Will Walkie Talkies Work After An EMP?


Quick Summary:

  • An EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) can cause significant damage to electronic devices, potentially disabling them – this includes walkie talkies.
  • However, certain rugged and military-grade walkie talkies are designed to withstand such impacts, though they are the exception rather than the rule.
  • Storing walkie talkies in a homemade Faraday cage can potentially protect them from an EMP.

Decoding EMPs and Their Impact

Before we delve into the impact of an EMP on walkie talkies, let’s first understand what an EMP is. Simply put, an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is an intense burst of electromagnetic (EM) energy. This can result from a natural phenomenon like a solar flare or be man-made, as in the case of a nuclear explosion.

An EMP can wreak havoc on electronic devices. The intense EM energy can fry the electronic components, rendering them useless. Now, let’s see how this applies to our reliable communication friend, the walkie talkie.

The Effect of an EMP on Walkie Talkies

Given that walkie talkies are electronic devices, they are susceptible to damage from an EMP. The internal circuits can get fried due to the sudden surge of energy. So, if you were to ask, “Will walkie talkies work after an EMP?” the short answer would be – it’s doubtful.

However, not all walkie talkies are created equal. Some rugged and military-grade models are designed to endure harsh conditions and are shielded against EM energy to an extent. Still, these are not common, and your everyday walkie talkie is likely not EMP-proof.

Shielding Your Walkie Talkies from an EMP

While we can’t prevent an EMP from occurring, we can take measures to protect our devices from its effects. One commonly suggested method is the use of a Faraday cage.

A Faraday cage, named after the scientist Michael Faraday, is an enclosure used to block electromagnetic fields. A simple way to create a homemade Faraday cage is by lining a cardboard box with several layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place your walkie talkies inside the box and add more layers of aluminum foil. This won’t guarantee complete protection, but it’s a good place to start.

Investing in EMP-Proof Equipment

If you’re concerned about an EMP and its potential impact on your communication devices, you might want to consider investing in EMP-proof equipment. As mentioned earlier, some high-end and military-grade walkie talkies are designed to be resilient against such events.

These devices typically come with a higher price tag than regular walkie talkies, but if you’re preparing for potential disasters, it might be worth considering. Just remember to do your research and verify the manufacturer’s claims before making a purchase.


In conclusion, while your everyday walkie talkie might not survive an EMP, there are steps you can take to protect them. Alternatively, investing in EMP-resistant models can be an option. As we navigate an increasingly technology-dependent world, understanding these potential risks and how to counter them can go a long way in ensuring we stay connected, even when the unexpected occurs.

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