Thirty years ago, most of the cars used carburetors, and only a few people believed that electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a real threat. Nowadays, even NASA admits that EMP is one of those events we could not recover from: it would stop all infrastructures that sustain modern society which rely so much on electronics. So if you are one of those readers who wish to consider EMP-resistance as a factor in selecting a bug-out vehicle, then you should not miss this article.
I have been doing the survival thing for some time and I see precious few absolutes when it comes to survival and a whole lot of gray area.
Considering this, I will take a poke at answering some questions about EMP and how it would affect automobiles, which were asked by our readers after our recent article that described some top picks for ideal bugout vehicles. A large and strong enough EMP could stop the extraction, refinement, distribution and sale of fossil fuels.
By the time you pile in what will surely be everything you own in this world, your spouse, your 2.4 kids, grandma and the golden retriever, you may be looking for ways to increase your vehicle’s carrying capacity. Features such as 4-wheel drive, a full size spare, plenty of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, lockers, extraction or trail gear, towing points, winch and off road lighting will come in handy post-EMP because roads will no longer be maintained, disabled vehicles and vehicles that have run out of fuel will litter the roadway.
An expensive custom vehicle might look cool online or be fun to daydream about, but after a HEMP, the first time it needs a part, you might wish you bought something a little more pedestrian (no pun intended). Some newer vehicles have in excess of 100 processors that run on miniscule amounts of power.
For the best EMP-resistance, choose a vehicle with conductive metal body enclosing the engine and passenger compartment or cab over a vehicle with body panels made of fiberglass, plastic or any other non-conductive material. If your vehicle already has these features or you are already doing these things, then you are already part of the way there.
No matter which automobile you choose, there is always more that can be done to minimize the effect of HEMP on the vehicle. Park in an EMP-protected garage: I described how to build such a structure in the article How To Turn Your Q-Hut Into an EMP-shielded Home. Keep spares of vulnerable parts you cannot replace in a Faraday cage: You may have a vehicle that is mostly good to go, but it still parts like a starter, alternator and voltage regulator that do not contain microelectronics, but could still conceivably be affected. Manual transmission: Some will surely disagree with me on this one, but they are easier to repair and make it possible to push start vehicles even if the battery is shot or missing. You will have to do a little research on specific models to figure out what year the manufacturer started installing EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) and so forth because I am supposed to be writing an article or two as opposed to a book here, but the topic is certainly worthy of a book. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, these older US-made trucks are very common and are great candidates for a low profile bug out vehicles that double as daily drivers. A couple recently rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, but I would not recommend it and I am sure they would not either.
I have been grateful for them on trips that I have used them and it is plain to see why they figured so prominently into life until the advent of the automobile and how they will again if we lose are large electrical transformers due to EMP or any other reason.
In truth, there are many vehicles that would serve the function of bug out vehicle admirably, but in the end, your choice will likely be determined largely by availability, opportunity and economics. Similar to the prepper who is all guns and no groceries, every so often, I see someone who owns a car that is worth more than their home or someone who has invested a substantial portion of their net worth in a vehicle while living in an apartment. Find a vehicle that will get you from point A to point B and make sure you have your food storage and other survival priorities in place.
About the Author Latest PostsAbout Cache Valley PrepperCache Valley Prepper is a full-time survival and self-defense consultant, instructor and writer, but primarily identifies himself as a lifelong student of survival. I would imagine it would provide substantial protection as long as it was made of all metal, but it could have leaks.
I'm aware that EFI was introduced in 1974-1975, but there are plenty of carbureted vehicles.


As far as Conex containers as, I spent some time managing an ATF-approved explosives magazine built from one and some of my other EMP articles and comments detail the drawbacks and utility of shipping containers as protection from a HEMP. The are some vehicles that you can buy as kits to build, but can have them delivered already built. Unfortunately, surplus vehicles scream "Survivalist!" but a CUCV could be made to look like you fixed up a pickup or Blazer. Computerization has led to benefits like increased fuel efficiency, but it has also created a massive vulnerability in our transportation system – the lack of EMP proof vehicles.
In the event of a large-scale EMP attack, it’s highly likely that the roads will be clogged with broken down vehicles. EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse, and in terms of SHTF scenarios this type of attack is one of the most frightening.
In the best case scenario, these components will be temporarily shorted out by an EMP attack. When it comes to bug out vehicles that are resistant to EMP attacks, old is better than new.
Engine, transmission, and body control modules are all vulnerable to EMP attacks, but many other components also use solid state electronics. If you can find a bug out vehicle that was built during the 1960s or early 1970s, the alternator will typically be less vulnerable to EMP attacks. There are differing opinions on whether to choose a bug out vehicle with a gas or diesel engine. The maintenance needs of your bug out vehicle will depend on whether or not you drive it regularly. And I am not a mechanic or car salesman by trade, but I do have a solid background in technology and understanding of EMP as well what most people would term as vast experience as a self-reliant consumer. Without computers, there is only so much to “do it yourself” on newer vehicles so older vehicles have greater appeal. Better still would be 2 or 3 less-expensive vehicles as opposed to a single vehicle that strains your financial resources.
He would take multiple beat-up vehicles and turn them into fewer good ones … and have a bunch of spare parts left over. They sense and control virtually every function of the vehicle and are very sensitive to EMP. Sure, car manufacturers take reasonable precautions to shield them, but not against such great field strengths or over the entire frequency range EMP covers.
There are many features to look for and modifications to make to both your vehicle and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) regarding that vehicle.
This will help the body conduct energy through the vehicle skin like the skin of a Faraday cage. I do not believe that any other vehicle on this list has the volume of accessories and options available to customize it. Mules are an important part of maintaining many of our nation’s wilderness trails to this day and American mountain men would not have been able to travel the Western US trapping without horses and mules. You do not have to be a prepper to appreciate not having to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles and being able to park in the bike rack. I read article after article of ;"what we need to survive," in all the various SHTF scenarios.
The DMV is so full of them that back in California, I referred to them as the Motor Vehicle Dept. I haven't seen what electronics they do or don't have, but the are neat little bikes for sure.


Current thinking is that a geomagnetic EMP (CME or solar event) would not affect most vehicles as long as they are not connected to he grid or other long conductors, but it would affect the extraction, refinement and distribution of fossil fuels. In tiny little no-budget sliver of EMP testing done on vehicles that is not classified, many minor glitches were reported.
This trend started to develop in the late 1970s, and vehicles have become increasingly computerized over the intervening decades. If you want to circumvent that issue, you need to make sure that your family owns one of those rare EMP proof vehicles that will survive an electromagnetic pulse attack. A high-altitude nuclear detonation over our country would send intense magnetic fields screaming into our atmosphere with enough charge to melt power lines, and fry basically anything with a computer chip. Heavier exposure to an EMP will fry the components altogether, which will leave many vehicles unable to run. The major vehicle manufacturers didn’t all introduce computerized control modules at the same time, so there is no single cutoff year. Diesel vehicles can run on a wider range of fuels, but gasoline may be easier to find and siphon from broken down cars and trucks. Since you’ll be looking at older vehicles, most of your potential choices will have depreciated in value long ago. If your vehicle fails to start after an EMP attack, you can simply swap out the control modules and other electronics. Just do not allow yourself to be fooled into thinking that the vehicle skin is without holes that compromise its integrity. As previously stated, there is no one standard followed by manufacturers even for EMP shielding.
They are not so great for keeping a low profile, but they are the go to choice for many preppers looking for a vehicle with plenty of cargo space and can be had starting at under $10K. Invest in function as opposed to form when it comes to rolling stock, including bug out vehicles. Railroad track are very long conductors that run parallel to the surface of the earth and the atmosphere, so the could pick up insanely huge amounts of energy which is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. The motor would quit running for about half a mile and then start running again; so, he learned to come in fast and coast. Modern vehicles use these components in complicated computer units and control modules, but they are also found in voltage regulators, ignition modules, and other components. Newer diesel vehicles have to be modified if you want to run anything but petrodiesel in them, but that won’t be an issue if you buy an older model.
The exact price of EMP proof vehicles will depend on the model you choose, the condition it’s in, and where you live, but there are a lot of older cars and trucks out there that are priced to sell. But the take away from this is to be sure to try to restart and fix you vehicle after an EMP and diagnose it if circumstances allow as opposed to assuming it's toast. You could also have a rail or other vehicle built to specs or have a shop recondition a surplus CUCV or Deuce and a half (Reagan-era or pre-Reagan-era) that was built with the cold war in mind.
The choice ultimately comes down to whether you’re more comfortable with a gas vehicle or a diesel vehicle. I explain this to my student that say they will have free reign to be SSS (shoot, shovel and shut up) after "SHTF" or whatever. I plan to use it in my modular survival kit model as well and have the Survival Brain Trust involved in it.



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Comments

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