So we watched American Blackout, North Korea is working on EMP weapons with technology from Russia, and the sun is acting up. It’s a great day in the neighborhood! One of our dedicated readers asked a simple question; “Will my tactical flashlight work after an EMP attack?”. This made me think that we talk about the doom and gloom all day, but why don’t we change gears and discuss how to be ready for something like this? Are you game? If so, lets roll!
The experts truly don’t know the full extent of what a cyber attack, EMP attack, or even what a solar storm can do. I am not referring to the effects on the grid itself, I’m referring to the effects on society. We have had a glimpse of societal and government breakdown with the movie American Blackout and the book One Second After, but does this truly tell us what’s going to happen? Will the people who you thought were true friends remain that way, or will they turn on you? Are all of your current preps going to stand up to the test? Did you practice your skills in the preceding months prior to “lights out”? There are just so many questions and not enough answers.
What we will do is take a common sense approach to this situation. Let’s make a list of items you will need to have for a lights out scenario. But before the list, let’s have a heart to heart about this. If electrical and electronics were to fail, these are the last items you will want to depend on. Unless you build a Faraday cage and know it is going to work, electronics are pretty worthless for the most part. Items like HAM radios, two-way radios, etc., will be great assets if they work. So you may want to try and protect these items as best you can.
As for vehicles, this is where things get tricky. They say vehicles that were produced prior to the 1970′s should be good to go since they don’t heavily depend on electronics to operate. While they do still have points and fuses, they shouldn’t be affected by the event much. I’m sure you won’t get to listen to your favorite radio station, but it doesn’t matter because they most likely won’t be transmitting anyhow. But seriously, give some thought to having an older vehicle which would survive this, as it may get you and yours out of harms way.
Here is a list that you can use as a guide to preparing for an event like this (source: Ultimate Preparedness):
Necessities and Consumables
-food supply for a year (including food for any livestock or house animals)
-water supply for three months, one gallon per person per day, for washing and cooking as well as drinking
-gasoline for all vehicles that would still work and for the gas powered electrical generator
-large quantities of iodized salt
-large quantities of chlorine tablets and bleach for purifying water
-batteries for any electronics that may still work
-a year supply of bar soap and shampoo (if you are dirty for too long you can catch/spread disease)
-a tooth brush and as much toothpaste as you can get
-an ax with a strong handle (not wooden)
-a hammer and nails
-lumber for various repairs and home defense needs (trees will also work, sorry tree huggers)
-multiple cheap flashlights
-one good flashlight (such as a Mag-lite or Mag-LED)
-if possible, an old radio that uses vacuum tubes and batteries
-gas/dynamo powered electrical generators (do NOT leave these plugged in)
-small handgun (preferred .45 caliber)
-shotgun (12 or 20 gauge)
-bolt action or semi-automatic rifle with a scope (preferred .223 for semi-auto or 30-06 for bolt action)
-as much ammunition for each weapon as you can get
-a knife with a 6-8 inch blade with a belt sheath
-a bow or crossbow with reusable arrows or bolts
-if you can afford it, an All terrain vehicle that seats four people and has room for storage, like a small truck bed in the back
-a pretty good amount of cash, not only for the initial start of an E.M.P. attack, but also in case the currency does survive
-Little Debbie and Hostess sweets, more specifically, the Twinkie (don’t forget, they still have an expiration date, it’s just considerably longer than most food products). Only obtain if you have enough toothpaste.
-energy drinks, there will be some points where the carbohydrates and other forms of energy could save your life. they tend to dehydrate you so only obtain if you have enough water.
Medical Equipment and Medicine
-sterile gauze pads (4×4)
-antiseptic spray and Neosporin
-a large amount of antibiotics
-an even larger amount of ibuprofen and aspirin
-band-aids, small and large
-sterile rubber gloves
-ankle, elbow, and knee braces
-over-the-counter flu medicine
-any kind of cream or ointment for burns
Please feel free to add anything you may feel is warranted. This can be an active list and as long as it is a guideline for some to use, it may prove to be very handy if and when the time comes.