Discovering how to protect against EMP, or electromagnetic pulses, is something everyone should consider. At present, people have become too accustomed to technological devices. Few people leave the house without bringing their mobile phone. They rely on him for constant communication, access to work email and to get answers to their questions. People use GPS devices to find their destinations.
They have also come to depend on the various electronic characteristics of their vehicles, such as power steering and cruise control. People read on tablets and work on laptops. Even some small children and young children have become accustomed to playing games on an iPad or swiping images on a phone. It really is an electronic world out there.
The problem with this dependency is that too many people simply assume that their devices, the Internet and the power grid will always be there when they need them. The truth of the matter, however, is that the assumption is wrong.
A simple example involves those cases in which large storms have reached the cities, generating floods and cutting off energy. Even only this loss of electricity is usually enough to seriously disrupt people’s lives. The food in the refrigerators is spoiled, and after enough days without electricity, large groups begin to suffer from lack of access to food.
Telephones and other devices become useless after the batteries are exhausted, so communication over distances becomes almost impossible for many. Think that this is just an example where only power has gone. The situation becomes even more problematic in the case of an EMP.
What is an EMP?
To know how to protect yourself from an EMP, it is first vital to understand its root causes and know what the possible consequences may be. That begins by understanding what an EMP is and what potentially dangerous or dangerous effects it might have.
An EMP is usually described as a brief burst of electromagnetic energy, traveling along many frequencies. It is possible that an EMP believes in nature, without the participation of humans. At the same time, some of the most potentially destructive forms of EMP are caused by humans, through the use of nuclear weapons.
With regard to natural EMPs, one of the most worrisome possibilities is an EMP derived from a solar flare. What happens is that the sun suddenly expels a large amount of energy from itself in the form of a cloud of protons and electrons. If this cloud made contact with Earth, there would be a large mass of electrons entering and moving rapidly through the atmosphere, causing severe damage to electronic devices. Something like this happened in 2012.
Fortunately, the solar flare missed Earth then, though not by much. Before that, a huge solar flare hit the planet in 1859, causing massive damage to the telegraph network that was in use. Something similar could happen again, so it’s important to know how to survive an EMP.
The most perplexing type of EMP that humans can create is the NEMP or the nuclear electromagnetic pulse. While conducting a nuclear test in the Pacific Ocean in the 1960s, researchers were surprised to note that an EMP had been generated that was powerful enough to wreak havoc on electricity, the telephone system and radios in Hawaii. At that time, the nuclear explosion had occurred more than 200 miles above the surface.
Nowadays, the concern is that a nuclear device could be detonated in the same way. The barrier to doing this would not be so high because it does not require much precision. As long as the nuclear device detonates well above its target area, the resulting PEM will already be sufficient to cause widespread damage and more.
The problem is that the current state of the infrastructure has not been reinforced or given the electromagnetic protection needed to resist an EMP powerful enough, whether natural or created by humans. The government of the United States has previously studied the potential effects of such a pulse.
In fact, a Commission was created to evaluate the threat to the United States by an electromagnetic pulse attack and, in 2008, published its conclusions. The Commission found that a high-altitude detonation of a nuclear device could have catastrophic effects on the electrical infrastructure of the United States, which would cause great loss of life, especially in dense cities and suburbs. Clearly, the threat is real and people must do what they can to prepare.
Protection using a Faraday cage.
One of the first lines of defense against an EMP, which is usually mentioned, is a Faraday cage. This type of envelope was created by Michael Faraday since 1836. It can be imagined as a type of box that is created from material that can conduct electricity.
The material is usually a conductive metal shape that must have a sufficient thickness and that has no holes or very small holes. If an electrical device is placed inside a Faraday cage and is struck by electromagnetic energy, the cage will channel the energy through and around the material of the cage, so that none of the energies will affect the device inside.
Due to the protection that a Faraday cage provides to its content, it offers the possibility of saving devices and elements stored inside, from an EMP. While it is possible and may be advisable to create a Faraday cage from scratch, there are also existing elements that already act as Faraday cages. An example is an elevator that is essentially a metal cage. This helps explain why a person making a call on a cell phone usually finds that call disconnected once it enters an elevator and the doors close.
The advantage of creating a Faraday cage from scratch is that it can adapt its size to your particular needs. You can make it big enough to fit in your important electrical devices, while making sure it is not too big to store in your home or other space. The key is to make sure that the material that is used can do the job.
One tip is to use the aluminum material that is used to line the attics. This material is quite resistant and thick. It can then be used to line the inside of boxes, trash cans or other containers. To increase the protection, you can double or triple the line of the box, as well as use the boxes inside the boxes. If you do not have access to this material, you can also try the foil in layers.
After creating a DIY Faraday cage, an important step is to try it. One way to do this is to place a mobile phone inside, close the box and then try to call the mobile phone to see if it connects and sounds. If the phone rings, then that would be evidence that the cage still has too much leakage. Another option is to use a radio tuned to a nearby AM station. Continue adding the liner or aluminum foil and adjust the box configuration until the AM transmission is silenced. Then, try again with an FM station.
Hardening of transport from an EMP
In the case of an EMP strike, transportation will be an important issue. It can not be assumed that emergency services will be able to come to you in the event of a serious injury, cardiac arrest or other medical emergency. Being able to move from one place to another could also allow people to seek new sources of food and clean water, in case existing stores are depleted.
Transportation is also important in case it is necessary to move to a safer place. There may be a nearby fire that threatens to damage your home. Or there may be armed groups circling.
To a certain extent, most vehicles already have some type of protection, because automobiles and trucks are essentially metal enclosures. This helps to protect the occupants of the car, for example, in the case of lightning.
However, newer cars also rely heavily on electronic systems, and tests have found that exposure to electromagnetic energy still has the potential to seriously compromise a car. A major problem is that experiments have shown that an EMP explosion can damage a vehicle’s electronics, cause the engine of a car to stop, damage the ignition system and cause other malfunctions.
One way to protect a vehicle would be to park it in a Faraday cage large enough to hold it, and turn off the engine. However, this would require some kind of advanced warning. This is possible in the case of a solar flare because long-range detection can allow people to have several hours of preparation for their arrival. However, this type of advance warning may be less likely in the case of a nuclear EMP. Another thing that people can do is to use an older vehicle instead of a newer one. Older vehicles of years ago did not depend on electronic systems to operate.
So, instead of having a new car in his garage, he would have an older truck. This more or less eliminates electronic devices from the equation. You can also choose to go with something that uses a diesel engine. This has the advantage of a vehicle that does not use an ignition system, so there is one less thing for an EMP to be damaged.
Diesel vehicles also have the additional advantage of using a combustion engine that is better able to cope with improvised or rudimentary fuel. If an EMP damaged the electronics used by service stations and other fuel depots, a diesel engine can offer additional and useful flexibility.
Reduce the dependence on distribution systems.
One of the immediate problems that will have to be dealt with, in case of an EMP attack, is that the distribution and supply systems that many people take for granted will not work. An example of this previously mentioned involves the supply of fuel.
Even if you have a vehicle that works properly after the EMP attacks, it will not be very useful if there is no way to refuel it. An EMP can damage the electronic pumps used to bring fuel to the surface, as well as the other systems on which service stations depend. With enough time, the service stations will run out of fuel, especially if they can not be replenished from the main tank.
In this example, it is important to protect yourself by being as independent as possible from these distribution and supply systems. One simple thing is to make sure that your vehicles have their fuel tanks full or almost completely. Some people have taken this one step further and modified their diesel trucks so they can run on biofuel or some other fuel that they can produce themselves. By doing so, they have the ability to keep their vehicle running, even if service stations and fuel companies remain paralyzed.
It is also important to take a close look at the sources of water and food. It is best to accumulate your own actions so that, even if things become chaotic and you can not buy or have access to supermarkets, you will be able to survive. If you usually draw water from the tap, imagine what your options will be if the central pumping stations stop working. Consider having your own deep well that uses a mechanical system to bring water to the surface.
You should also store enough food in a way that is able to last a long time, while providing the necessary amount of nutrition. Medications are also important, especially maintenance medications that must be taken regularly to treat chronic diseases.
It is possible that pharmacies can no longer function in the case of an EMP, and an EMP will also tend to damage the refrigeration systems on which many medicines depend. Therefore, it is up to you to accumulate your stock of important medications and make sure they are kept in a suitable place.
Alternative power sources
An EMP can cause catastrophic and long-term damage to a nation’s power grid. To protect yourself and your way of life, it is important to do everything possible to ensure that electronic devices survive the EMP. This is where the Faraday cages mentioned above enter.
However, that is not the only concern. Even if the devices survive, they must have a usable and sustainable energy source. This can be done by configuring alternative energy sources in advance. Some systems will be simpler than others, and some devices will already offer incorporated alternative energy.
For example, after any national emergency, it is important to be aware of the news so you can have access to important information, sometimes to save lives. An AM, FM or other radio can be very useful in this regard.
There are certain radios that already come with an integrated solar panel and / or a crank. In this way, even after the batteries are no longer available, it will still be possible to use the radio during the day and night. There are also lighting systems that are based on solar panels connected to the batteries. This can be very important in terms of maintaining adequate visibility around your property.
This can be taken a step further, so that individuals, households and small groups can establish their own local energy distribution system. This can derive energy from groups of solar panels, as well as generators based on wind power or water-based generators. The prices of solar panels, batteries, controllers and other related devices continue to fall. What used to be prohibitively expensive now is quite affordable. In most cases, it should be possible to start with fewer panels and batteries, and then continue adding once the budget allows.
Do you really need to protect yourself?
In the end, vigilance is key when it comes to protecting an EMP. Stay on top of news related to activity on the surface of the sun, solar storms and solar flares. This is something that can allow you to better prepare for a solar flare that seems to be heading to Earth.
Also keep up with the nuclear threats of several countries, especially countries where the state apparatus is not very strong. This makes it more possible for access to nuclear weapons to fall into the wrong hands. The more aware you are of nuclear geopolitical developments, the more advance warnings you may have.
Then, make sure you have an action plan that starts working, once the news of a possible solar flare or a nuclear attack comes. Make sure all family members know what they should do. Have your Faraday cages ready and easily accessible. Make sure your fuel tanks are full or almost full.
Practice your response to an EMP regularly, so that you have more confidence that it will take place. Also, start accumulating important things like water, food, medications and the like. Over time, and with regular accumulation, your reservation will become more substantial and offer you greater peace of mind.