An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is an intense burst of electromagnetic energy that can shut down the power grid and disrupt electronics. It occurs naturally such as during solar storms but can also be generated artificially using nuclear weapons.
A man-made EMP can easily push modern societies dependent on the power grid to the brink of collapse. For example, a successful EMP attack on the United States can cause a nationwide blackout and a year-long shutdown of critical infrastructure that is reliant on the grid, such as food and water supply, communications, transportation and sanitation. Without such critical infrastructure, a huge fraction of Americans are bound to die from starvation, disease or the effects of general societal collapse.
Tips for an EMP-proof home
Check out the following tips to protect your home from an EMP attack: (h/t to DoomsdayMoose.com)
Make a Faraday cage
Also known as a Faraday shield, a Faraday cage is an enclosure made of highly conductive metal that blocks electromagnetic energy. Having a Faraday cage right at your home will allow you to store essential survival items such as an emergency phone or portable solar panels safely away from an EMP.
Small Faraday cages are easy to build and are enough to house critical survival electronics. The guide below shows you how to build a Faraday cage in five minutes. For this, you’ll need the following items:
- 6 gallon steel galvanized bucket with lid
- Professional grade aluminum foil tape
- 3.5 gallon rubber bucket
Follow the steps below to build a Faraday cage:
- Seal the inside of the bucket and lid with tape. Tape the bottom rim of the bucket, the seams where the steel edges meet and the area where the handles are attached.
- Fit the rubber tub firmly inside the steel bucket and close the bucket with the lid.
- Test your Faraday cage using a pair of two-way radios. Take one of the radios and wrap it with plastic and a Mylar or aluminum sheet, then lock it inside the cage and try to contact it using the other radio. The latter shouldn’t register a connection.
Have a non-electric backup plan
You need to have a non-electric backup plan for your essential needs to minimize the effects of an EMP attack. Build redundancies that don’t rely on electricity in your prepping supplies because these will better prepare you for a situation where electronics don’t work. For example, stockpiling candles and firewood on top of flashlights will ensure that you are prepared for a prolonged blackout.
Install an EMP surge protector
An EMP surge protector is a device that protects your home’s power supply from an EMP. While a power surge wipes out the grid and shuts off electrical services, electronic systems will not be harmed if plugged into a surge protector. This means that if your home is properly shielded with a quality surge protector, you are less likely to experience significant power disruption. (Related: Skills, strategies and supplies you’ll need to prep for an EMP, solar flares.)
Your battery stockpile will likely be safe during an EMP attack because EMPs have little to no effect on batteries that are not currently in use. As such, stock up on batteries so you have plenty of backup electricity to power your devices once an EMP has subsided. If the grid goes down, batteries may well end up being your only viable source of electricity for a long time.
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