While the follow-on effects of a devastating EMP event would be horrific, for those who are preparing for such an event – what are the electronic items that you would consider ‘saving’ in a do-it-yourself Faraday cage for life after the EMP? With that said, and for the sake of hypothesizing what we might protect in a Faraday cage, lets assume that most all electronic systems are ‘down’ (except those which may have been EMP ‘hardened’). Similar to the aforementioned 2-way radios, CB radios are also battery powered and may serve a useful comms purpose after EMP.
The ability to recharge common batteries for the electronic devices that you’ve protected – is essential for ongoing operation.
Some say that even your LED flashlights may be vulnerable to EMP effects, so storing a few in the Faraday cage may be smart. Given all the information that is available online, and the fact that most people can’t afford to make hard copies of such information, I suggest storing a laptop, and several external hard-drives. And, if you have to bug-out after the event, it’s a lot easier to pack a laptop and a few hard-drives then it is to move several hundred pounds of books and binders.
In this day and age, it’s important to be prepared for any possible catastrophic event. Of all of the reasons to prepare, one that we all need to take seriously is the possibility of a catastrophic EMP, or electromagnetic pulse.
To be blunt about it, an EMP, if large enough, would affect the entire planet.A  In an instant, civilization as we know it would change as we get swept backward in time by a century or two. So what would life be like following a massive EMP event or episode?A  There would be no power, no transportation systems, no communication systems, no banking, no internet, and, no surprise, no food and no water delivery systems.A  This would truly be an End of The World As We Know it situation. How would you keep yourself healthy if sanitation systems were no longer functional and medicine could no longer be manufactured. An electromagnetic pulse could potentially fry the vast majority of all the microchips in the United States.
With that introduction, today I would like to introduce you to the Faraday cage, and further, how toA build a simple Faraday cage.
More elaborate structures can be custom built from sheet metal but for the home user, why bother?A  As a matter of fact, I suspect that wrapping your devices in plain, ordinary, aluminum foil will work as well. Factoid: Faraday cages are named after English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836.
In my research I read that a microwave oven, new or used,A  can be used as an effective Faraday cage.A  On the surface, that seems logical since, by design, a microwave oven keeps the energy it creates confined to the interior which likewise, should prevent strong electrical pulses from getting back inside. Granted, cell phones operate at various radio frequencies so while one cell phone may not work, another one will.A  Still, with this being so easy to test, why chance it? Aside from calling a cell phone, you can test your homemade Faraday cage by putting a portable radio inside the shield after tuning it to a strong FM station.A  If you can hear the FM station while the radio is inside your Faraday cage, then you need to go back to square one to ensure your shield is properly sealed. I asked my friend George UreA to comment and to offer his perspective on Faraday cages since EMP preparedness is something he covered in-depth on his subscriber site, Peoplenomics ($40 a year but worth it for the technical information on the many topics he covers.). So, a quick inspection of the EMP failure modes, George offers, is one way to build a list of items to put in your Faraday cage. He also told meA some personal research hea€™s done that seems to indicate that about 90% of cars will continue to operate after an EMP event of moderate size. The equipment you store in a Faraday cage should encompass those devices that will help you communicate with the world following a devastating loss of the grid. Multiple 2 meter and 440 MHz ham radios (such as the portable Baofengs), again with charging cables and solar power adapters. A laptop computer with a fresh battery, a charger, solar adapter, and all the key software on CD so if you need to bring up a fresh copy of the operating system, youa€™ll have the product key and then any prepping articles or references you might need.
High-capacity USB thumb drive holdingA  pertinent financial information including past year tax records, scanned copies of birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, deeds, vehicle registrations and medical records. George also recommends simple insulation for your electronics, so that units do not touch each other, He uses low tech insulation: a combination of cardboard and bubble-wrap works well.
Imagine that an EMP is a tidal wave.A  If it approaches a full reservoir (electricity and current) it can keep going. There are hints of this in the article Electromagnetic Pulse Protection by Jerry Emanuelson. Should a massive EMP occur, stores wona€™t be open, credit cards wona€™t work, and the gas you have in your car may be all the gas youa€™ll ever have for months or even possibly years. Will the DIY Faraday cage work?A  It is speculation to say for sure.A  My own research plus my limited understanding of electronics tells me it will, but this premise will remain unproven until an actual EMP event occurs.

The bottom line is that I hope a catastrophic EMP never happens.A  But if it does, I want to be ready to fend for myself without electronics.
I would like to acknowledge my George Ure for his assistance with this article.A  His research and first hand experience with Faraday cages, along with his perspective, is appreciated.
If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!A  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updatesA  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyera€™s Guide.
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How to Build a Simple Faraday Cage for EMP Survival by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.
I hope that by now, you can see that a specialized protective container specifically suited for EMP survivability should be used in place of the Faraday cage. Protection by means of complete and nu-penetrated enclosure is far more important than the ready ability to open the container. All genuine ammo cans use a rubber gasket between the lid and body flange to create the air tight seal. An alternative to a commercial gasket, which will need to form a solid union where each end comes together, is a home built crush gasket.
A second method is to flip the EMP Box over onto it top, and melt plumber’s solder into the gap.
A third method allows you to get into the box quickly, but might not work against a very strong pulse. A larger metal container used solely as a large EMP box will need to include, in its preparation, the usual sealing methods. If you were to settle on a shipping container as a storage building, the shorter ones might make a whole lot of sense.
Long story short, nuclear weapons detonated at high altitude have the potential to instantly destroy today’s high-tech electronics within a debatable radius. While the technicality of the EMP effects are different (as well as the most vulnerable systems – e.g. Again, most all of these units have the ability to be powered by battery, and a ‘Ham Radio’ has the ability to transmit and receive all over the world without the requirement for any external systems.
The lid and box are connected using three types of industry standard gaskets to form a Faraday cage.
This is a frequent topic in many post-apocalyptic novels and something that most of us are aware of, even if we do not completely understand the science. The problem, he points out, is that with an EMP, the grid is likely to fail, and with that, power transformers will likely fail, along with the supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) control systems for railroads, power, water, and other utility distribution. Still, the ultimate prepping device would be a metal garbage can which has the top cover sealed to the bottom of the can with aluminized duct tapeA such as the type found at Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot and other hardware stores. If the reservoir is empty (no juice), the tidal wave loses energy navigating the reservoir. This price, by the way, is less than my local Ace Hardware store.A  Also available in this larger size 20 Gallon size. The SunJackA® is able to fully charge its internal battery pack in about 5 hours of direct sunlight, or directly power any USB device. I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here.
This is an easy tool for finding products that people are a€?wishinga€? for and in this way you know what the top products are.A  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen. Because an EMP (used here on to stand in for all three) event is seen as an electronics killer due to high current and voltages frequently mentioned, the concept of a protective cage standing against the monster surges becomes an automatic connection in the minds of many.
You see, the energy from an EMP doesn’t directly correlate to electricity as commonly known. It takes but a little time to read to understand that this threat is a different beast altogether, and has only little resemblance to a 120v outlet short circuit applied to a computer, TV or phone. This gasket is trapped in the lid, and when the can is closed, it serves as a stand-off between the body and lid mating surfaces.

Aluminum foil, folder over and over, with enough material to lay over the edges of the can, will work.
On the other hand, no one can predict with any certainty one way or the other…if and when we get ‘zapped’ into a pre-high-tech age in which many or most of our ‘survival’ systems stop working (any system which depends upon electronics to keep on functioning). It is conceivable that an EMP could be detonated from a weaponized orbiting ‘satellite’, or from a launched missile. After an EMP SHTF there will be significant value in local radio communications (for various reasons – especially security among a group). Handy while hiking, traveling, or simply keeping in touch with your partner while out shopping.
The 7-weather channels are pre-programmed and numbered from 1-7, you can easily and conveniently tune into the stations by adjusting the switch.A  Note that not all emergency radios include the NOAA weather band so this is an important feature. The assumption is that such a barrier will block all effects of the three events mentioned previously. For those that don’t make the seemingly obvious connection, there are always others ready to supply it for them. There is no socket, no power strip and no extension cord connected to a power source with evil intentions for our electronics. This stand off creates an nearly perfect uniform gap that is transparent to the pulse effect.
When rolled correctly, it will crush and resist crushing – pressing up against the lid and forcing you to apply a good amount of downward pressure just to close it.
If you lay a solder wire along the gap as a barricade, it will help hold the melting solder near where it should be, and join into the effort. After the box is closed, with its rubber gasket remaining in place, tape the box closed with 2″ aluminum duct tape. Fortunately the time between events is not terribly frequent (to our own relativity), although many scientists say that a ‘1859 Carrington Event’ could occur sooner than we think… Space physicist Pete Riley, senior scientist at Predictive Science in San Diego, published an estimate in Space Weather Journal (FEB-2012) saying, The Earth has a roughly 12 percent chance of experiencing an enormous megaflare erupting from the sun in the next decade. We can not stand in where a current seeks to fry our gadgets, and direct it out and around.
Depending on the environment, it might even act as a slot antenna, which will actually assist a pulse in penetrating the can.
If you go that route, consider the operating specs for the gasket, and be sure the one you buy will operate as designed within the gap you place it.
As an option, the smaller boxes can be stacked against the back wall, and a false wall, metal of course, sealed against it. Any seams can be closed off with typical conductive gaskets used in higher end computer equipment chassis. EMP energy is created and delivered in manners unrelated to a power company suddenly turned vicious with the electronics-taser-of-death.
It may not be reusable without a reforming, so be careful about opening the can to inspect things.
But the end result is a PERFECT seal that will allow you to use a desiccant in the can to control moisture.
In this way, the stock doors at the other end can be closed and secured as always, giving you easy access, and hopefully keeping most bad guys out. In effect, the tape is held slightly above the can’s surface by a measurement equal to the thickness of the glue.
I would have concerns if it were the only shielding, and also regarding interior condensation from stagnant and humid air.
If you are decent at fabrication, that false wall may have its own resealable door built into it.
If you wish to go one extra mile, remove the paint between the lid and body just outside the rubber gasket, press rolled foil into that space, and seal with the tape.

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Rubric: Microwave Faraday Cage


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