I read a report once on the effects of an EMP. You know like in electromagnetic pulse? That burst of electromagnetic radiation produced from an explosion, say from the detonation of a nuclear weapon or a coronal mass ejection from the sun? (Don’t worry, we’ll save the (CME) Coronal mass ejection discussion for another time).
If we were to be attacked by a sea-to-air nuclear weapon by some bad guys (a missile shot from a ship out in the sea towards our nation), it would perhaps take out our whole nation’s power grid. And, for those of you not familiar with the term "power grid", (neither was I when I first began prepping), it is the interconnected network - through long-line cables, that delivers our electricity to us. Think telephone wires, power lines, antennas, cell phone towers, and cable all running from power plants throughout our country to our homes and businesses.
The effects of an EMP would be devastating and could cripple our country and even throw us back to the dark ages – literally. Everything would come to a screeching halt. Just imagine, no electricity anywhere ... A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E. That means hospitals, police stations, fire departments, grocery stores (no food or water) and gas stations (no fuel for generators) … possibly even some of our government.
See where I’m going? Sure, there would be plenty of survivors, but we could find ourselves in a very different world – a very dark and panicked world.
Let me caution you that this is far different from a thunderstorm where you go around the house and unplug the TV, computer and microwave from the AC outlets. Then wait out the storm and then plug everything back in. This is big boy stuff we’re talking here. If we are hit by an EMP, the energy force will run like a lit fuse line and zap everything in its path in a heart beat (again think about all those cables from power stations to our homes and businesses.)
The good news is this, if there is good news with an EMP, there are some precautions we can take now to avoid damage or at the least, minimize it. There is a technique called "hardening". And one of the ways to harden things, is by using a heavy gauge aluminum foil (or other foils). Yep, good ol’ foil.
Now I'm not saying to wrap your TV, computer and microwave in foil. But what I am saying, is you will need items to survival, such as electronic devices. Devices such as these, when wrapped in foil such as radios, walkie-talkies and the like, could be shielded from the zap of energy from an EMP. Wrap them in foil and tape them up really well (might be a good idea to use foil tape as well) and, make sure you mark each box with a sharpie as to what is in the box.
Another thing you can use is a metal box. In the scientific world, they are called Faraday boxes, and are designed to divert and soak up the EMP. To do this, you place your object you want to protect in the metal box, which would then be insulated inside of the box, and not be affected by the EMP traveling around the outside metal surface of the box. These boxes are simple and cheap. The key here is, metal and metal must be touching. So the metal lid must be touching the metal box.
Some good examples of this would be a cake or cookie tins, your husband’s (or your) ammunition containers, metal filing cabinets, and bigger tins like the large tins, popcorn, chips and cookies come in. I’ve found tons of these tins at garage sales for like a quarter each. Cheap.
A Faraday box can also be as simple as using two cardboard boxes (one fitting tightly inside the other) and covering them with foil. Inside the box, make sure the equipment does NOT touch the metal sides. Use plastic or wadded up paper, or cardboard to insulate it from the metal and again, make sure the box is metal to metal without any gaps in it (no cracks in it).
Along the same lines is the concept of the Faraday cage. Its just as it sounds, you make a cage of mesh; like 1 inch chicken wire, or wire screen or other porous metal and surround whatever you are trying to protect.
To reiterate this, the items I’m referring to, are items you would put away for survival emergencies. Electrical items – like say, spare generator parts, a 12 and 6 volt battery charger, am/fm radio (or a HAM radio), a laptop containing all your important documents and survival info on it and, tons batteries (wrap them in foil too.)
To make things simple, and, to add a little more insulation, place your foil-wrapped items or box inside a larger cardboard box this way you can prevent the foil from accidentally being torn.
Store your boxes on a wooden/or plastic type shelf (not metal shelving) to avoid a slight charge of electricity.
And, just so you don’t think you’re the only nut on the block wrapping their things in foil, a lot of the government civil defense shelters now have metal foil walls, and metal screens covering all the air vents.
“But what about my car?” you ask. “It has an electrical system.” The jury is still out on this one. Some say a vehicle would stop dead in its tracks (you’ve seen this in movies where all of the cars on the freeway just stop out of the blue.) While, others say vehicles will be resist to an EMP because of its metal body "insulated" by the rubber tires and the ground – yep, just like a big ol' Faraday cage. This is not to say that all cars are 100% EMP proof. Let’s say you drive a cute little fiberglass number? Yep, you most likely will be the one sitting in the road.
So how can you protect your vehicle less wrapping it in a cage of chicken wire or with foil? Well unfortunately most vehicles will be susceptible to EMP damage if nothing else than their computer system (the IC circuits) and electronic ignition systems. You may want to have your “repair guy’ – or even you, order spare electronic ignition parts and keep them with all your “Faraday” wrapped goodies.
A good suggestion? Start clipping those coupons and watch for sales on foil!
And, no making a cone hat of foil is not necessary. Just sayin'.
- Survivor Jane
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