Will Amateur Radio Work After An EMP Attack Or Not?

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Doomsday preppers love amateur radio. That’s a fact you can’t ignore.

And it makes a lot of sense as when there is no mobile network or internet, it’s the reliable radio waves that will keep us in touch to be ready against the zombie attacks.

Joke aside, till now, it seems likely to be the mode of communication in a post-apocalyptic world. But will amateur radio work after an EMP attack?

You’ve seen it multiple times in movies, EMP wreaks havoc on every device. Nothing works after an electromagnetic pulse. But that’s not the whole truth. The ham radio seems to work.


Let’s get to know more about it in a quick tour to the preppers world.

What’s an EMP?

Will Amateur Radio Work After An EMP Attack

An electromagnetic pulse is nothing but a short burst of energy. And that energy is what disrupts electronics.

If you’ve seen any sci-fi movie or tv show, you get how the entire thing pans out. But where does the thing come from?

And why you might have to worry about such a scenario anyway. I know preppers might be ridiculous at times, but the logic they’ve got is not at all wrong. Most militaries have EMPs that can cause a disturbance in the devices you’ve got.

Even from a nuclear explosion, such a thing can occur which might let you rely on the Ham radio rather than your latest iPhone 12. Those things might be too far fetched in all honesty or maybe not. Don’t know what might happen to the world, but you don’t have to just worry about the man-made EMP. Nature itself disrupts the electronic devices with natural EMP guns or nuclear weapons: the sun.

With solar flares, energy pulses get emitted that can cause the same problem. But that’s something you might not find out in your lifetime, and that’s a good thing for sure.

Though there are some natural phenomenons, that might cause the same effect that you can’t avoid. Lightning strikes are one of them. Even when the meteors pass through the atmosphere of the Earth, the existence of EMP can make the power grids shutdown.

So, there are many cases of EMP possible, which is why many tend to rely on the Ham radio over the smartphone.

How To Shield The Radio From EMP?

Though EMP might not wreck your ham radio, still there is no reason to take a chance on it.

That’s a piece of advice any doomsday prepper will give you in their talk for the apocalypse.

Taking note of that, the best way to shield the radio is to wrap it in tin foil. Not really, but that isn’t something you should discard altogether.

But the thing that truly would come in handy to shield the radio is a Faraday cage.

You can make one yourself following the steps below.

  • Get a non-conductive material box-like cardboard.
  • Then take the tin foil that was told to keep earlier and wrap the box using it. Give it at least a couple of layers.
  • You’ve got to make sure there is no whole. That’s your shield against EMP.

What Uses Amateur Radio Have In Emergencies?

When the power grids get shut down, then you’ve got to rely on amateur radio. Because after some time, the smartphone power will run out.

Even in some natural disaster cases, there will be no cell network too. In those moments, you’ve got no other alternative than the ham radio.

So, how to use it in those situations?

The best use of Ham radio in a disaster situation is to get in contact with the authorities. You can help them to coordinate and help to find survivors. In the same way, you get aid for the people in need. Even some rules get omitted in such conditions for the greater good of the society,

You can get on the VHF and CB bands. Even can path to 911 using the radio. The importance can only be understood in such situations.

And if you consider the current condition of the world, where everyone is going through the same pandemic situation, stuck at home. One can go and get to know about what’s going around in different parts of the world directly from the people. not some news outlet giving just the overview of death tolls.

EMP Preparation Kit:

Ok, if there is an EMP situation for some reason (whether WWIII broke out or earth is getting destroyed), there are more things you would need to survive.

Amateur radio is a vital part of it, no doubt about that. But what are the other pieces that would come to save to your rescue? Let’s get to know.

  • The first goal is to keep the communication channel up and running. With no power, the radio will last for some time, but eventually, the batteries will run out of juice. That’s why you need to keep some extra batteries on your survival kit.
  • The flashlight is another thing that needs to be in the backpack.
  • The disaster 101 class will tell you to store drinking water in a bottle or a tank if possible. Because you never know, you might have no fresh water to drink.
  • If there is a disaster, there will be casualties for sure. So, having those bandages and other first aid kits can be quite vital.
  • There will be no more Google maps to show you the way. So, keep a compass with you. Also, have a notepad and pencils to take notes.
  • Foods that can be stored should be kept in those disaster prep backpacks. You would want to get some energy after going through god knows what in the scenario.

You might think, why just waste time on doing such a thing. But you never know what might happen? Last year pointed that outright on the face. So, put together the prep kit right now.


Will cell phones work after an EMP?

No. Most of the electronic devices would stop working after an EMP.

Can we survive an EMP attack?

It would take down the country’s power grid. So, surviving won’t be as simple as you might think. But it is possible to survive it.

Will an EMP destroy a car battery?

Most common types of batteries like lead-acid, lithium-ion, or alkaline will survive the EMP. But the complex ones with built-in charging might not work after facing an EMP scenario.

How do you protect equipment from an EMP?

The best way is to use a faraday cage. Plus, have analog devices with you keeping the scenario in mind as those gadgets don’t get affected by the EMP.

What is an EMP jammer?

EMP Jammer is a device that disrupts electronic devices.


If you ever thought of amateur radio work after an EMP attack, you now know it will. And to make sure it does, you know exactly what to do to make sure it works.

Hopefully, you’ve taken something insightful that might come in handy (hopefully, such a day never comes in our life) in case something like that happens.

Till then, be ready for doomsday!

Also read:

1. Amateur Radio Contests: What Exactly Are They
2. Listen To Ham Radio Without License: Legal Or Illegal?

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top