How To Get Back Home After An EMP Strike

One of the many scenarios preppers try to be ready for is an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). An EMP is a burst of electromagnetic radiation commonly associated with high-altitude nuclear weapons detonations.

An EMP is not physically destructive but will cause widespread damage to the electrical grid and un-shielded electronics.

Unlike some natural disasters, the problem with an EMP strike is that it will come without warning.

The other problem with an EMP attack is that the result will look a lot like a power outage, and the true scale of the disaster may be difficult to ascertain.

One thing that we should be ready for is the prospect that such an event will occur while we are away from our homes.

Assess The Situation

When the lights go out, you first need to confirm that you are dealing with an EMP, not a power outage.

One way to do this is to check any unshielded electronics around you. If the power is out and your smartphone is dead, then chances are you’re the victim of an EMP strike.

Getting any outside information in the first minutes and hours after an attack will be virtually impossible. Cellphones, landlines, radio, and even satellite coms will be useless.

Getting to the top of the highest building would be a good idea if you are in the city. From there, you can survey the surrounding area and ascertain if there are any fires, civil unrest, or other major obstructions which will make getting home difficult or impossible.

You can also see if vehicles are still running or if any areas in the distance may have power. Once you have gathered a good about of information, make a plan for how you will make it home.

Prepping To Walk Home

How To Get Back Home After An EMP StrikeNext, you want to get your get-home bag and start gathering additional supplies.

Gather water bottles, food, first aid supplies, a knife or multi-tool, and other gear that you may have at your workplace, which would be helpful during your trip home. Suppose there are corner stores in the area.

Related: 15+ Survival Items To Keep In Your Car At All Times For SHTF 

In that case, you can use some of your cash, which you would have in your get-home bag, to purchase some additional supplies before everyone else figures out what is going on.

You should already have several routes pre-planned and scouted, so you should not have to waste any time figuring out how to walk home.

One thing you may want to consider is to ditch any electronic equipment that the EMP has rendered useless. Radios, phones, GPS units, or any other bits or gear you have in your vehicle or get-home bag are only going to add weight and can be left behind.

Walking Home

After you have assessed the situation and prepped your gear, it’s time to start walking home. Hopefully, you have accounted for the time it takes to walk home and are prepared to travel for that length of time.

How To Get Back Home After An EMP Strike

In a situation like this, where you will see large numbers of people walking out of the major urban centers, it is probably better to blend into the crowd rather than be out on your own.

Someone walking alone with a bag full of gear is an easy target for thugs who may want to steal your equipment.

On the other hand, as long as you do not draw too much attention to yourself, most people in a large group will not give you a second look.

Related: How To Become Invisible In A Crisis

As you walk home, keep your head on a swivel and maintain a high level of situational awareness. However, despite your best efforts, you may draw unwanted attention; this is where situational awareness is critical.

Once you realize that people around you may be a threat, you must remove yourself from the situation quickly and with stealth. Use the crowd and anything else to shield yourself from view as you disappear.

If you are forced to walk alone and away from other people, you will want to do everything you can to avoid looking like a victim. Keep your head up, shoulders back, constantly checking behind you, and ready to run or fight if confronted.

If there are areas such as rivers, green belts, railroad tracks, or other routes where most people would not choose to walk, take advantage of them. Even if these routes take you out of the way from your planned route, getting far away from the crowds may be worthwhile.

Things To Consider Now

The best time to prepare for getting home from an EMP strike is right now. You can do several things now to make your trip home easier.


One of the worst things about an EMP strike is that no communication will be available to you. However, here you can learn a way that you can maintain the continuity of comms after an EMP attack, which is very simple and inexpensive to set up.


You may take a very long time to walk home; if your daily commute is several hours, you should consider placing caches of water, food, and other supplies along your route home.

How and where you place these caches depends on your area, but you should ensure they will be safe from people and critters. If you do place caches, ensure you check them regularly.

Be A ‘Greyman’

The last thing you want when walking home after an EMP is for anyone to think you have anything they would like to steal. Avoid tactical gear for your get-home bag, as well as any tactical clothing.

Your get-home bag should be in a backpack that will not draw any attention. Standard school backpacks are usually the best option. Your goal is to blend into the crowd.

The odds of an EMP strike happening are low, but the fact that it will strike without warning, creating mass confusion, means that it is an event that we must prepare for.

Getting home after an EMP strike will be a challenge, but with some preparation, it can be less of an arduous grind and more of a long walk.

The good news is that prepping for such an event is not difficult and only requires a little additional work to prepare for the loss of the grid and electronics.

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