lockable. Park it in the yard and fill it up. They’re not that expensive used.

        1. @NNW, a problem is that the floors of a shipping container are wood (I have one). Also they have big old rubber gaskets on the doors (which breaks the electrical conductivity seal of the doors).

          In a previous article about EMP and Faraday cages, I believe that NRP said that he actually welded steel plates on top of the wood floor of his shipping container! I’m not sure how he handled the situation with the rubber gaskets on the doors…

  15. I have a question , I hope someone can answer.

    If you have a fridge in your garage and it is unplugged, Will an emp still fry it ?
    I figured as long as it was not plugged in, you were safe????

    1. Over the years I have encountered countless questions similar to this one (a good one). It’s complicated and there are lots of “what if’s” (the EMP source, your Geo-location with respect to it, its strength-yield, etc..) and unknowns (this has never happened before and is largely theoretical).

      Will an EMP fry your fridge? Maybe, if there are electronic components in it – especially the new models. If the fridge is actually encased in ‘real’ metal all the way around, that helps for sure – however there is the fridge door seal gasket which may present a ‘way in’.

      Lets hope we never have to find out…

  16. Have been thinking recently about emp. Would a cloudy or rainy day give any protection? Would a big chemtrail day give any protection? If I were a hostile nation, I would follow up with a second emp a couple of weeks later, after people pull out their protected electronics. A CME could last hours or even days depending on the size of the flair. Not pleasant to think about happening, I fear it will happen.

  17. While only current communications equipment of the military and the Nuclear Weapons system of the United states are EMP hardened…We have between 5 and 7 thousand Nukes Ready to go….Wanna invade us?

    1152 deliverable by ICBM warhead…Already fueled…Generators with fuel for backup launch…EMP Proof underground.

    Would you like Play a Game?

    I’m a Ham and there is a LOT of us that are EMP hardened….Had a big writeup a few years back in QST Magazine.

    Shielding/grounding and making sure our radios stay off the big antenna’s called power lines and even our own antenna’s when not in use and keeping a couple of new radio’s in shielded containers…its easy! Batteries are EMP Proof….Solar panels in storage are EMP proof…I have my regular radios and 4 backups that are shielded.

    I’m just an Old Nuclear Biological and Chemical Warfare NCO…

  18. Ken, I have a question. The waves of a emp do they travel in a straight line or do they bend around corners. A vhf radio if you are behind a mountain won’t hit the repeater, the reason I ask is I have a all aluminum totally enclosed horse trailer that is my Faraday cage but some wood in the floor. Does anybody really know since we’ve never experienced one yet.

    1. JD from what I have researched you would need the floor of the horse trailer covered in metal to protect the inside from the magnetic pulse. Then inside the trailer the items would need to be covered in cardboard or line the inside of the trailer with something so that no metal is showing.

    2. @JD, Apparently it’s not as straight-forward as line-of-sight from it’s point source. There is interaction with the atmosphere itself which complicates matters. There is an ionization process in the mid-stratosphere causing this region to become an electrical conductor (not just the point-source of the EMP). So you might say that the entire sky becomes ‘charged’…

  19. As Long John Silver said in ‘Treasure Island’,
    “Them’s that dies will be the lucky ones!”

  20. Another thing to consider is the risk of fire. If a CME hit today like the CME that hit in the 1800’s we could be facing massive fires. The CME that hit was so strong that in some cases fires started on the telegraph poles. Can you imagine with all the electrical wiring and electronics around today what would happen. That reminds me, I need to check the fire extinguishers.

  21. Ken, you forgot some things: the Ivac pumps that hositals/people use for I.V.s, c-pap machines people use for sleep apnea, and the new heart pacemakers all use electronics.

    1. blackjack22
      Have a friend from another site, she has a pacemaker. When she had her first appt with the doctor after being release from the hospital, her question to him was…”Is this EMP proof??” Apparently hers unit is protected against power surges, who knew.
      Yet, it seems not all of the pacemakers have this updated system. The patients have to check with their doctors, I do not know the brand she was given.

  22. When I purchasd the house, one of the first things I did was think… *ok, if the electric goes out in the winter… what do I need to survive for two weeks*

    So, 23k Kerosene heater and fuel.
    The list goes on.
    I have natural gas, so, using the top of the stove will work, but, baking will not. (Electronic Stoves ugh).
    I purchased a little camping toaster.
    The flat metal one with braces to hold the toast. It makes toast… Its a keeper!
    I have tried to find everything useful that is non-electric.
    I don’t see natural gas as a problem – however pump stations for said fuel does need electric in some spots.
    Funny, you think they would incorporate NG to run ALL their stations. haha…
    If anyone can afford to get a 100 pound propane tank, I would recommend it, and, if you run NG – get the fittings to run propane, and put them with your preps, and maybe the instructions along with it…
    Multiple alternate fuels will be of great help.
    Kerosene stores for a LONG time.
    Propane never goes bad.

    Don’t forget to stock up on paper plates and such. They burn.
    If you don’t know were to start for “non electric” items, take a look at the past.
    Watch some tv shows that are based during the Civil War…

    pay attention to all the details, and see if you can find something useful for a lights out situation.

    Cutting back on power consumption will get you a buck or two extra to put towards preps.

    What IS cable tv anyway? — A giant commercial. A way to sell you more stuff that you don’t really need. Its a marketing racket.
    I haven’t had cable tv for six years. I don’t miss the commercials. I don’t miss the tv at all.


    1. @ A Patriot

      The really strict old order Amish/Mennonites wouldn’t be affected. I live in an area that has a lot of Amish/Mennonites. Many of them have solar panels for powering various devices. I see them at their farmers markets with portable radios. This particular group will feel some discomfort when an EMP hits.

      FWIW, a few months ago I was in a grocery store and a young Mennonite woman came up beside me to check out the scented candles. I had been pricing plain candles for emergency use. She started chatting with me about why she was buying candles. Turns out she and her husband were in the area because her husband was helping build a dairy barn. When I left the store I saw her walk up to an F-350 that was parked in front of my car, and drove away. She had been dressed like all of the other women of their faith and it was a huge shock to see this woman drive off. So it seems that each group seems to decide what is and isn’t acceptable for them to do/have.


  23. For my two-cents worth…..

    The chart needs to be understood. The vertical axis, for the peak rise-time is over 5 x 10 ^4, which is 50,000 volts. And that’s 50,000 volts per Meter. Two Meters of wire would develop 100KV, etc. You have how much wired tied to and in your house? You have a 6 ft (about two meters) of power cord on most electrical devices. In other words there won’t be a huge number of things, electrical things, that can/will survive a 100,000 volt pulse. That’s just the voltage developed in the power cord. Add the house wiring to the total. If/when there is an EMP generated over this country you can get your crayolas out and color your electronic toys gone. And, the electrical charge that is developed via an EMP doesn’t go in one direction. It will traverse the wire in both directions. Not only too your stuff but back to the power source also.

    A suggestion for protecting your solar panels. Shielded wire. And ground it….on one end. Not both. Grounding both ends of the shield will create a tank circuit and the resulting developed charged will ‘ring’….i.e. bounce from one end to the other for quite a while. Each time the charge ‘bounces’ it will induce a charge into the wires inside the cable. And everything connected to this cable has the possibility of getting ‘fried’. What then? Cover your solar panels with metal, preferably copper, screen. If you can find the ‘old style’ window screen, which has 1/8 inch spread on the wires you will loose only 2.2% of the power you normally get from the panels. Wrap about a foot of the power cables from he panels around a ‘sorry’ piece of steel. As in rebar. “Sorry” meaning low quality. You want it to be very lossy, electrically. You can put MOV devices across the lines, and each line to ground, but be advised that most MOV devices do not ‘act’ very quickly. Ferrite toroids will help.

    Connect the screen to the panel frame and connect the frames together. I would ground things AT the panels. Not in the house. Be cautious though. Most solar panel frames are aluminum. Most wire connectors are now cadmium plated. A lot of people, to get the best ‘life’ out of their efforts, will use stainless hardware for all this. Wrong! Aluminum layered with cadmium and physically held together with stainless steel…..a perfect dissimilar metal oxidation generator. If you have to use stainless hardware, use copper or brass washers. Cover with silicone caulking to protect it. Copper and brass have a lot of ‘free’ electrons and won’t cause oxidation as the other metals try to steal them.

    WarVet…..I agree. A VERY small percentage of the military is EMP protected. Why? The answer: $$$ Plus, why move the military? Aren’t they where they’re supposed to be anyway? Now, getting them back here from all the strange places they’ve been sent could be a problem.

    Ken…..I wouldn’t worry a lot about the bottom of the conex. The ‘shadow’ effect created by the box itself should limit access from the bottom. IMHO If the box were elevated, that would be different.

    Then, how about the two ‘satellites’ that North Korea put into orbit. A polar orbit. And neither seem to be doing anything. If they were ‘generic’ nuclear devices and detonated over Kansas City……even at orbital altitudes the affect would be quite devastating.


  24. Everyone, since this is about emp’s I found a site/vendor which might be of interest.
    Its faraday defense dot com. I know I will be getting some stuff from them.

  25. I purchased a large old aluminum turkey roaster at a thrift store to use as a faraday cage for small electronic devices. Can’t quite fit the laptop in it, but have thumb drives with photos and important papers copied. Phones and tablets fit no problem, and it is a handy but unassuming location for my loaded handgun in my kitchen.

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