My thoughts about an EMP attack.

I have read several articles about a possible EMP attacks and what would happen in the aftermath.

First I will explain what an EMP is for those that do not know.  An EMP stands for Electro Magnetic Pulse.  The easiest way I can explain how this work is to think about a stone dropped into still water, the stone creates ripples that move away from the point that the stone was dropped.  The stone represents a device that creates the EMP, and the ripples are the EMP wave that travels through the air.

Ripples in Water ca. 2000
Ripples in Water ca. 2000

When this ripple of magnetic energy crosses a metal object it induces an electrical charge, otherwise known as voltage. If the electrical charge that is induced is strong enough and crosses electrical devices it may damage electrical devices. What happens is the components inside electronics like your car, cell phone, or computers are designed to work with very low electrical voltage. And EMP wave could induce voltages that are much more than the electronics can handle and it destroys them. In devices with a memory, such as hard drives and SD cards, the data could be erased.  For people that have implanted devises like pace makers or internal hearing aids this induced voltage can hurt or even kill a person.

To protect electrical devices against and EMP wave they need to be inside a Faraday cage.  A Faraday cage is a surrounding of metal that is connected to an electrically grounded source.  The Faraday cage gives a path for the EMP wave to travel through to a ground source, or at least around an item, and not damage the electronics inside the cage.  In the photo below you can see people inside the cage, they are safe from the bolts of voltage that is coming from the Tesla coil on the left side of the photo. The bolts of voltage in the photo are very similar to and EMP wave.  The voltage travels through the cage to a ground source and does not hurt the people in the cage.

faraday cage

One day at work I realized that the building I was in was covered in sheet metal siding.  That siding is screwed to the frame of the building. The frame of the building is connected to ground rods.  Technically this makes the entire building a Faraday cage.  In the winter season when all the doors are closed it should be a good cage, the doors are covered in aluminum sheeting, and connected to the rollers, that are connected to a metal track, that is connected to the building. So this makes the entire building a closed cage.  In the summer months all the doors are open, leaving large holes in the cage. These holes would allow the wave from an EMP to enter the building and affect electrical devices.

Where would an EMP come from?  Most people believe that it will come from a missile from another country.  Personally I believe that this attempt to EMP us will not work.  NORAD watches the skies over our country and a long way from our shores.  NORAD would be able to see the missile coming and shoot it down before it could reach its target.  Our enemies know we are watching them and how hard it would be to get a missile through.

EMP bomb

The James Bond movie Goldeneye is about a space based EMP weapon. The plot of the movie is to hack into bank systems and transfer all the money to other bank accounts, then EMP the area to erase the money transfers and where they went.  There would still be a record in the other banks of where the money came from, but it was a movie and that little fact did not matter.  I don’t know if any country has a space based weapon like that, but I am sure that there are several countries that are trying to develop one.

I believe that it is more likely that a smaller EMP device would be used that can be transported easily on the ground in a common vehicle.  It would be harder to detect this kind of attack, and easy to move it into a target area. From my limited knowledge of these kinds of weapons there are no working weapons like this, not yet.

So how bad would it be after and EMP attack? This has been the subject of many debates by so called experts.  Some say only electronics that are on when hit with an EMP will be damaged.  Some say all electronics that are not shielded by a Faraday cage will be damaged.  Some say all electronics that are not electrically grounded will be damaged.  This all depends on how strong the EMP wave is that hits the electronics.  And there are others that say nothing will happen to electronics.  It seems that no one really knows what will be affected and how badly they will be affected.

In a worst case scenario all electronics will be destroyed in the direct area, and less affected the farther from where the EMP wave originated.

emp map

This would mean no electrical power because power plant electronics would be damaged and the plant would stop working.  With no power plants running everything else will stop working, that is if they were not already damaged from the EMP wave.  How long it would take to repair all this damage all depends how long it would take to get new parts to replace all the damaged ones.  That may take years to get some components because of the time it takes to make them, and some parts are made by a very small amount of manufactures.

I have a few suggestions to prepare for an EMP attack.

One, build a Faraday cage big enough to store all the electrical devises you need, including parts for your own electrical power system like solar panels, charge controllers,  and batteries.

Two, prep as much as you can and have tools around to help you survive that are not electrical powered but human powered. You also need to be prepared to defend what you have as you are staying were you are.

Three, move out of the affected area if you can.  This is what most people will do if there is someplace to go that was not affected.

My thoughts about an EMP attack, if an EMP attack ever does happen, it will not be good. Even a small one can create major problems that result in many people dying.  An EMP attack is low on my list of possible attacks that could happen, but it could happen so it is best to be prepared in some form for an EMP attack. I dont think a large country wide attack will happen, but smaller directed attacks.  I believe that cyber terrorism, sabotage to our infrastructures, or a pandemic are much more likely things to happen.

To create and EMP attack like a missile strike would take a lot of money and people to build and deploy a weapon of that kind.  This would mean it is a foreign government that has those kind of resources.  As I said above NORAD is always watching our skies, and I do believe that they would be able to stop a missile attack.

Personally I am not very worried about and EMP attack. I know there are some out there that are wrapping there home with tin foil to protect against it, but I dont think its time for that.  In the future I do believe that there is a much greater threat of an EMP attack when the technology advances to the point that it can fit in a small truck and be transported close to a major target.

As with everything in life it is up to each person what they believe and how much they prepare for possible future events. As for an EMP, I am not prepping for it very much.

I would like to thank all my followers of this page.  If you have not already, please sign up for email  subscription to this blog so you will be notified when there is a new article.  To subscribe enter your email in the box provided in the upper right hand corner.  Be sure to tell your friends about this page also.

When The Fault Breaks

when the fault breaks

This book is no longer available for free on this site.  It is now available on Kindle at the link below.

Amazon Kindle Edition

         I am happy to be posting a book, as a PDF file, that a friend of mine has written.  The photo above is of my friend overlooking the Gilky Trench in Alaska.

This is the first of what I hope is many writings my friend post to this site.  Below is the introduction of the book.



This pseudo-science fiction story is a blend of known geologic processes, and predictable behavior by a population in the aftermath of a massive unpredicted catastrophic mega-geologic occurrence. It is based on known societal behavior from past
epoch incidents in modern times, and how humanity reacted to those events. The geologic phenomenons depicted have been kept as accurate as possible though some minor writer’s liberty has been taken.

[download id=”2237″]

My Favorite Time Of Year!

This is my favorite time of the year when it comes to prepping because of all the sales that are going on. starts there sales the week of thanksgiving, especially on black Friday, and run till the end of the year.  Walmart also brings out all there deals in store and online.

This is a great time to stock up on items that you need for your B.O.B. or fill up your shelving with supplies at a great savings.  There are many things that i stock up on now and make last until this time again the next year.

Just be careful, check your prices.  You dont need to get everything on Black Friday, many times closer to Christmas there are the same or better sales and you dont have the hassle of dealing with the Black Friday crowd.

Also be sure to check the quality of the things that are on sale.  Be sure that there not a lesser model of the item that you really want.

Have fun and go crazy stocking up and saving money!!

I would like to thank all my followers of this page.  If you have not already, please sign up for email  subscription to this blog so you will be notified when there is a new article.  To subscribe enter your email in the box provided in the upper right hand corner.  Be sure to tell your friends about this page also.

What is a Bug Out Bag?

What is a Bug Out Bag?


You may have heard of a Bug Out Bag, or seen some one use the acronym B.O.B., but did not know what that was.  Bug out bags have a few other names also;  Go Bags, Get Home Bag,  48 or 72 or 96 hour bag, GOOD Bag (Get Out Of Dodge bag), PERK Bag (Personal Emergency Relocation Kit bag), On The Move Bag, or INCH Bag (I’m Never Coming Home bag).  There are more names than that, but you get the idea.


The Why?

The whole idea of a B.O.B. is nothing more than a collection of items that can be used to get you from one place to another during a bad situation easier that is already packed and ready for use.  You may be wondering why you would be in a bad situation.  Most people think of manmade reasons like a foreign invasion, martial law, economic or political collapse, terror event, EMP attach,  ect and ect.  Natural events are also a time that a B.O.B. will be helpful; floods, fire, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, ect and ect.

A B.O.B. is only useful if you can get to it.  It should be stored in an easily accessible place in your home or vehicle. If an even happens that makes you need the supplies, you don’t want a struggle to get your B.O.B. and get away from the situation.  It should only take seconds to grab your B.O.B. and be able to move on foot, or in a vehicle.  A recommended place in your home to store your B.O.B. would be next to a main door, in a vehicle it is any place that you can easily access.

In the event of a blizzard you may not be using a B.O.B. to get away because it would be safer to stay in your home than out in the blizzard conditions.  You can use the items in your B.O.B. to keep you alive until help can get you out of your snow bound home.

In the event of a fire DO NOT go back into the building to get your B.O.B.. If it survived the fire then use it, if it was destroyed you can get another one.

If your B.O.B. was destroyed by something like a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake you might find parts of it laying around that you can pick up.  The idea is to get your B.O.B. and get away before the tornado or hurricane destroys the building.

There are endless reasons as to why you should have a B.O.B., a B.O.B. is a backup plan.  You have to think of a B.O.B. like insurance, it will cost money to buy, or make, but you hope you never need to use it.

What is in a B.O.B.?

This is the topic of 1000’s of articles, and many websites are devoted to just this one topic.  This is the hardest part of a B.O.B..  This is because there are so many variables.  Where are you located? Where do you plan to go if you bug out? How much weight can you carry? What are your skills with the items in your B.O.B.?  What do you know you need in one?  How do you know if you are missing items?  Where do I get items for my B.O.B.?

With so many variables you may be wondering “where do I start?”  Where you start is up to you, but my suggestion is to start with research.  Starting reading books and articles from professional survivalist, I would favor those that have had military survival training.  I am not a trained survivalist; I am more of a weekend camper.  There are so many things that I do not know and I will not pretend that I do.  The information that I state is what I have collected over years of research, things are always changing and new tools and techniques are always in development.  There are an endless list of items that you can have in your B.O.B., one thing to be aware of is over packing your B.O.B..  If you have to many items in your B.O.B. it will weigh you down and may be more of a hindrance than a help.

Each of the following categories has several options of items that could be in your B.O.B., it will be up to you what you have in your B.O.B. from each category.  The categories are not in an order of importance, they are each equally important.

There are 6 main categories that you will find in most survival materials. It is not necessary to have every item possible in each category, but you should have plans for what you are going to do about your needs in each category.

Water           emergency water

It is recommended to carry some emergency water packets or bottles, but not too much because water is heavy.  It is up to you how much is enough.  You should also have a way to purify water.  This can be with tablets you add to questionable water, filters such as LifeStraw, or a container to boil in.  Be sure to know the expiration dates on all your items.  Water will become “stale” after long term storage, and some active ingredients in water purification filters and tablets will break down and lose their effectiveness.

Food    emergency food

It is recommended to have some emergency  food in your B.O.B., but again it is up to you how much to have because food can be heavy and everyone’s taste are different.  There are prepackaged emergency food bars, or you can pack what you want as long as you eat it before it becomes bad.  My personal recommendation is to replace your emergency food every 6 months.  When I replace mine I eat what I took out, this way I know if I like what I am storing for an emergency.

Fire        zippo lighter

This may seem like an easy category right, just put some lighters in.  Yes, you should have at least 1 lighter in your B.O.B. but you should not depend on only that 1 lighter.  You should also have other ways of starting a fire, and maybe also some tinder to help you get the fire going in case there is none around or everything is wet.  Personally I don’t have just a lighter in my B.O.B.; I have a Zippo lighter that is not filled because the fluid will dry out over time, a sealed can of Zippo fluid that can fill the lighter several times, extra Zippo flints, and extra Zippo wicks.  Fire can be the difference between life and death, so I am doing my best to have the most reliable source of fire by using what I believe is the best brand of lighter and replacement parts.  Along with a lighter I also have Wetfire fire starters, magnifying glass, magnesium bar sparker, and a few cheap Bic lighters.  Its up to you how many items to have in your B.O.B., just be sure you know how to use them.

Shelter        emergency tent

The easy answer for this category is to have a tent, but tents can be bulky and heavy.  Before you buy anything for a shelter do your research as to what kind of shelter you can make and use.  There are other things that can be used as a temporary shelter such as a simple tarp.  A tarp is cheaper than a tent, but it may not keep you as dry or protected from insects as a tent. Do your research and practice at building shelters. There are also some sleeping bags that may be able to double as a shelter.

Protection        slingshot

You need more than weapons for protection in your B.O.B., you need skills.  You can have all the firearms and bladed weapons you can carry in your B.O.B. but you need to know how to use them.  It never hurts anyone to gain skills to protect themselves.  Self-defense or martial arts training are always a benefit to have, and if you lose your B.O.B. you don’t lose your skills.  There are other things that can also be used as protection.  Pepper spray is a popular choice for many, or even a slingshot.  Whatever way you choose to protect yourself and those around you, you need to be comfortable to use your skills or items.

First Aid       emergency first aid

Any first aid kit is better than none.  There are so many options for first aid kits, from a box of band aids to a trauma kit.  This is another area that you need to have skills in.  If you do not know how to use medical tools then please don’t try to until you have been trained.  Improper usage of tools or procedures can hurt someone more than they could help. The minimum that I think you should have in your B.O.B. is a basic first aid kit that has instruction inside it, even if it is just a pocket sized kit.  First aid skills are one of those skills that is always good to have.  This is another area that your knowledge of this skill cannot be taken away if you lose your B.O.B..  I believe that everyone should take a first aid class and CPR class.


Other Things

I have given you some information about the 6 main categories that are most talked about, but there are other things that you should also have in your B.O.B..  This is a short list of “other things” that you may need or want to have, this is by no means everything you may choose to put in your B.O.B..

  • Medications. If you can’t live without them then you should have a supply in your B.O.B..
  • Clothing. Rain gear, cold weather gear, hot weather gear, ect.  You need to dress appropriate for where you are, or where you want to go.
  • Documents. Birth certificates, passports, or other documents you may need if you’re on the move.
  • Money. A small amount of cash, or even small bullion bars.  If the grid is down credit and debt cards will not work.
  • Tools. Tools to get you into or out of a building or car.  Knife, multi-tool, shovel, hatchet, ect.
  • Fishing gear. Fishing gear. A small fishing kit or net is much easier to use then trying to stab a fish with a sharp stick.
  • Toiletries. A role of toilet paper, tooth brush and paste, bar of soap, ect. You need to stay clean and health. You don’t really want to wipe yourself with leaves do you?
  • Lights. Get a good all weather flashlight and/or headlight.  Don’t forget extra batteries, or get a ones with a crank charger on it. Glow sticks also help, or even a lantern.
  • Communications. Any form of radio can help, but getting a radio that can transmit on many frequencies would be best.
  • Bindings.  Anything you can bind things together with.  Paracord, electrical tape, duct tape, ect.
  • Entertainment. Deck of cards, harmonica, or anything that can relieve some of the stress of bugging out.
  • Books. I recommend a good pocket reference, you can not know everything  so have something you can reference. My preferred book is the SAS Survival Guide Pocket Size.
  • Directionals. Maps, compasses, GPS, anything that helps you find out where you are and where you should go.
  • Comfort.  Sleeping bag, blankets, towels, anything that will make your stay more comfortable when bugging out.


What is in your B.O.B. is up to you.  You will have to decide what you really need, and balance that against the amount of weight you can carry.   If you want a quick start then buy a premade B.O.B..  Personally I believe that everyone needs to build their own B.O.B. as they learn how to use items.  You need to do your research, and then do some more research, and more research.  You also need to practice what you are learning.  It is hard to learn to do something at the time the skill is needed.  There is no “one perfect B.O.B.”. Everyone is different, everyone has different needs, and lives in different areas.


I have heard many people say “don’t tell anyone that you have any prepps”.  I agree that you should not be broad casting what you have, but I believe that you need to find people around you that have the same beliefs.  If there is an emergency and you need to bug out, it is easier if you have a group to bug out with that is supportive of each other.


The best place to start getting items to build a B.O.B. is a camping section.  Before you buy anything do your research on what the best brands of items are to buy.  If you know someone with an item you are interested in buying, ask them if you can test theirs out first.   Just remember, your life may depend on what is in your B.O.B..  Be sure you can trust the items you have in your B.O.B., and you know how to use them.

I would like to thank all my followers of this page.  If you have not already, please sign up for email  subscription to this blog so you will be notified when there is a new article.  To subscribe enter your email in the box provided in the upper right hand corner.  Be sure to tell your friends about this page also.

What are off griders, preppers, and homesteaders?

Some place out there on the internet you can find all kinds of definitions for “what is living off grid”, “what is a prepper”, “what is a homesteader” and so on.   Everyone you talk to has a different opinion of what the definition should be.  Here is mine:

Off grid living–  a person that does not need mass utilities such as electric, natural gas or LP, or city water.

Prepper– a person(s) that has gathered supplies and resources in preparation for an unexpected event.

Homesteader–  a person that has a home in which they can provide themselves with basic necessities.


Those definitions are vague, that is because there are so many levels in each of those 3 categories and the categories blend together.  Many people, especially younger people, think that being off grid is a new and radical form of living.  It’s not, for most of history the entire world has lived “off grid”.  Our modern world with city utilities is only a few generations old.  To 99% of people living now in the United States having large cities with city water, electric, natural gas or LP, and the telephone system is just normal and has ”always been there”.  That’s why living “off grid” is radical to most people.  In reality more people of the world live off grid then live on grid.  Many poor parts of the world have no utilities that people can connect to, and some places the utilities may not be reliable so people live without them.

Let me expand on off grid first.  What does it mean to be off grid?  Many people think to be an off grid person you have to be one of those crazy people that lives out in the woods all by yourself that have no contact with anyone.  Yes, there are some people that have gone to that extreme; on the other end of the spectrum would be Amish communities. Most people I have talked with want to be someplace in the middle.  They don’t want to be connected to city utilities; but they still have to go to work, go to the store, get gas in their vehicles, and other things that are needed every day.

Now you may be wondering how people that still need all the everyday things can call themselves “off grid”? You can’t make your boss make the company go off grid, but you can make your home off grid.  If you are working to make your home off grid then I say you are moving to an off grid lifestyle.  According to my thinking you may already be partly off grid and not know it.

Do you have a well for your water?

Do you have geothermal for your homes heat/cooling or water heating?

Do you have any solar water heating panels or solar electric panels?

Do you burn wood or pellets to heat your home?

My home is connected to the local electric company, and my home is heated with natural gas.  So those two things make me “on grid”.  But my water comes from a well.  I need electric to run the well pump, so it can be argued that my water is still “on grid”.  But my water use is not metered and regulated by a city utility so I count my water as “off grid”.  I have a small solar electric backup system, my goal is to grow the system until it can handle running the well pump in an emergency. These are small steps towards me dream of an entirely off grid home.  My advice to everyone that wants to be “off grid” is to start slow and do your research.  It does not have to be an overnight change.  Take it slow and find out what works for you.

For more information on off grid living look here.

Expanding on prepping. Again when most people hear the term “prepper” they think of the crazy people they see on TV that have bunkers and 10 years’ worth of food and ammo for their firearms. If that is the amount of prepping you want to do that is up to you, it’s not what I recommend. In my opinion everyone should be a prepper in some level. If you have the money to build a bunker and stock it, that’s up to you if you can afford it. But for most of us that is totally out of our budget.
Prepping does not have to be something only crazy people that think the world is going to end should do. It is a way of living that makes it easier to survive through situations when normal life is disrupted. By disrupted I don’t mean that there is a pandemic happening, the economy has collapsed, or martial law has been initiated. By disrupted I am talking about a winter storm that traps you in your home for a week, or a summer storm that takes out the power of a few days or weeks.
If your life has been disrupted can you survive comfortably? Do you have food and water? Can you stay warm? If you cannot survive in your for a week with food and water and stay warm this is where I believe you should begin with prepping. Once you have enough food and water for a week then work toward a month, then two months, and continue on until you feel you have reached a point that you believe is enough. Enough may be a point of limited storage, or limited money to spend on extra stock to keep in your home, or an amount of supplies you feel are enough to have around.
Prepping can become a never ending cycle, do not let yourself get consumed by it. Once you have food and water supplies you may want to look at other items to stock up on in preparation for a disruption. One pitfall to watch out for is listening to people that say “you must have ____” if you want to be prepared. There are some things that I agree you “must” stock up on; like food and water, basic toiletries, and a small first aid kit that you know how to use. These are a must because you have to eat, you need to stay clean and healthy, and if you get hurt you need some basic medical supplies. As to how much you should have stocked up is your personal decision. You do not need to have everything that every other prepper has. You need to have what you feel comfortable with the items that you stock. If you do not feel comfortable with firearms in your home, do not go out and get one because someone told you that you “need” to have one to be a prepper. This is where common sense needs to be used. If you do not live in Florida, then I don’t suggest you spend the money for cold weather gear. If you live in Oklahoma I do not suggest you prep for an earthquake. Understand the region you are in and prep for it first. Once you have prepped for what could happen naturally in your region then you may want to start thinking about prepping for other events. If you feel you will not be able to stay in your home then research Bug Out Bags. If you feel other events may happen then begin prepping for those events.
No matter the reason you prep, they need to be your reasons. You do not have to be crazy to prep, I think people that do not have some basic items prepped are the crazy ones. Prepping is like insurance, it might cost you some money and you hope that you never need to use it. Depending on how you prep it can be a money saver too, but that is for another article.
To learn more about prepping look here.

Expanding on homesteading. Many people think that to be a homesteader you need lots of land for fields and animals. Yes, some people do have that. I wish I was one of those people that did have 100 acres of land to produce all my food on, but I cannot afford it. There is a growing trend of “urban homesteading”. People that have a quarter acre are finding ways to live producing much of the food they need. A garden can be grown almost any were you have sunlight and a place to put plants. This could be in your yard, or a few pots on a window sill. A homestead just means using your property the best way you can to support yourself, your family, and your community. Many people that have a homestead also have many preps and may also be off grid homes. A small homestead of one acre can produce a large garden. All the garden produce can be saved by canning, freezing, drying, or vacuum sealing. This saved produce can be stored for long periods of time, this is where many homesteaders get there prepped food from. Also on the one acre they may raise a small amount of meat or dairy animals. Meats can also be preserved in many of the forms listed above.
As I said before don’t have to be completely off grid, many large homesteads that are far from cities have a well or stream for the water source. Some may use LP gas for heating, but some use wood or pellet burners to heat their homes in the cold months. In some more remote areas that a person has set up a homestead may have solar or wind power for their home electric. Does this not make them a better prepper and live better off grid?
For more information about homesteading look here.

After reading this article you may be confused, you may be wondering “what am I, a prepper, an off grider, or a homesteader?”. No matter what you want to call yourself, it is always better to prepare in the best way you feel it should be done for you and your family to survive when life is not “normal”. Do your research about your region you live in, the things that you feel you need to do to be more prepared, and learn new skills. All this research will make life easier in difficult times, and you may even learn some new talents that you did not know you had before and enjoy them. Find others in your communities and online to help you prepare for an event, and to help you in and event.

I would like to thank all my followers of this page.  If you have not already, please sign up for email  subscription to this blog so you will be notified when there is a new article.  To subscribe enter your email in the box provided in the upper right hand corner.  Be sure to tell your friends about this page also.

Off grid living the common sense way.