lantern for emp

Review: Darkest Days – How to Survive an EMP Attack to the Grid

In Gear Reviews by Jesse Mathewson

lantern for emp

Personally, I tend to avoid conspiracies and doomsday predictions, because typically they are, fear-based attempts to drive an individual or groups agenda. At no point in history has any species lived longer than it should nor has any state or collection of states lasted forever. This said I was sent a copy of the book Darkest Days: how to survive an EMP attack to the grid (Link goes to recently, my review of this book follows. What follows is my review.

Thirty-five pages of explanations regarding what EMPs are and why they pose a risk using solid scientific and mathematical validation were how the book began. As I read through each page I had flashbacks to the e-book Alive after the Fall by an individual who was so ashamed of their work that they did not even use their real name. Certainly, there is a modicum of truth to the idea that in today’s highly industrialized world there is a risk of both natural and manmade EMP related disasters.

However, as I pointed out in the review of Alive after the Fall, these risks are not nearly as disastrous as many would have you believe. In fact, modern electronics are made from less and less metal than ever before lending to their increased survivability during magnetic or EMP interference.

For instance, modern Solid-State Drives are virtually indestructible and have the potential for extremely long-term data storage as compared to the older magnetic drives in use with many lower-end computers. ¹

Next is the inevitable discussion regarding vehicles and the overall electric grid. The simple reality is that if a pulse occurs that is large enough to knock it all offline, your vehicle running is the least of your concerns. Rather, the infrastructure itself providing you with extra fuel is the more important issue at hand.

This means that regardless vehicle type and in fact in spite of in some case, for instance, older fuel-guzzling non-electronically guided vehicles will need more fuel than most of us will be able to store with any real hope of longevity. This leads to the review of the rest of the book, and the preparations the author suggests implementing overall.

Page 39 of the book begins with this interesting line, “Unfortunately, it has been proven that those with less income tend to not fare as well as those who took a little bit of time and money each month to prepare. It is understandable but ANY small thing you can do today will help get you prepared and improve your chances of survival.”

When you look only at statistics coming from densely populated, heavily industrialized, city-states in the last 100 years this is in fact correct. However, what the author conveniently fails to make mention of is the simple reality that through excessive use of force by the states involved those who had less and in every case, no ability to defend themselves were indeed less likely to fare well and rarely have.

You see the author like the author of the other similar tome recently reviewed tends to believe that government is infallible and necessary to the continued happy coexistence of society as a whole.

I would posit that government is at its best unnecessary while society or people as a whole are in fact at their worst still better than government at its very best. I am agreed with by many of the brightest non-socialist minds across history, from Thomas More in the 1500’s through Thomas Paine and onward the reality of collapse is first that it is inevitable and second that humanity can indeed function quite well without babysitters made up of selfish individuals interested in personal gain of power or money.

The benefits of this book lie in the prepping advice,

  • put away a little at a time and over time your supplies will build nicely
  • food, water, toiletries, medication and the like are areas that are specifically looked at first in the book
  • involving the family and having A meeting place is also beneficial goals, though as with everything I suggest more than one.
  • A rather quick blurb regarding protection is mentioned without specifics

After these basic beneficial mentions, the author goes right back into in-depth preparations for what they describe as an inevitable EMP event. I personally do have spare electronic devices such as pre-programmed hand-held radios and backed up data storage in EMP resistant protective approaches, the reality is I could afford the extra radios at the time and I always backup data!

Over the rest of the book, there is some relatively decent information with regards to setting up a variety of energy generating pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, I do not believe that this brief and rather incomplete information is worth paying money for the book. Where the book itself may have some redeeming qualities is in the add-ons that are given to the original purchaser of this book.

First is Unscathed Survival: how to come out untouched from 10 different scenarios, 73 pages of reading with a few areas that are simply not applicable and several others that are.

Among the applicable information is the preparations for and survival after of floods, earthquakes, and other natural disaster preparation is essential. Though it should be mentioned that these same preparations can be easily found on the Red Cross site for free.

Next is Off-grid Home Protection System, this one is interesting with several solid approaches mentioned that are sometimes overlooked. Again, I would say that the author failed to adequately follow through. I have known several persons who purchased and installed many security measures as mentioned here including livestock guarding dogs or LGDs as the author states.

However, like the author they failed to implement any real training around these items and to this day the dogs are little better than house dogs regardless their use of German phrasing for commands as none of the dogs was trained and as many have proven untrained dogs regardless breed are little more than a distraction to home invaders.

My personal recommendation is either well-trained protection dogs OR small dogs like terriers (link goes to and terrier training manual) and the like who will be quite noisy and give an alarm. Some having proven to actually be more willing to attack intruders when compared to larger dog breeds (when both are untrained). I do love the use of vegetation with stickers on it as deterrents.

Personally, as a high desert dweller, I love prickly pear and ocatillo cacti along the inside of my back and front walls. These are almost impenetrable and can be placed for a visual benefit, not to mention the food and medicinal benefit of both of these plants!

Lastly, we have the final addition, how to make your own pharmacy. Sadly, this particular booklet has no value outside of pointing out the potential benefits of herbal medicine. There is no real guidance into what and how to make up various medications from the herbs mentioned.

And NO, making a tea or tonic is not simple nor is it the only way. There are dozens of approaches to the application of herbal medicines and only a few right ways. This booklet does not explain those well.

Only two or three of the mentioned herb-based recipes actually go into detail and offer a somewhat solid approach. For anyone with no or little real experience with these things, this book could easily do more harm than good.

My overall impression is that the authors or author of this book series simply wishes to cash in on the hysteria embracing so many uninformed individuals today. I would definitely suggest avoiding the purchase of these books and any that use words like “guarantee” in the ads for them.

Rather spend your money on solid well put together books (link goes to that are written by individuals who use their own names and have the credentials and experience to support their work. I will be reviewing a few more books over the next few weeks, and many of them will be positive reviews.

Free the mind and the body will follow…

¹     Introducing the SSD Endurance Experiment. (2018). Retrieved from

The SSD Endurance Experiment: They’re all dead. (2018). Retrieved from

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