How to know when an EMP blast occurs, and how to survive in the dark world that follows

When you stop and think about it, nearly everything that we do on any given day requires electricity. We use it to cook our food. We use it to operate our automobiles and get from point A to point B. We use it for entertainment purposes, such as watching television or playing video games. Even things like books can now be powered by electricity, as is the case with devices like the Amazon Kindle and the Nook.

What would happen if one day, all of this electricity that we have become so accustomed to was shut off? How would we survive if, for example, the U.S. was hit by an EMP blast and the entire power grid went down in just a matter of seconds? As terrifying it is to think about, this really could happen one day. That is why it’s important to know where to find alternative power sources in the event that you are one day forced to live off the grid.

In the event that the U.S. gets struck by an Electromagnetic Pulse, virtually every electronic device within several hundred miles of the blast site would be fried. (Related: If you’re not using optical storage, all your data might be lost after an EMP attack.)

However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t still ways you can find sources of electricity. Car batteries, for example, will most likely still be able to provide you with enough electricity to power your house, so long as you have a converter handy. Household batteries will also become very important after an EMP strike, and chances are you have more of them laying around your house than you think. Be sure to check in old toys, pantries, video game controllers, and really any other electrical device that can’t be plugged into the wall.

Chances are that in the days and weeks following an EMP attack, you will be so caught up in the chaos and confusion that you won’t even think about devices like your cell phone, tablet or laptop. These devices can be used as an alternative power source, so long as you have the proper tools necessary to harvest their batteries.

All of this information is crucial to anyone that is serious about prepping for life after the collapse of society. Indeed, the threat of an EMP strike is not something that should be taken lightly. But prepping and knowing what to do after the electrical grid goes down is only half of the battle; in order to fully understand the sheer damage an EMP attack could do to a functioning society like the U.S., it helps to know why the lights will be out to begin with.

Immediately following an EMP strike, there will be a sudden, highly powerful burst of energy that will create a radiated field capable of effecting everything from electrical lines to telecommunication lines, and really just about anything that relies on integrated circuits. This is exactly the reason why the threat of an EMP strike is such a serious threat to the U.S. — we are a country that relies heavily on electronic devices, and should these devices be rendered dysfunctional, businesses, the financial district, and eventually all of society, would come crashing down.

Even though some may think the scenario described above sounds more like something out of a science fiction movie than something based in reality, the truth is that an EMP strike could happen, and will happen if our enemies continue to become empowered.

In March of 2015, The Washington Examiner published a story explaining how American officials have confirmed that the Iranians have endorsed an EMP strike against the U.S. According to the article, the issue of a nuclear EMP attack was raised by U.S. authority Peter Vincent in a column for Arutz Sheva, a well known Israeli media network. “Iranian military documents describe such a scenario — including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States,” Vincent wrote.

Realistically, the threat of an EMP attack exists not just from Iran, but from many other enemies of the U.S., including Russia and North Korea. If it does happen one day, Americans are going to be faced with two options — either adapt to society without electricity or die. Living off the grid can be extremely challenging, but if you know where to look for alternative power sources, then your chances of survival will only increase.

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