How to Protect Electronics From an EMP

In the modern world, we have grown incredibly dependent on electronic devices, and even those that try to avoid using them cannot escape their influence. While it is true that many make life easier, one has to wonder what to do if they stop working due to an EMP going off. 

So, knowing how to protect electronics from an EMP is important; otherwise, they will be fried, and you will not be able to get them working again. In the case of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), your devices will be permanently damaged if they are not adequately protected. 

How to Protect Electronics From an EMP

How to Protect Electronics From an EMP

The first step in learning how to protect electronics from an EMP is to understand the Faraday cage. The most effective electronic device protection is placing them inside a Faraday cage, case, or bag. These items work as an EMP shield protecting your devices from electromagnetic radiation.

The Faraday cage got its name from the scientist Michael Faraday, who, in the 1800s, discovered its ability to protect against electromagnetic waves. 

So, use a Faraday cage, bag, or case to place your electronic devices inside, as they will help distribute the electromagnetic radiation to the outer surface. 

Distributing the electromagnetic radiation outside ensures none gets inside the Faraday cage. If you have the funds, you can buy a professionally made Faraday cage like the ones used by the government. Or you can build your own with materials you already have. 

You can buy Faraday bags online instead of a cage, as they are more affordable than a professionally made cage.

Making a Faraday cage 

Your Faraday cage does not have to be the shape of a cage. Instead, it can be any shape and size you want if you make it right with a material that can conduct electricity. 

The materials you need to make a Faraday cage at home are aluminum foil, a few cardboard boxes, and a galvanized steel trash can.

Wrap the electronics 

Once you gather all of your materials, you should start wrapping up your electronics but do not forget to remove the batteries for individual wrapping if there are any. First, you must isolate your electronics to avoid touching the aluminum foil. 

You can wrap them in the paper, wax paper, or cardboard boxes. Then, you can wrap them with a non-conductive material such as a sheet and put them in plastic bags. 

Wrap them in aluminum foil

After your electronics are isolated with non-conductive materials, you can wrap each one in aluminum foil. You should wrap each device in at least three layers of aluminum foil. 

When wrapping the electronics, be careful not to tear the foil. If there are any tears, your devices will not be effectively protected. 

Prepare the galvanized trash can 

You will need to keep the electronics from coming in contact with the metal. So, for that purpose, you should line the can with cardboard boxes, ensure that the trash can is properly lined with cardboard and that there are no chances for the metal parts to touch the devices.

Once you place your electronics inside your Faraday cage, you should close it with the lid of the can. 

The direct metal-on-metal contact between the lid and the can will make the cage functional. However, you can further seal the lid with aluminum tape for more protection.

Other Methods How to Protect Electronics From an EMP

Faraday bags 

If you feel like making a Faraday cage will be too bulky for you and requires much more work, you can buy Faraday bags instead. 

A Faraday bag will provide you with the same protection as a Faraday cage with the bonus of not taking up as much space. 

Moreover, Faraday bags are easier to store and are available in various sizes, meaning you can keep your devices in as many bags as you want. A Faraday bag is large enough to fit a generator or a large battery bank. 

Use a microwave

Most people own a microwave in their homes but do not know that it can act as a Faraday cage to protect from an EMP in an emergency. Microwaves are made with glass windows with little holes in a metal screen, which keeps the energy inside them.

While this works to protect you when you are heating food, it will work in reverse to protect the electronics you put inside in the case of an EMP attack. 

You can even test it out easily. All you need is to place a phone inside your microwave and try to call it. If it blocks the call, the microwave can protect against an EMP.

Once you have placed the devices you want to protect inside it, you can wrap the microwave with aluminum foil.

The Danger of an EMP 

EMPs are a real threat that can disrupt Earth’s entire electric grid, and unfortunately, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) cannot be predicted. The last-known one to affect the whole Earth was a solar flare in 1859, equivalent to ten billion atomic bombs. 

Although there was no big power infrastructure back then, the telegraph operators experienced major disruption. Most telegraph operators experienced physical shocks due to the electromagnetic pulse, while the telegraph paper coughed on fire. 

Today, the threat of an EMP is bigger than ever. With so many countries on the verge of using nuclear weapons, it is best to be prepared than wait around. 

Conclusion 

Even though not everyone likes to rely on electronic devices, given the danger of electromagnetic radiation, you cannot avoid them in everyday life. A big electric grid connects the world, so the devices are necessary for many day-to-day tasks. 

Therefore, it would be best to learn how to protect electronics from an EMP. They can be permanently damaged if you do not take the necessary steps to protect them.

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