In the event of an EMP strike or solar flare, all of your electronic devices are vulnerable to destruction. Both cause a dramatic fluctuation in the magnetic field of the Earth that, in turn, causes voltage surges and damaging currents. These surges will irrevocably destroy any modern electrical components they come in contact with. By creating a Faraday cage, you can protect priority devices from this threat.
In 1836, English scientist Michael Faraday conducted an experiment on electrostatic charges that resulted in the creation of the container that bears his name. He was not the first to experiment with this concept; his work was based on research performed by Benjamin Franklin nearly one hundred years earlier, in 1755.
A Faraday cage is an enclosure made of conductive material that blocks both static and non-static electrical fields. This protects devices from a weapons EMP strike, a solar flare event, or a lightning strike.
Many websites have complex instructions on how to build a Faraday cage. For more information on building a custom Faraday cage, click here. There are also expensive Faraday bags and boxes that can be purchased. They are “guaranteed” to protect your items from an EMP strike, but collecting on that guarantee could be rather difficult, given the circumstances that would cause the necessity for that protection.
There are many less complicated ways that you can improvise an EMP-proof container of your own for a far less expensive price tag. Although these homemade Faraday cages are perhaps not as stylish and elegant as the retail units, they should be just as effective. The following items can be pressed into device protection duty:
• An aluminum garbage can with a lid
• A metal filing cabinet
• A metal tool box
• A gutted microwave oven
• Tin canisters or ammo cans
Insulate items by lining the container in a non-conductive material, like cardboard. You can also make cardboard sleeves for your devices. It is vital that none of your electronics directly contact the metal of the container. It is important to add that your make-shift Faraday cages should be grounded in order to disperse the energy.
What should you store in your Faraday cage? Anything that you don’t want to live without post-EMP and anything that you can charge in an alternate manner is a good candidate for residence within the container. Some items that you might want to prioritize for a place inside the cage are:
• Radios (shortwave or windup)
• DVD players
• Extra hard drives
• USB drives
• Laptop and charger
• Solar device chargers
• Walkie talkies
• Invertors and charge controllers for solar power system
• Small pieces of medical equipment
Some preppers question the necessity of a Faraday cage. They wonder, why protect items that must be plugged in if the entire electrical grid is down?
First of all, if the grid does come back up at some point, a person with devices that have been protected will be in the vast minority of people to possess a working unit. If the device has been unprotected, even with the return of electrical power at the flick of a switch, the item cannot be repaired and used in the future.
Secondly, if you have planned other sources of power (such as solar or wind power) then the items that you have protected can be used with those power sources. If this is the case, also be certain to protect the proper inverters or solar chargers to be used with the stored devices.
Do you have any devices stored away to be protected against the possibility of an EMP strike or solar flare? If so, how did you make your Faraday cage and what are you storing in it?