The threat of an EMP is real. If you protect your house from an EMP, you can reduce the impact such an event would have on you and your family. But first…
What is an electromagnetic pulse (EMP)?
EMPs are short bursts of electromagnetic energy. There are different types of EMPs, and they can be from natural or man-made events. Some examples:
- LEMP – Lighting Electromagnetic Pulse
- Meteoric EMP – results from the impact of a meteoroid
- CME – Coronal Mass Ejection – ejected from the solar corona and released into the solar wind
- NEMP – Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse – resulting from a nuclear explosion high in the sky designed to wreak havoc on a society’s electrical infrastructure
The most well-known example of an EMP is the Carrington Event, also referred to as the Solar Storm of 1859. That was a coronal mass ejection that hit Earth 17.6 hours after a massive solar flare erupted on the sun. Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases sending out electric shocks. Telegraph pylons also threw sparks. Those who were out at night witnessed a massive display of auroral lights.
Why is an EMP so dangerous?
If a solar storm the magnitude of the Carrington Event hit the Earth today, the impact would be nothing short of devastating. Modern society is exceptionally dependent on the electrical grid. There would be an indefinite blackout. Everything from our communications, banking, and food/product delivery systems rely on a constant connection to the grid. When that inevitably fails – TEOTWAWKI.
Nations (think North Korea, Russia, and China) have reportedly worked on the capacity to detonate a nuclear device high in the sky. While this wouldn’t have the impact of a typical ground detonation, it would create an EMP, likely causing far more devastation than if it had detonated on impact with the ground. The impact could disrupt, or even destroy, electronics from miles away. A congressional report even details how a North Korean EMP would cause starvation. It would cripple the U.S. economy and severely weaken our military.
If you want more specifics on the impacts of an EMP would have, see the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.
How do you protect your house from an EMP?
There are three ways you can protect your house and family from the effects of an EMP. The first two are probably quite obvious to most people who have been prepping for any length of time. The third is a level of protection that was new to me and may be new to you.
1. Take Standard Preparedness Measures
Everything you do to protect your family from natural catastrophes, job loss, pandemics, war – that will all help protect you from an EMP as well. If the grid goes down, and you have wood heat as a backup, that heat will keep your family warm regardless of the cause for a power outage. The same goes for food and water storage. If you want food stored so you don’t have to go to the grocery store when a pandemic strikes, that same food will serve you well should an EMP hit and there is no food at the grocery store.
The biggest difference in preparing for an EMP versus something like a natural disaster is the length of time on the other end. With a natural disaster, resources are mobilized to help the impacted areas. Relief is in sight. Neighbors help neighbors. With an EMP, however, the impact would be much greater – and longer lasting. Neighbors could stop helping neighbors. Neighbors could start turning on neighbors.
2. Build Faraday Cages
A Faraday Cage is a metal box designed to protect any items inside from an EMP attack. You can make Faraday Cages from old microwaves, metal filing cabinets, etc. It’s also as easy as wrapping a cardboard box in aluminum foil, as shown in this YouTube video. Alternatively, you can buy a Faraday bag or buy Faraday fabric.
3. Purchase an EMP Shield
The third method of protecting your house and family from the effects of an EMP is a newer one, the EMP Shield. This is a small device built to military standards but available for public purchase. It bills itself as “a very robust electrical surge arrestor, designed to exceed the requirements of MIL-STD-188-125-1 for shunting over-voltage spikes to the ground and neutral very quickly.”
Technical mumbo jumbo? Let me help. The “MIL-STD-188-125-1” is military standard (minimum requirements) “for high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) hardening of fixed ground-based facilities that perform critical, time-urgent command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence missions” as stated in the pertinent military document.
In other words, it’s the standard by which the U.S. military sets to protect electrical equipment at fixed locations from the effects of an EMP.
The EMP Shield is a surge protector – for your entire house.
The EMP Shield connects to your electrical panel. There it is able to stop an unexpected surge in less than one billionth of a second! The excess voltage is drained away before it can damage any equipment downstream. This adds a whole other level of protection for everything plugged into your home’s electrical system. This includes all types of power surges: EMPs, CMEs, and even lightning.
Protecting Yourself from an EMP is (Somewhat) Easy
Being a prepper puts you ahead of the game when confronting the challenges resulting from an EMP. Continue standard preps, extending how long you could go without external help, and consider additional steps such as Faraday Cages and EMP Shields.