April 15, 2021


Self reliance and independence

EMP Friendly Downgrades on Your Homestead

5 min read

EMP Friendly Downgrades on Your Homestead

EMP Friendly Downgrades on Your HomesteadIf you’re lucky enough to have a homestead, you’ve no doubt discovered the peace of mind that comes with being more self-sufficient. Providing for your family through homesteading can be extremely rewarding even in normal times. It can be empowering to grow food, raise your own livestock, and provide for the needs of your family without depending completely on outside resources. And the good thing about building your homestead now is that whenever SHTF, you will be that much farther ahead than everyone else.

So having a homestead is a start. Most homesteaders have a garden or raise animals for at least part of their food consumption. Modern homesteading has become increasingly dependent on power and automation to get routine tasks done quicker and easier. And there is no crime in efficiency. But when an EMP strikes and wipes out the power grid and public utilities, how will you get things done? For those who want to be ready to continue homesteading without public power and utilities after an EMP, consider some of these EMP friendly downgrades on your homestead:

For Water

One of the most important issues you will face on your homestead following an EMP is access to fresh drinking water. You’ll also need water for bathing, cooking, and other critical tasks such as watering a garden or livestock. If you can’t water your garden or keep your animals hydrated, your ability to survive long-term is threatened. As long as public water systems are operational, this isn’t a problem on a homestead. But if you’re planning EMP friendly downgrades on your homestead, a system for water that is renewable and limitless is critical.

Every homestead should have a well. If you don’t have one, make sure that putting one in is in your preparedness planning. Along with adding a well to your homestead, make sure you have a manual hand pump ready if your electric pump stops.

Another great option for long-term access to fresh water is a rainwater catchment system. Sure, you’ll need to filter out the leaves and other debris that comes off the roof but that can be done easily enough. Unless you live in a climate or area where frequent droughts are an issue, a rainwater catchment system is a great option for water on a homestead.

For Power

There’s no denying that human beings have become dependent on electric power. But that doesn’t mean we are simply screwed following an EMP that wipes out the power grid. One option is to install a wind or solar power system with solar panels. The solar panels will likely survive an EMP but to be fully prepared you need to be ready with a spare charge controller and power inverter stored in a Faraday cage. Once the EMP effect has dissipated, you can replace the damaged parts and get your solar power system up and running again.

For Food Preservation

Many homesteaders, especially those who live in cold climates, are already familiar with food preservation techniques. If you grow or raise your own food, you can’t possibly eat everything while it is fresh. Food preservation techniques such as home canning, smoking, and root cellar storage can help homesteaders to extend their food supply through leaner times.

  • To prepare for life after an EMP, If you don’t have one already, install a root cellar or window well for storing vegetables and other items.
  • Even if your homestead includes a refrigerator and freezer connected to the grid, two additional EMP friendly downgrades on your homestead that will come in handy are a canning pantry and a smokehouse for preserving meat.
  • If you currently rely on an electric dehydrator to dry herbs, fruits, and vegetables for long-term storage, consider obtaining a non-electric dehydrator for use following an EMP. You can even make your own dehydrator.
  • For storing dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter, build an old-fashioned “spring” house.

Even if you have a solar power system, the ability to can, smoke, and dry your food for long-term storage leaves more power available for other critical tasks, such as lighting, charging communication devices, etc.

Alternative Methods of Cooking

One of the primary activities that will be negatively impacted by an EMP is your ability to cook food and heat you home using traditional methods such as an electric stove, furnace, etc. There are several EMP friendly downgrades on your homestead that you can install now so that you won’t have to worry after an EMP.

  • Wood cookstove
  • Solar oven
  • Fireplace
  • Outdoor canning kitchen
  • Outdoor Brick Oven

 Manual Kitchen tools and appliances

Take a look around your kitchen and make an inventory of all the electrical powered gadgets, tools, and appliances that you currently rely on to process and cook your food. Without power, everything has to be done manually or done using your solar power system. If you can downgrade some or all of your kitchen items to manual power, you can reserve your solar or wind power for tasks that can’t be done manually.

  • Coffee Grinder
  • Electric Mixer
  • Toaster
  • Blender
  • Meat Grinder
  • Food Processor
  • Grain Mill
  • Cheese Press
  • Butter Churn
  • Cream Separator
  • Cider Press

For Repairs and Maintenance

  • Cross-cut hand saw
  • Hacksaw
  • Hand Drill
  • Non electric Battery Tester
  • Non electric Circuit Tester
  • Scythe
  • Old Fashioned Push Reel Mower
  • Hand operated post-hole digger
  • Oscillating Tool


Older model car without critical electronic parts (or spare parts in Faraday cage)

  • Bicycle and Manual Air Pump
  • Fuel
  • Horses
  • Wagon or Trailer for hauling things by hand or by horse

One critical component for long-term survival following an EMP will be sanitation. When planning for life after an EMP, here are some EMP friendly downgrades on your homestead that can really help prevent disease:

  • Portable non-electric composting toilet
  • 5-gallon bucket system with cover material
  • Build an Old-fashioned Outhouse
  • Compost Bin and System
  • Solar Hot Water System
  • Laundry Wash Tub and Washboard and Clothesline
  • Non-Electric Washing Machine

If you’re still not sure what kind of EMP friendly downgrades on your homestead make sense after reading this article, start by taking inventory. For at least one month, write down every electric or battery powered tool, appliance, or gadget you use as you go about your daily life. After you’ve taken your inventory, work your way down the list and consider non-electric alternatives for each item.

Obviously you won’t need every item we’ve listed above as some are duplicates and others may not be something you would use at all. You will have things on your inventory that we didn’t include here. For any items that don’t have manual alternatives, you will need to ensure your wind power or solar powered system is sufficient to power them after an EMP. There’s no guarantee of long-term survival after an EMP, but implementing some of these EMP friendly downgrades on your homestead will certainly increase your odds!

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