How Should The Average Person or Company Prepare?
So how do Americans prepare for a potential EMP attack? Because the event would render electrical and communication systems inoperable, preparedness should include supplies that will allow survival without the usual comforts of home such as electricity and running water.
Remember the Y2K hysteria of a decade ago? Perhaps it’s time to dust off similar plans but this time for a more eminent threat. Y2K proposed a scenario that predicted the demise of the electrical grid, as we know it, just like an EMP attack would. Therefore, it is logical to assume that EMP preparation includes putting together a typical disaster kit with food, water, medications, fuel, and personal items. While the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends a disaster kit able to sustain a family for two weeks, if expert predictions are correct, recovery from an EMP attack could take months or even years.
A basic disaster kit should include items like the following, but remember, the prospect of months or years without basic electrical, water, and health services adds a whole other dimension to these precautions:
- Water. Store one gallon per day per person. A non-electrical water filter capable of safely filtering river or lake water also could be used.
- Food. Canned foods, dry mixes, and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, or waterand include a hand can opener.
- Portable, battery-powered radio or television. Batteries would not be affected by an EMP attack, but if the radio were solid state, it presumably would be. Find a tube or portable hand-crank AM FM NOAA Radio that uses two internal AA rechargeable batteries that recharge after hand-cranking 1 minute for 15 to 20 minutes of use and comes with an emergency light built into it. Or, store a radio or other sensitive electronics in a Faraday Cage.
- Flashlight and extra batteries. Also note that many bulbs such as compact fluorescent would not work anymore as they have solid state components. Old-fashioned incandescent lights, however, should still be OK, assuming of course there is power available. Several years ago, my wife and I changed all the light bulbs in our home and office to compact fluorescent bulbs. We kept all the old bulbs for exactly this kind of contingency, whether it’s EMP or a large power surge.
- First aid kit. Obviously.
- Sanitation and hygiene items. Envision a year or two without toilet paper, for example.
- Matches and candles.
- Extra clothing, especially if you reside in a cold climate. Extra clothing and blankets could be useful, especially for those whose heat is dependent on electricity or other fuel delivered by local utilities. No oil deliveries and natural gas delivery is also governed in part by solid state components.
- Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils. This is very important, especially those that can be used with a gas grill or Coleman stove.
- Cash and gold.
- Prescriptions. This includes medications, eyeglasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
- Items for infants. This includes items such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
- Other items to meet your unique family needs.