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      12 Plants That Make Soft Toilet Paper

      12 Plants That Make Soft Toilet Paper-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      We have all experienced being caught without toilet paper. It is something we dread, obviously, because recent times have shown us that toilet paper brings a sense of tremendous psychological comfort.

      Even the thought of being without it, renders the average person uncomfortable at best, and extremely desperate, in the worst cases.

      Fortunately, we have options. This article will help you navigate them.

      One very positive point of using leaves as toilet paper is that most plants, including the ones listed in this article contain anti-bacterial components. These leaves will help prevent infections from developing.

      Squeeze the leaf before you use it to release the medicinal compounds.

      Lamb’s Ears (Stachys Byzantina) – The ‘Charmin’ of nature’s toilet paper options

      Lamb’s ears tend to grow in similar areas to Mullein, arid and rocky.

      Although this plant can be found in northeastern climates as well.

      In ancient Roman times this plant was used for band aids. Lamb’s-ear flowers in late spring and early summer.

      Plants produce tall spike-like stems with a few reduced leaves and small, light purple flowers.

      Mullein (Verbascum) – Second runner up to Lamb’s Ears for softness

      Mullein sightings are along roadsides and in rocky and gravel banks. It thrives in full sun and grows well in arid conditions.

      Mullein has a deep spindle shaped root from which a rosette of leaves rises. It has soft hairs and its leaves feel like velvet.

      In summer months the stalks are tall and produce long clusters of yellow buds that crown this majestic plant.

      The leaves can grow to three inches wide and six inches long. This makes the leaves a great substitute for toilet paper when out in the woods.

      Plantain (Plantago) – Unbreakable and easy to find almost all year long

      Plantain is a very common plant in lawns, driveways and many partly shaded wooded areas.

      It is known as nature’s band aid and has remarkable wound healing attributes.

      The leaves shown here can grow quite large, about half the size of a slice of bread, or even larger.

      Grape Leaves (Vinis Vitifera) – Used as toilet paper in ancient Greece

      The ancient Greeks left us with a tremendous legacy of knowledge – toilet paper alternative included.

      Wild grapes grow prolifically in hot sunny areas and can be found in warmer months in northern climates.

      Two benefits – the leaves are wide and incredibly sturdy.

      Cabbage or Cauliflower Leaves (Brassicas) – Wide, strong, plus very hard to break

      In harsh times homesteaders would use cabbage leaves as toilet paper.

      You can even dry them and stack them for future use.

      One major advantage for gardeners is ease and proximity. You’ll always have an option!

      Brussel sprout leaves also fall into this category.

      Borage (Borago Officinalis) – Use the young leaves only!

      Borage is also an option.

      Just make sure that you forage the young leaves in June and July before they become too large or prickly.

      You can stack the smaller leaves and make a small fan to complete the job.

      The purple flowers are delicate and beautiful. They make this plant easy to spot in sunny forested areas.

      The flowers have long been used to bolster courage. In medieval times the flowers were embroidered on the mantles of knights and jousters to bring them courage!

      This plant brings many gifts: it soothes respiratory ailments, boosts adrenal function and alleviates depression.

      Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) – Very easy to spot and has large leaves

      Yellow dock is also a common lawn and partly shaded wooded areas plant.

      Notice the intricate vein structure and blood red vein running up the middle. It is a prominent feature.

      The leaves can grow extremely large, the size of a romaine lettuce leaf!

      The roots have amazing blood cleansing properties and the leaves are very sturdy, making them a prime toilet paper substitute.

      Common Tamarisk Moss (Thuidium Tamariscinum) – The elegant, exotic alternative

      When you are in the woods thick layers of moss are easy to find.

      Moss layers come up easily when you peel them off of a tree.

      It may look intimidating but do not worry, they contain tannins that are naturally antibacterial.

      With the green side up, if you have enough make a soft roll.

      In thick dense wooded areas this is a common and wonderful alternative because it is soft and has cleansing properties.

      Trees Have Hundreds of Leaves! Large Leaf Varieties Also Make Great Toilet Paper Substitutes

      Catalpa Tree Leaves Win the Prize for Size

      Native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of North America, the Caribbean, and East Asian trees are primarily used for lumber.

      The large showy flowers are white, yellowish, or purplish.

      Bees love them!

      You will spot the fruits of this tree, cylindrical pods with white tufts of hair at the end.

      This tree will give you an endless supply of natural toilet paper if you can find it!

      Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara)

      You will find Coltsfoot in shady lowland wooded areas that are often rocky.

      It grows from spring through early winter and the leaves can grow to the size of your hand.

      It is tough to break them so they are a great alternative for toilet paper.

      This leaf has been used since medieval times as an expectorant and is very high in zinc.

      Redbuds Tree (Cercis Canadensis)

      Soft and fuzzy to the touch, the beautiful heart-shaped leaves on this tree turn a brilliant red during the fall months.

      The leaves are quite thick and are larger than your hand.

      The bark of the tree was used by the Native Americans to treat diarrhea.

      Empress Tree Leaves (Paulowmia Tomentosa)

      Paulownia came to the west from China where it was a highly prized variety.

      In the east, it was used to treat a wide variety of diseases.

      Tea from the leaves used to dissolve ulcers, heal bruises, revive the growth of hair and prevent greying.

      It is more common in warmer climates but can also grow in the north.

      Caught In a Snowstorm Without Toilet Paper?

      Pack a dense snow ball and use that for a wipe.

      It is not a perfect alternative but it is something that can at least buy you time plus keep your hands clean and reduce bacteria.

      Don’t forget to wash your hands with new snow afterwards!

      Now that you know some of your options don’t you feel the panic of possible toilet paper shortages fading away?

      The gift of nature is that it makes us confident and resourceful in all circumstances. Try some of these options, before you actually need them so that you will really be prepared.

      12 Native American Remedies That We Lost To History

      12 Native American Remedies That We Lost To History-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      There are countless Native American remedies that we still use today.

      If you’ve ever brewed a cup of mint tea to calm an upset stomach or put some lavender essential oil on your pillow to help you sleep a bit better, then you’re already familiar with many of them.

      However, there are also a few Native American remedies that have fallen by the wayside. Here are some of the most interesting.

      1. Rosemary

      Rosemary is an herb that most of us have in stock in our kitchens. But did you know that some Native American tribes actually considered this plant to be sacred?

      It was often eaten to improve memory and relieve muscle pain but could also be used as a topical medicine to soothe sore joints.

      To make a healing balm, add 40 drops of rosemary essential oil to ½ cup of coconut oil and ¼ cup of olive oil. Use as needed.

      2. Sumac

      Sumac is a shrub and small tree that is found in most places within North America. Many parts of the plant, from the berries to the leaves, were used by Native American tribes.

      Believe it or not, it is one of the few that Native Americans used to address eye problems.

      In addition to treating vision issues and eye discomfort, sumac was also used in a gargle to relieve sore throats and as an ingested treatment to stop diarrhea.

      It could also be used as a poultice to alleviate the itching and discomfort from poison ivy rashes.

      To use as an ingested treatment, add a handful of berries to two cups of cold water. Let it sit overnight in a cool place – don’t heat it or it will become bitter. Drink as needed.

      3. Blackberry

      You’re likely already aware of how delicious the fruits of blackberries are – especially in jams or pies. But what you might not know is how other parts of the plant also have healing powers.

      Blackberry root can be mixed with honey or syrup to heal a sore throat, while the leaves of the plant can be chewed to heal bleeding gums.

      4. Red Clover

      Considered a weed by many, red clover was highly valued by many Native American tribes. It was used to treat inflammation and various respiratory problems.

      Combine 1 tsp red clover flowers with a cup of boiling water and honey, to taste, to make a tea. Drink as needed.

      5. Cattails

      Cattails are found just about everywhere.

      As long as there’s water, you’re likely to find cattails.

      Cattails were used as a major food source by many tribes but were also used to prevent a variety of illnesses, including respiratory ailments.

      Harvest cattails in the spring. Discard the outer two leaves and eat the inside – you can eat the entire inner core of the cattail and it offers medicinal benefits.

      6. Buckbrush

      Several Native American tribes reportedly used buck brush to treat cysts, tumors, and inflammation.

      It could also treat sores, wounds, and various mouth and throat conditions.

      Once a substitute for black tea, it has now more or less fallen by the wayside.

      To make a tea, combine one cup of boiling water with 2 tsp of ground buck brush. Heat and drink as needed.

      7. Greenbriar

      The roots of the Greenbriar plant, also referred to as “pull out a sticker” were often used in a poultice to relieve joint pain.

      The Greenbriar plant could also be processed by the Native American tribes into a salve that was applied to treat sores and burns.

      Harvest leaves and allow them to wilt by heating them briefly on the stovetop. Apply the cooled leaves directly to the skin to relieve joint pain.

      8. Saw Palmetto

      The Native American tribes of Florida – including the Seminole – once used the saw palmetto plant for food. However, it was also valued as a treatment for abdominal pain, indigestion, and inflammation.

      To make a saw palmetto tea, combine 2 tablespoons of berries with 1 cup of hot water.

      9. Wild Rose

      Very few of us grow roses for anything beyond their ornamental value – they’re beautiful to look at. However, the petals from a wild rose can also be used to treat a sore throat and as a diuretic.

      To make a wild rose tea, combine 1 tablespoon of young rose buds with a cup of boiling water.

      10. Slippery Elm

      The slippery elm is a plant with many applications, particularly to Native Americans.

      Its fibrous inner bark was used to make materials like thread, rope, bowstrings, and even clothing.

      However, medicine men also used the slippery elm leaves and bark to make a tea that could soothe sore throats, stomach aches, and a long list of other conditions as well.

      Make a slippery elm tea by combining 1 tbsp of powdered bark with a cup of boiling water along with 2 oz of coconut milk and 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (for better flavor). Stir well and enjoy!

      11. Ashwagandha

      An uncommon plant, ashwagandha has many medicinal uses. It was once used to treat bone and muscle weakness along with rheumatism, memory loss, and, oddly enough, loose teeth.

      Because ashwagandha has a rejuvenating effect, it is often used to provide energy.

      If you decide to give this remedy a try, exercise caution – it can be toxic.

      Grind ashwagandha root to a powder. Combine ½ teaspoon of the powder to a ½ cup of milk and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, allow to cool, then drink. Do not consume more than one serving per day.

      12. Black Gum Bark

      Although this tree isn’t common, Cherokees once used the bark and twigs to make a mild tea that could relieve chest pains.

      Combine 1 tsp of crushed bark or twigs with a cup of boiling water. Sweeten to taste with honey. Drink as needed.

      Bring Back Tradition With These Healing Remedies

      Although it is always wise to consult a doctor before trying any of these natural remedies, it is important to recognize the role that nature can play in alleviating a wide variety of health issues.

      Consider giving some of these Native American remedies a try – although history has made us forget about some of them, they may prove to be just what the doctor ordered.

      50 Foods to Dehydrate for Your Stockpile

      50 Foods to Dehydrate for Your Stockpile-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      Our modern food system relies on trucks. It relies on shipping and the ability to get trailer loads of product into supermarkets and retailers. So, what happens if something impedes those deliveries? Just how long would the people around be able to survive without the goods rolling in?

      The common belief, amongst preppers, is that we are merely 9 meals away from collapse. Three days of breakfast lunch and dinner would put the average person in a dire situation. Beyond that, the stores would be picked clean by that time as well. The best way to avoid this risky source of food is to stop relying so heavily on it.

      The only way you can find true food independence is by growing more of your own food. Of course, that presents problems, too. There is a growing season when the foods are ripe and delicious and then there is a season of the opposite. That’s where dehydrating comes in.

      We are going to talk about 50 foods to dehydrate for your stockpile.


      Perhaps one of the best snacks you can get your hands on, dried fruit is the perfect thing to grab for when you are looking to avoid bad snacking habits.

      1. Apples

      Few things dry as well as apples. Now, there are several ways that apples can be dried. If they are merely dehydrated they have a little chew to them but if they are freeze dried some of the crunch returns to them

      1. Strawberries

      These little morsels dry well, and they are great to rehydrate for topping sweet treats.

      1. Blackberries

      If you combine those strawberries with some freeze-dried blackberries you will have a great snack that travels well and can be combined with granola.

      1. Paw Paw

      The paw paw is a tropical fruit that grows right here in the united states. They grow as far north as Virginia and they are like a banana meets a mango. There are big seeds in the paw paw but they can be halved and removed.

      1. Bananas

      Probably one of the most notable dehydrated foods. Be careful if you purchase these bananas you assure they are not coated with a light sugar glaze. This helps with shelf life but adds unnecessary sugar.

      1. Pears
      2. Figs

      Figs dehydrate well, and their unique flavor is intensified by the process.

      1. Plums
      2. Pineapple

      Pineapple is another dehydrated food that can be coated with unnecessary sugar. Look for the best quality products you can or dehydrate them yourself.

      1. Papaya
      2. Grapes

      Who could live without raisins? Drying grapes will create these shriveled little delicacies

      1. Fruit Leather

      Pureeing fruit and dehydrating it on a pan will create a dried fruit leather that is delicious to carry and store. This will also save you Mylar bags instead of having to pack whole fruits in them.


      Dehydrated vegetables may not make as great a snack as the dehydrated fruits, but they are still delicious.

      1. Green Bean

      Though they can never be as delicious as a fresh bean off the vine these dehydrated beans add color and flavor to anything.

      1. Celery
      2. Onion

      One of the base ingredients in most meals, the dehydrated onion is great ingredient to have around. Diced dehydrated onions are an important thing to store for many applications.

      1. Carrots

      Carrots are a great little snack in their fresh form. They are also another base ingredient that makes up the French vegetable base called mire pox. Having them dehydrated in the diced form is a great convenience.

      1. Broccoli

      A powerful vegetable filled with sulphurophane and calcium, broccoli is a terrific addition to any mean. It’s a staple in most home freezers so it would make sense to have some dehydrated as well.

      1. Peas
      2. Asparagus
      3. Tomatoes

      There are few things as delicious as a fresh tomato. While dehydrating them doesn’t offer that same flavor I assure you that what you dehydrate from your fresh garden tomatoes is better than any hot house fresh tomato you will get from the supermarket.

      1. Peppers

      Peppers are one of those vegetables that do not store well. You can grill them and freeze them or roast and peel them. I think diced, dehydrated preppers are a great method of keeping them on hand all year.

      1. Okra

      Dehydrated okra is such an incredible snack. It also grows like crazy!

      1. Mushrooms

      Dried mushrooms have been medicine for thousands of years. If you grow your own mushrooms one of the best ways to store them is dehydrate them.


      Herbs are both an important thing to have around for flavor and medicinal purposes. The best thing about dried herbs is that they dry with just a little sun or even on a dry counter. I like to pick them and hang them upside down.

      1. Rosemary

      One of the most effective and powerful herbs, rosemary dries well and as an added benefit it also smells great when you burn it. It’s a Cuban tradition to rid a room of evil spirits.

      1. Basil

      One of the very best herbs to cook with, I cry a little each year when the first frost kills my basil plant.

      1. Lavender

      Dried lavender is an incredibly relaxing herb. You can dry it and put it into teas or even soaps.

      1. Thyme

      By far my favorite herb to cook with, thyme, is also a powerful anti-bacterial.

      1. Sage
      2. Lemon Balm
      3. Yarrow Root

      Dried yarrow root, when powdered, is great for stopping bleeding.

      1. Chamomile

      A great sleep aid and a powerful dried herb to add to tea.

      1. Rose Hips

      Filled with Vitamin C the dried rosehip can help boost your immune system.


      The power that comes from roots is amazing. I have chosen some very powerful roots to highlight how dehydrated roots can be of use.

      1. Ginger

      Ginger is a powerful flavor for cooking. Its also packed with healing properties. When I am feeling under the weather there is nothing better than ginger, dried cayenne and honey tea.

      1. Turmeric

      Natures anti-inflammatory, turmeric has been rediscovered as of late and people are using it to deal with that today. It’s a great root to dehydrate and even to powder.

      1. Dandelion

      Many people don’t know that the root of the dandelion can be roasted and ground to make a drink that is like coffee. It does not have the caffeine but it’s a great taste.

      1. Echinacea

      The powerhouse of the immune system, the echinacea root can be dried and used in tea during that cold and flu season.


      You have got to have protein in your diet. Whether you are talking about a survival situation or day to day life. Here are three examples of protein that dry and dehydrate well.

      1. Duck Breast

      Salted and dehydrated duck breast turns into something like ham. It’s delicious.

      1. Beef

      Beef jerky.

      1. Fish

      Smoked and dried fish have been helping mankind survive for thousands of years. With the technology of today fish can be smoked and dehydrated to create something great to eat later. I like to use smoked and dehydrated fish in chowders in the winter.


      By dehydrating foods, you have the ability to run them through a spice grinder and create powdered versions of these powerful ingredients. Powders are great for adding to foods, teas and even taking as medicines.

      1. Cayenne

      A known anti-inflammatory this is a great powder for food and for dealing with things like sinus inflammation and even mild pain from inflammation.

      1. Onion
      2. Garlic

      Garlic and onion powder are great additions to your culinary toolkit. They add great flavor to food and store well.

      1. Ginger

      Powdered ginger is one of those all-purpose powders that you must have around. When I am feeling down I always add ginger to my tea, I add it to my pumpkin pie and its also great to mix with other spices.

      1. Herb

      Powdering herbs is another terrific way to add their essence to your food or to your overall health program. I like to make herb mixes in powder form. Herbs de Provence is a mix of lavender, thyme, savory and rosemary. It’s a wonderful mix to add to tons of things.

      Meal Makers

      45. Homemade Pasta

      Have you ever made homemade pasta? Its incredibly simple. Its also delicious. You can dehydrate your homemade pasta to get more life out of it.

      46. Cheese

      47. Potatoes

      Cooked and dried potatoes can slash the cooking time on these starchy staples.

       48. Sauces

      Powdering sauces gives you the option to begin packing up your own meals on the go. This allows you to create flavorful camping meals that you can rehydrate out in the wilderness.

      49. Rice

      50. Beans

      Rice and beans that have been cooked can be dehydrated to carry and reheat efficiently. If you use brown rice with your beans you will be tapping into some serious nutrition with just two ingredients.

      Start Building Your Dehydrated Stockpile

      Rather than investing in foods that have been sourced and processed in areas and facilities that are unknown to you, start building a dehydrated foods stockpile of your own. By growing your own food, dehydrating it and storing it, you know everything about the food that your family is eating.

      7 Terrifying Realities Of Long-Term Blackouts (That You’ve Probably Never Considered)

      7 Terrifying Realities Of Long-Term Blackouts (That You’ve Probably Never Considered)-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      Before we get into our list, lets first describe exactly what is meant by a long-term blackout. does not characterize power outages by short and long term. They merely offer advice for dealing with power outages in general.

      It’s important we discuss the term because a Long-Term Blackout can mean many things to many people. For those accustomed to losing power, a week without may not even phase them where as those who rarely loose power might consider a long-term blackout to be 3 days!

      For the purposes of this article we are going to call a long-term blackout a period without power to major infrastructure, residential and business operations for a period of 3 months or more. In this time the base for civility will be shattered and the consequences of missing basic public services will be widespread.


      While it may be common knowledge that a widespread blackout is going to present problems for the water supply I think many people do not considering the details of what that means.

      • When will water treatment plants officially go offline?
      • How will that correlate with water taps no longer running.
      • Without local news, how will you know when to stop trusting the water that’s coming out of the tap?

      The truth about water in a long-term blackout is that drinking from your tap will become Russian roulette. You won’t know when, but eventually the water coming through those pipes will likely be contaminated or there will be no water coming out. You just don’t know what will happen first.


      Fresh off the holiday season is a wonderful time to consider the importance of the garbage services. Remember what it was like after Christmas? Imagine what your yard or home will look like a month without trash service.

      Even if you have a healthy bit of food storage, its all packaged. That packaging is going to need to go somewhere. Most people don’t consider just how quickly their trash will pile up. It will be a matter of weeks before things get out of hand. Trash will be all over the streets and before long, the pests and animals will come to take advantage.

      Without a concrete, agreed upon method for dealing with the trash in a neighborhood you will quickly find your beautiful little community piled with trash and filth as well as being flea infested. Its not a pretty picture but post disaster trash collection and management are a topics I rarely see discussed, even in the prepper world.


      As I mentioned earlier, there will be time when the water stops running. As a prepper you will have to decide what to do about sewage. You can use water to flush your toilets but that could be a waste of water and it might also, eventually, result in a backup. That could be a dangerous situation considering feces harbor deadly bacteria. You will not have access to a quick Z Pack from your doctor. People rarely consider where all their bodily waste is going to go in a long-term blackout.

      Once the water stops running you are left with very few options. Burying or burning is about it.

      Of course, it’s the neighbors and the passerby's that make for more concern. What will they do with their waste? If you are living in a world stacked up with trash and human excrement, you will be at maximum risk for contracting a disease. Not to mention this will affect water quality in your area.


      All the above realities of a long-term blackout lead to disease. Add to those things like lack of sleep, malnutrition and living without heating or air conditioning and things will get bad fast. Before long it will seem like everyone around you is sick. Worst of all, you won’t be able to professionally diagnose any of it.

      Water borne illness will likely be the biggest killer. You need only to look at third world nations to understand that. Water borne pathogens kill 4000 children each day on this planet!  It’s the worlds leading killer. During a long-term blackout these pathogens will be a massive threat here in the US.


      While food, water and disease might be high on the preppers list, bills might not be.

      • What happens if the long-term blackout doesn’t affect the whole country?
      • What if it’s an isolated blackout and things like mortgage, work and other debt still need to be considered?

      If the narrative is such that recovery is possible, debtors will still be hungry for payment.

      In the early days of a long-term blackout you could still have bills to pay. It may seem heartless on the end of the debtors and banks, but it still may be very true.

      Do you have an emergency fund for these types of issues? An emergency fund is the best defense against this situation.

      The Speed of Decline

      I think the most terrifying reality of a long-term blackout would be the shocking speed of decline. When people see just how quickly the world comes apart, it will mortify them.

      Lord Cameron of Dillington said “We are nine meals away from anarchy.”

      That means that after 9 meals most people will hit a hard wall and have to start making terrible decisions about food, water and other provisions. In fact, I’d like to expand upon Lord Cameron’s quote.

      Most Americans are one supermarket trip away from collapse.

      That said, a true blackout that lasted over a month would spawn such chaos it would be hard for the human mind to understand how it could go so bad so fast. This would be particularly true if government assistance was not part of the equation.

      The Complexity of Recovery

      With the government in mind we must consider recovery. What would recovery look like?

      Following a long-term blackout, the government would be faced with some hard decisions. You see, because of the chaos that we have already discussed, there would be a time limit on recovery. The government and local resources would scramble to deal with the blackout but there would be limited resources and time to get power back on.

      Those areas that got power first would be in decent shape, maybe. The longer it took to get to other areas would determine whether those areas could be helped at all. Some areas would be so bad off that moving forces in to repair things might not be possible. The human threat may be too great.

      Now consider those areas that first got power back up and running. How do you think neighboring communities would feel about those who have power? How long would it take before the anarchy wound up in the backyards of those with power?

      Resources, logistics and the feasibility of repair; along with public cooperation would all be issues in recovery. It would not be the same protocol as recovering power after a hurricane.

      Preparing for These Realities

      You must go back to the core basics of prepping. Do not get overwhelmed at the stark realities of a long-term blackout. You must be prepared to outlast or adapt to the power outage. You should have a plan to wait out a return of service but also have a plan for never having power again.

      Also, if things get ugly, fast, you better have a well-oiled bugout plan that will at least get you away from the masses. This plan should be written and practiced with the whole family. Find out what a true bugout looks like and feels like with your family. Do not bet your life on false pretenses and predictions of performance.

      8+ Devices That Will Survive An EMP

      8+ Devices That Will Survive An EMP-American Survivalist-Survival Gear

      Perhaps the biggest TEOTWAWKI threat out there is an EMP. While there are those who scoff at the possibility of such an attack against the United States; both North Korea and Iran have publicly declared their intent to attack us in this way.

      Russia is being aggressive against their neighbors in Eastern Europe and China is building up their nuclear arsenal. Everyone knows that an EMP is a much more efficient use of nuclear arms than blowing up cities is, just like they know that we are woefully unprepared to defend against such an attack.

      Without spending a lot of time getting into the science behind an EMP, there are two reasons why it is such a major threat.

      The first is that the E1 and E2 pulses overload fragile electronic circuits, frying the components. This happens the most where there are wires attached to those devices, as the wires can act as antennas, drawing in the electrical energy of the pulses.

      The second is that the E3 pulse creates a massive surge in our power lines, which is likely to overload electrical substations and transformers, melting them down. It will also attack electronic devices that are connected to home and office electrical outlets, frying the power supply section of those devices.

      Nevertheless, while we tend to think that an EMP will wipe out all of our electronics, a surprising number of them will survive.

      That doesn’t necessarily mean they will be useful, as there will be a severe lack of electrical power to power those things, as well as the equipment they need to connect to. What good is a working cell phone, if there isn’t a cell phone network?

      Of course, there is a certain amount of guesswork associated with trying to decide what electronics will survive and what won’t.

      There are a wide range of factors, including the physical location of the device, whether the building it is in can offer any protection, the strength of the EMP, how the Earth’s magnetic field affects the electronic pulses and whether the device is connected to anything by wires.

      But we can make some fairly decent guesses, based on what we do know.

      Solar Panels

      Surprisingly, one of the most useful things that will survive an EMP is solar panels. That seems a bit hard to believe, considering that those panels are exposed directly to the full-force of the EMP.

      But while they will take the hit and some damage, solar panels should retain about 90% of their ability to produce electricity. As most systems, are designed with about a 45% safety factor, they will still produce ample electricity the majority of the day.

      About the only time it will really make a difference is at dawn and dusk, when the panels’ output will drop below usable levels.

      Considering that the electrical power we receive from those solar panels may very well be the only electrical power available after an EMP, they are clearly an important part of EMP survival.

      But we need more than one or two panels; the more panels we have, the more we’ll be able to do.

      Cell Phones

      There’s a good chance that our cell phones will survive the EMP, although the cell phone system itself will not.

      Cell phones are small enough that they will not absorb enough of the EMP to be destroyed, especially if it is not connected for charging.

      The cell phone towers, with their re-transmitters will most likely be fried, so the phones themselves won’t be able to be used to communicate with others.

      But anything that is stored locally on the phone itself will still be available and might be useful.

      There are a number of survival uses for a cell phone, many of which involve apps that are stored on the phone or data that you can store there. Turning your phone into a survival tool is a worthwhile project, even if you never do have to deal with an EMP.

      Considering that solar panels will work in a post-EMP world, you’ll be able to recharge your cell phone and use whatever you have stored there.

      Don’t plan on using one of those small, handheld chargers though, at least not if you’re going to try and use your cell phone every day.

      The phone will consume more electricity than those can produce. So you’ll need a larger one.

      Handheld Electronics

      As with cell phones, many other handheld electronics will still probably survive the EMP and for the same reason, their size.

      About the only way that they could be damaged by the EMP is if there are wires attached to them, such as a charger.

      Those wires could act as an antenna, gathering in enough of the EMP to damage the delicate electronics inside.

      On the other hand, chargers for these devices are likely to get fried if they are plugged into wall outlets, even if the device isn’t connected for charging. So it is a good idea to have spare chargers and cables on-hand, as part of your survival preps.

      Flashlights and Portable Lighting

      Flashlights and other portable lighting devices are likely to survive; especially those which have aluminum cases, like most tactical flashlights.

      While the LEDs that produce the light are sensitive enough to be damaged, they are not connected to anything that can absorb the EMP and transmit it to them.

      Besides that, the aluminum case, at least in the case of tactical flashlights, makes a perfect Faraday Cage, protecting the LED inside.

      Spare batteries are unlikely to be affected by the EMP either, as they are single units that are unlike to absorb much in the way of electronic radiation, so they will survive.

      With battery manufacturers now claiming that the alkaline batteries they are making will last for 10 years in storage, there’s good reason to stock up on them.


      Another big surprise item that will probably survive is a lot of old computers.

      I’m not talking about the computers we use every day; but rather the old ones that we used before, which are either stored in our office closets or our basements.

      Since they are not in use, they are not connected to a bunch of wires to act as antennas for the EMP. Many also have metal cases, which will work as a Faraday Cage.

      There’s also a pretty good chance that laptop computers which are not actually in use and not connected to power at the time of the EMP will survive, even though they don’t have metal cases. But that’s not as sure as the old ones, stored away.

      Of course, the internet won’t be available, as that depends on the entire communications network, meaning lots of wires.

      So like our cell phones, you’re going to have to depend on just what you have stored locally on the computer. Still, a computer is useful for a lot of things, even without the internet.

      One thing that you should do, as part of your EMP preparation, is to download survival books and other references onto your computer.

      Make backups of them on either CD or thumb drives, just in case you need to use them on some other device. That way, you’ll have those references at a time when you will really need them.


      There is a lot of controversy over whether cars will survive an EMP or not. The general consensus is that they’ll all die; but that’s not necessarily true.

      During the testing that was done by the EMP Commission, no cars were destroyed. A few stalled, but all of those but one restarted.

      To be fair, I need to state that the EMP Commission’s testing was non-destructive testing. In other words, they stopped increasing the intensity of the EMP the cars were exposed to, once the cars stalled.

      Their funding did not allow for destructive testing. On the other hand, the level that they stopped testing at is supposedly more than our cars would be exposed to from a high-altitude EMP.

      The vulnerability of cars and trucks is the windshield. If sensitive electronics are located under the dashboard and the car’s windshield is pointed in the direction of the EMP, it can destroy them.

      But if the vehicle is pointing in the opposite direction, those electronics should be protected. Most cars and trucks are made largely of metal, making them function as Faraday Cages. However, plastic body panels offer no protection.

      Even if our cars survive, that might not make any difference, as the available supplies of gasoline will quickly be gone. Local gas stations don’t have equipment for pumping the gas out of underground tanks manually. While I’m sure some people will improvise, that won’t last long.

      Neither will the gasoline stored in tank farms, which will probably be confiscated by the government anyway. So you and I are going to be limited to whatever gas we have stockpiled and/or can get our hands on.

      Stockpiling gasoline is difficult, as the hydrocarbons evaporate off quickly. By and large, you can’t store gasoline for more than six months; a year if you add a life-extender to it.

      Storing in metal cans is somewhat better than plastic ones, extending that life. But the best thing we can do is to rotate our fuel supply, using the old fuel and replacing it with new every six months.


      Most basic appliances are hearty enough to survive an EMP, especially older ones.

      Of course, I’m not talking about the $4,000 refrigerator with a computer that monitors your whole house in the door; I’m talking about the $1,000 model that just keeps your food cold. The same can be said for any other appliance.

      The basic operating parts of any appliances consist of motors, many of which are robust enough to survive the EMP. The problem comes when we have delicate electronics in the controls

      . So if you want to make sure that you have appliances that survive an EMP, keep the old ones around and fix them when they break; don’t buy the new ones.

      Of course, all of those appliances are heavy energy users, so you’re going to have to be extremely careful about their use in a post-EMP world, where you’re powering all of your electronics with what you can get from your solar panels.

      You might only be able to run the washing machine once every week to 10 days, so make the most of it.

      Warehouses Full of Electronic Devices

      Finally, the real treasure is going to be all the electronics stored in warehouses and big box stores, all across the country.

      Most warehouses and stores are metal buildings, making them natural Faraday Cages. Since the products inside will be packed in boxes, the boxes act as insulation, ensuring that the contents are not in direct contact with the cage itself.

      So those electronics should survive the EMP unscathed.

      The job of rebuilding after an EMP will depend greatly on what we can find in those warehouses.

      With the grid severely damaged, unable to be brought back online for a decade or more, it will depend on local neighborhoods and communities to find ways of producing electricity locally.

      Once they do that, which may actually mean melting down copper and drawing wire to make generators, they will be able to take a look in those warehouses and find what is useful. That’s where rebuilding will begin.


      While most people expect airplanes to fall out of the sky after the EMP, that probably won’t happen.

      Airplanes, regardless of the size, are generally made with an aluminum skin, once again forming a nearly perfect Faraday Cage; even better than cars, as the windshield is smaller.

      Airplanes are struck by lightning fairly regularly, without effect. That’s because the airplane is not grounded. So any electricity that hits it merely runs across the skin of the airplane and continues on to ground.

      The airplane itself doesn’t attract electricity, unless it is sitting on the ground and has some metal cable or piece of metal (like a mobile stairway) connecting it electrically to the ground.

      The big problem for most commercial airplanes will be the lack of ground reference.

      The ADF systems they depend on will be offline, as well as the entire network of air traffic controllers, weather radar and even the runway lights they depend on to find their way to a safe landing.

      Pilots will have to rely on dead-reckoning navigation and the mach-1 eyeball to find their way safely back to the ground.

      While the fact that airplanes are unlikely to fall out of the sky is good news, there will be a lot of people who get off those planes who are far from home, without the necessary resources to survive.

      All flights will be grounded, except perhaps those of private planes. But those will quickly become grounded by the lack of available fuel.

      People who are stranded in other cities will either have to make the best of it or try to walk back home. Neither of those will be a good option.

      Those with cash might be able to buy gear and supplies for the first day or two; but after that, it’s going to be all based on their wit and knowledge.