Will Walkie Talkies Work after EMP Attack? (Explained)

Every walkie talkie possesses the potential for EMP attack since it is an electronic device. There’s a good chance you doubt your walkie-talkies will work after an EMP. High voltage and current surges may temporarily, or even permanently, damage your equipment in the case of such a malicious attack. But, walkie talkies can’t be affected by EMP or Electromagnetic Pulse attacks. In fact, a walkie talkie is one of those gadgets you use during an emergency like an EMP attack.   

What is an EMP attack?

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) involves rapid and invisible bursts of energy that nuclear blasts cause. They result in sudden power surges that disrupt and destroy electronic devices. It is critical to note that an EMP can also occur because of natural and non-nuclear reasons. These include solar flares, lightning strikes, military strikes, and the earth’s atmosphere. Given this threat, some manufacturers are creating appliances with specialized mechanisms in place. These shall protect the devices against sudden electromagnetic pulses.

What will work after an EMP attack?

Equipment functioning using electronic current may stop functioning as a result of an EMP. Therefore, as technology is evolving, most modern appliances feature mechanisms that help deal with excess voltage. Some equipment that may continue to work includes:

  • Solar panels will continue to operate; however, an EMP may reduce its efficiency.
  • Non-electric equipment, such as gas stoves, generator, and battery-operated appliances, will survive.
  • Portable devices, when in concrete buildings, are mostly safe from an EMP attack.

Will walkie talkies work after EMP?

Small, portable devices are mostly safe from EMP attacks. Therefore, walkie-talkie and CB radio owners have little to worry about. This is because being small in size, walkie talkies don’t offer enough conductor size for EMP to make any drastic damages.

However, there’s still plenty to consider during an EMP. Handheld radios operate using batteries and are a reliable substitute for communication during an EMP. You know that the batteries do not last long; hence, it’s better to use rechargeable batteries over disposable ones.

How to shield your walkie talkie from EMP?

Even though an EMP may not damage your walkie talkie, you still need to prepare ahead for possible situations. Therefore, it’s a good idea to shield your electric devices and appliances using barriers. The most common method earlier was to create a Faraday cage. The downside of the method is that it can cost up to a thousand dollars. You can create a Faraday cage at home by completely covering all equipment with three layers of tinfoil. You can also use other household waste materials like cardboard boxes, as these are non-conductive. Pasta boxes and large cartons can come in handy for this purpose. You can find these at your local grocery stores and public recycling bins. Set up your DIY Faraday cage by lining the box with at least two layers of tinfoil, avoiding any gaps and holes.

A well-grounded house with solar panels or a metal roof can offer some level of protection. Another bizarre solution is to store your devices in a microwave. Microwaves typically operate at 2.45 GHz and boast non-ionizing radiations that act as shields. The microwave’s glass window can act as a Faraday cage to contain the energy inside. It can help protect your devices from a possible EMP attack.


The walkie-talkies will continue to work during and after an EMP attack. In fact, they may even come in handy to communicate and deal with emergencies, such as sudden power surges. Keep in mind; you’ll need a reliable power source to keep the batteries running. Stock up on extra batteries and portable chargers. For your other electric appliances, having surge protectors can shield devices from EMP. Take appropriate steps to keep your devices safe from such events.