Will Walkie Talkies Work After EMP Attack?

In our increasingly connected world, the reliance on electronic devices for communication has become a necessity. From smart cell phones to walkie-talkies, these devices play a crucial role in our daily lives. However, in the face of a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, many people wonder if their walkie-talkies will still work. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors affecting walkie-talkie resilience, potential issues and answer considerations, and practical tips for post-EMP communication. Will Walkie Talkies Work After EMP Attack?

What is an EMP and How does it affect a Walkie Talkie?

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An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that can cause damaging effects on electronic equipment. EMPs can be generated by a variety of sources, including nuclear explosions, solar flares, or devices designed specifically to produce EMPs. When an EMP occurs, it releases a surge of energy that can overload and destroy electronic devices, rendering them useless.

Walkie-talkies, being electronic devices, are susceptible to the damaging effects of an EMP. The pulse can disrupt or destroy the internal components, making them unable to function properly. Therefore, it is essential to consider the resilience of walkie-talkies in the face of an EMP attack.

Will Walkie-Talkies Work After EMP?

Whether or not walkie-talkies will work after an EMP attack depends on several factors. One crucial factor is the level of shielding or protection the walkie-talkie has against EMP. Walkie-talkies with proper shielding mechanisms, such as an EMP shield or a Faraday cage, may have a higher chance of surviving an EMP event.

However, it’s important to note that not all walkie-talkies are designed with EMP resilience in mind. Many consumer-grade walkie-talkies do not have sufficient shielding to protect them from the damaging effects of an EMP. Therefore, it is essential to invest in EMP-resistant walkie-talkies if you want to ensure communication following an EMP event.

Factors Affecting Walkie-Talkie Resilience

Several factors can affect the resilience of walkie-talkies in the face of an EMP attack. Here are some key considerations:

1. EMP Shielding: Walkie-talkies equipped with EMP shields or Faraday cages provide an extra layer of protection against EMPs. These shielding mechanisms help divert and absorb the electromagnetic energy, reducing the chances of damage to the internal components of the device.

2. Quality of the Walkie-Talkie: The build quality and design of the walkie-talkie also play a significant role in its resilience. High-quality walkie-talkies made from durable materials are more likely to withstand the effects of an EMP compared to cheaply made devices.

3. Distance from the EMP Source: The proximity of the walkie-talkie to the EMP source can affect its resilience. If the walkie-talkie is situated closer to the EMP blast, the chances of damage are higher. However, this factor can vary depending on the intensity of the EMP.

EMP Shields For Walkie Talkies

EMP shields are protective devices designed to safeguard electronic equipment from the effects of an EMP. These shields work by creating a conductive enclosure around the device, preventing the electromagnetic energy from reaching the internal components. It’s important to note that not all EMP shields are created equal.

When considering an EMP shield for your walkie-talkie, it’s crucial to choose one that is specifically designed for the device. Generic EMP shields may not provide adequate protection or may not fit the walkie-talkie properly. Therefore, it’s important to do thorough research and consult with experts to ensure you select the right EMP shield for your specific walkie-talkie model.

Potential Issues and Considerations

While EMP shields can provide a level of protection for walkie-talkies, there are still potential issues and considerations to keep in mind.

1. EMP Intensity: The intensity of the EMP can vary depending on the source and proximity to the blast. Stronger EMPs have the potential to overwhelm even well-shielded devices, rendering them useless.

2. Power Grid Disruption: In the event of an EMP attack, the power grid is likely to be severely disrupted. Without electricity, even EMP-resistant walkie-talkies may not function as intended.

3. Availability of Communication Channels: Even if your walkie-talkie survives the EMP, it’s important to consider the availability of communication channels. In a post-EMP world, traditional communication infrastructure may be compromised, making it difficult to establish reliable communication.

Practical Tips for Post-EMP Communication

While ensuring the resilience of your walkie-talkie is crucial, it’s equally important to prepare for post-EMP communication scenarios. Here are some practical tips to consider:

1. Prepare an EMP Kit

As part of your emergency preparedness plan, assemble an EMP kit that includes essential communication devices, spare batteries, and charging options. Consider including alternative communication methods, such as CB radios or amateur (HAM) radios, which may perform better in an EMP event.

2. Learn Basic Radio Skills

Take the time to learn basic radio skills, including how to operate and troubleshoot different communication devices. Familiarize yourself with common radio protocols and procedures to ensure effective communication in emergency situations.

3. Establish Communication Protocols

Define clear communication protocols and channels for your family or group. Establish designated meeting points and practice relaying information effectively. Effective communication protocols can make a significant difference in emergency situations.

4. Practice Regularly

Regularly practice using your walkie-talkies and other communication devices. Conduct drills and simulations to ensure everyone understands how to operate the devices and can communicate efficiently. Practice will help you identify any weak points in your communication plan and allow you to make necessary adjustments.

Leveraging Walkie-Talkies in a Post-EMP World

In a post-EMP world, walkie-talkies can play a crucial role in establishing localized communication networks. Here are some ways to leverage walkie-talkies effectively:

1. Establishing Localized Communication Networks

Coordinate with neighbors and community members to establish localized communication networks. By assigning designated channels and protocols, you can create a reliable method of post-EMP communication within your immediate vicinity.

2. Prioritizing Critical Information

During an emergency, prioritize critical information when relaying messages through walkie-talkies. Keep discussions concise and focused on essential details to ensure efficient communication within limited bandwidth.

3. Building a Network of Experts

Connect with radio operators and other communication experts in your community. By building a network of experts, you can tap into their knowledge and experience to enhance your post-EMP communication capabilities.

Exploring Communication Alternatives

While walkie-talkies can be a valuable communication tool, it’s important to explore alternative options for communication in a post-EMP world.

Will an EMP destroy a radio?

Walkie-talkies and other radios can be vulnerable to the damaging effects of an EMP. However, certain radios, such as those placed inside a well-built Faraday cage or those specifically designed to withstand EMPs, may have a higher chance of surviving the event.

Would walkie-talkies work after an EMP attack?

Walkie-talkies with proper shielding or protection mechanisms, such as EMP shields or Faraday cages, have a higher chance of working after an EMP attack. Investing in EMP-resistant walkie-talkies increases the likelihood of communication following an EMP event.

Can I use walkie-talkies to contact loved ones in other cities after an EMP?

It’s important to consider the range limitations of walkie-talkies when using them for long-distance communication. In most cases, walkie-talkies are suitable for short-range communication within a localized area. However, in the aftermath of an EMP event, traditional communication infrastructure may be compromised, making it challenging to contact loved ones in other cities.

What radios are not affected by EMP?

Radios that are specifically designed to be EMP-resistant, such as certain military-grade radios or radios with advanced shielding mechanisms, are less likely to be affected by EMPs.

How to Protect a Walkie Talkie From an EMP Attack?

There are several steps you can take to protect your walkie-talkie from an EMP attack:

1. Invest in EMP-Resistant Walkie-Talkies: Select walkie-talkies that are specifically designed to withstand the effects of an EMP. These devices are equipped with adequate shielding and protection mechanisms.

2. Use an EMP Shield or Faraday Cage: Placing your walkie-talkie inside an EMP shield or a Faraday cage can provide an additional layer of protection. These devices create a conductive enclosure that redirects the electromagnetic energy away from the internal components.

3. Store Walkie-Talkies Properly: When not in use, store your walkie-talkies in a safe and secure location. Keep them away from potential EMP sources and ensure they are protected from physical damage.

Are Military Walkie Talkies EMP-Proof?

Military-grade walkie-talkies are designed to meet stringent requirements and are often built to withstand harsh conditions, including EMP events. While they may have a higher chance of surviving an EMP attack compared to consumer-grade devices, it’s essential to do thorough research and ensure the specific model you choose is EMP-resistant.

How do walkie talkies work and would an EMP affect them?

Walkie Talkies are essentially two-way radios that allow individuals to communicate over long distances. They rely on electronic devices to function. An EMP, or Electro Magnetic Pulse, creates a large amount of electromagnetic radiation that can damage or destroy electronic devices. Therefore, it could affect the functionality of walkie talkies.

Is there a way to protect walkie talkies from an EMP attack?

Yes, one common way to protect electronic devices from an EMP is to use a Faraday cage. This structure is designed to shield electronic devices from the effects of an EMP. Ensuring the device is placed within the cage when the EMP occurs would offer protection.

Are there any two-way radios that still work after an EMP attack?

Many electronic communication devices, including most two-way radios, would likely suffer from an EMP attack. However, you don’t have to worry as there are EMP proof variants available. They are specifically designed to endure electromagnetic radiation and should work fine after an EMP attack.

Is there a way to make sure your walkie talkies will work even after an EMP?

To ensure post-EMP functionality, it is important to protect devices from electromagnetic radiation. You can use EMP bags to safely store them, or riskier, but often effective is the use of a homemade Faraday cage. Stocking up on spare parts for your devices is also a good plan in place to handle damage.

Would an EMP affect Amateur Radio communication?

Yes, amateur radio operators depend on similar electronic devices as walkie talkies, meaning it would be endangered by an EMP as well. However, there are mechanisms and protections available to ensure the continuity of amateur radio communication in the event of an EMP, like, again, Faraday cages.

What’s the difference between Walkie Talkies and other communication gadgets when it comes to EMP resilience?

Walkie Talkies, CB radio and other kinds of two-way radios all rely on electronic components that can be vulnerable to an EMP. However, each device’s specific design and features might vary, as does the range of EMP-proof models available.

How efficient are walkie talkies in long-distance communication during an EMP attack?

The range of a walkie talkie is usually much shorter than devices like satellite phones. But they don’t require any second-party infrastructure. That said, even a walkie talkie’s range may decrease after an EMP due to effects on Earth’s atmosphere, but they will still be able to communicate within a short-range area.

Can satellite phones survive an EMP attack?

Satellite phones rely heavily on satellites that would likely be affected by an EMP attack. Therefore, even if the phone itself were emp proof, if the satellite is damaged, communication could be disrupted.

What about CB radios surviving an EMP attack?

The same principle applies to CB radios. They rely on electronic components that are susceptible to EMP. Yet, with proper EMP protection methods implemented, like a Faraday cage or EMP bag, CB radios should still be able to communicate successfully after an EMP.

Could a nuclear blast cause an electromagnetic pulse that could affect walkie talkies?

Yes, a nuclear blast can generate a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) that can affect a large area. The electromagnetic radiation from such an event could damage electronic devices, including walkie talkies, over a considerable range.


While the effects of an EMP attack on walkie-talkies are concerning, there are steps you can take to ensure communication after an EMP event. Investing in EMP-resistant walkie-talkies, using EMP shields or Faraday cages, and preparing for post-EMP communication scenarios can help you stay connected in emergency situations. As we navigate an increasingly volatile world, it’s essential to be proactive in safeguarding our communication capabilities.

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James is a Founder of Technicals Solution. He is a Passionate Writer, Freelancer, Web Developer, and Blogger who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves. Read More About James

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