Post EMP Power Sources That Anyone Can Use

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons are becoming of greater concern to people these days, especially with the threat of North Korea having a nuclear weapon seeming to be more possible.

Now, if you aren’t familiar with EMP weapons, Margaret Rouse describes them this way:

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is an intense burst of electromagnetic (EM) energy caused by an abrupt, rapid acceleration of charged particles, usually electron s. An EMP can contain energy components over a large part of the EM spectrum , from very-low-frequency ( VLF ) radio to ultraviolet ( UV ) wavelength s.

Rouse notes the lightning strikes cause localized EMP disturbances, but the issue that we’re more concerned about are large-area EMP disturbances, which can be caused by setting off a hydrogen bomb high in the atmosphere.

The problem with EMPs is that they knock out devices using electricity in the affected area. Yes, that means your computer, your smart phone, your television, your microwave oven, your refrigerator and stove (many of which are using computer chips now). All of it.

So, if your electronics survive the EMP attack (they may not), then you have the issue of having the power in your area knocked out for an unspecified amount of time. You may even have to deal with your local power grid being completely disabled, which could take years to repair. What are you going to use to power even your basic electrical appliances or to simply do basic survival tasks like grind grain?

Fortunately, a writer calling himself Rich M gives us four good suggestions for how to regain power at your home for, at least, basic mechanical tasks even if the rest of your area is without power. Here they are with our comments:

  1. Renewable energy: Plainly, this comes down to wind power (if you live on flatter terrain) or solar power (if you live in a less rainy area). Both of these can work well if you have the infrastructure in place at your home. This means, of course, that there is some cost involved. But, if you have this in place, you may be minimally affected by an EMP attack.
  2. Animal power: In essence, this means using horses or cattle to pull grinding wheels for grinding grain or for other industrial uses or for transportation purposes (pulling a wagon, for example). This may not give you power to your refrigerator, but it can help you get things done.
  3. Water power: If you have a generator that you can rig up to a water wheel, you may be able to restore some electricity to your home. If not, you can still use a water wheel to power a grain mill or saw mill to help make some post EMP tasks easier.
  4. Steam power: Many power plants still work off of the idea of heating water to turn turbines to generate electricity. The difference, often, is simply in the heat source (coal or nuclear, for example). Still, to generate enough electricity for a home may be a challenge for a small steam engine. You may be able to use it to power a saw mill or other industrial tools, so this may still be a viable source of power.

If, after reading this, you’re thinking that an EMP attack has the potential to be ugly to live through, you’d be right. However, with a little planning (and some cash outlay for renewable energy generators) you may be able to survive without overwhelming difficulty.


  • Dennis Latham

    When I though about it, this article does not seem practical for the average person,even a survivor. A water wheel and cattle? Unless you have major bucks to spend on alternative power, you pretty much have to deal with it. I have hand cranked and solar items to charge cell phones and such and to provide light. I also have a gas generator 7500 Watt. but I wouldn’t have a clue how to adapt it to a water wheel even if I had a water wheel. If your vehicle is running when an EMP hits, it will probably take out the computers in newer cars, too. I do think an EMP is more likely than a nuclear bomb.

  • DG

    An EMP from a nuclear attack by another country or countries might not be limited to a single event. There could be a time period of a week or several months after the first one, and then another one happens. So don’t bring out the Faraday-cage-protected electronics too soon.