Ever heard of EMP doomsday talks in the news? The news is more common nowadays what with the threats by other countries.
A nuclear explosion could set off an EMP event, and there are devices as well with this specific use. When it happens, it might wipe off 90% of the American population.
The bad news is that an EMP threat is real. If it doesn’t happen due to terrorism, it may occur in nature without human interference. A solar flare, for example, can cause EMP if it hits Earth after missing the last time.
The good news is that you can prepare for it even if you’re an ordinary citizen. Learn how to protect against EMP below.
1. How to Protect Against EMP?
If predictions of what an EMP event would be like come true, it’s going to take a lot for you to survive. The devices we have now are going to be useful, but you have to protect them if you want to use them afterward.
Here are ways you can protect them against EMP.
Electrical EMP Shielding
If you have cables you’d like to protect from EMP, use the electrical shielding technique. Include a grounded shield in the electrical cable. This way, the electromagnetic pulses won’t get past the shield and into the wires.
A Faraday cage, named after the scientist known for his invention of the electric motor and his discoveries of electromagnetic induction, is an enclosure blocking out electromagnetic fields.
For this reason, it’s a good place for storing in your belongings that might become affected by EMP.
You can make your own Faraday cage with only a few common household items, such as aluminum foil and a box. The idea here is to reflect and absorb incoming pulses without letting them enter.
Get a box or any container with a non-conductive material. Place your devices inside, and then wrap the box in aluminum foil.
Be careful not to tear it and making sure it’s sealed all the way through. There shouldn’t be any gaps when you close it, where pulses can enter.
You can also get creative and use a galvanized trash can, for example. Don’t forget to put your devices in another material before placing it inside, though.
The lid should also close shut and create a perfect seal.
A great way to make sure is to put your devices in a box, line the box with foil, and then put it inside the trash can. Use some aluminum duct tape, and if foil is too flimsy for you, use aluminum insulation instead.
You also have the option to buy a Faraday cage instead. There are different variants in the market with different sizes.
There are some already built and there are kits you can build yourself.
EMP bags are also a great alternative to Faraday cages, and they’re available in the market, too. They shield any devices you can fit inside against EMP but do note that not all might be effective.
A good EMP bag should provide an EMP shielding of 80dB or more for EMP compliance.
Many of the models in the market only have shielding of around 40dB or so. This might not be enough unless you put it another bag, which will double the decibel protection.
2. Testing If Your EMP Protection Works
Whether you decide to use or make one, make sure to test if it works.
One way to test it is by grabbing 2 phones with cellular signals and placing one inside the cage or bag. Close it and confirm that it’s sealed all the way. Then, try to call the phone that’s inside – if it rings, the cage is leaky, hence it doesn’t work.
If it works, don’t get confident right away as it doesn’t require much to block a phone signal. EMP bags with shielding of 40dB is enough to prevent your call from connecting, but it won’t hold up to EMP.
Another way of testing is by using a radio AM and FM are a close approximate to the range of EMP frequencies. First, test an FM station – pick a strong one – and turn up the volume before placing it inside the cage or bag.
Seal the container and if it doesn’t pick up the station anymore, you can be sure it’s working to a degree.
Like phone signals, FM signals are easier to block, so the next step is to test an AM station. If the Faraday cage or EMP bag is good enough to block AM signals, then it might be able to stand against EMP.
We say “might” because we can’t know for sure until it happens. Plus – the AM and FM signals in your location might not even be strong enough unless you live near a radio tower.
3. Which Devices You’d Need After an EMP Attack?
Now you know how to protect your devices, but what devices would you need to protect?
Two-Way Handheld Radios
Although cell towers are disconnecting off the grid one by one through solar power and diesel, it’s still unlikely that you’ll get to use your phone as normal in the event of an EMP attack. In these scenarios, handheld radios are more useful.
They don’t need other systems or towers to work, which makes it perfect as your main communication method with your group.
The news is more important after an EMP attack, and some form of government or media will broadcast it on the radio. Other people might also use it to broadcast important information, such as the presence of electricity in an area.
Having this in handy will allow you to tune in on those types of news, but you must have basic know-how of operating it.
While handheld radios are good for communicating within a short distance, CB radio is more appropriate for long distance communication.
This is a great tool for communicating between outposts or to other individuals that may be listening in.
Modern LED flashlights would need protection from EMP, as well as solar-powered lamps. Make sure you stash some away in your Faraday cage, as well.
You’re going to need batteries for your devices, but you might not be able to find working ones after an EMP event. Store as much as you can — make sure to get rechargeable ones so you can reuse them.
Remember, you might not have access to electricity for a long time. The good news is that the sun can provide energy, and you can harness it using solar panels and chargers.
Make sure it’s compatible with everything you want to charge using it. You might also have to buy different variants to accommodate all your devices.
At the event of an EMP attack, the situation will seem dire, but you should still be able to find some time to relax and have some entertainment. Store a Kindle packed with books, including some to pass the time.
Having some survival books, books on farming and the likes are useful, too.
You might not be able to use your cellphone for communication, but you can use it for its other features, too. You can store movies and songs in it, for example, and you can use its camera for documentation.
Having a DVD player would also be great as CDs won’t become affected by EMP.
4. Can You EMP-Proof Your Car?
Modern cars are the most susceptible to EMPs because of electronic features. Take this Toyota Prius in a 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Defense. It went blank and stopped at only 5kV/m, whereas a nuclear weapon can blast out up to 200kV/m.
This means the oldest cars are the least susceptible, but the chances of something inside getting fried are still there. If you have the funds, buy an old car and make sure it’s running.
If your regular car fries, you may still be able to use your second car after an EMP event.
According to others, though, most cars will stall at worst, but they should be good to go after a few minutes. Some say that this isn’t the case, and they’ll go as far as creating a Faraday cage that can fit in their car.
A metal garage can act as a Faraday cage as long as it doesn’t contain any electrical wiring.
If you’re willing to go that far, take some other precautions as well.
An example is keeping your car tires under standard pressure; this will protect them from EMP. If you can, also avoid driving in areas with large amounts of metals, which will increase the effect of EMP.
Getting Ready for EMP Events and for Anything
Predictions tell of different variations of societal collapse in the near future, and an EMP event is only one of them. Aside from knowing how to protect against EMP, you should also learn the right skills in case a different apocalypse happens.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. If you need more tips about technology, lifestyle, health, and life, in general, check out our other blog posts today.
Here’s one to help you keep fit and healthy.