Solar Flares, Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs) and Faraday Cages – Surviving 2012


With the economy getting worse in all countries, some to the point of falling apart, it’s becoming more important to have a backup plan in case of emergencies. If the entire power grid was wiped out what would you do for power? Even if you have plans of alternative energy through solar panels or wind generators the inverters would be fried unless you had a faraday cage. But what are the odds of that happening? Considering that an HEMP (high-altitude electromagnetic pulse) blast can be the size of an entire nation as big as the United States it’s something that everyone should look at as a realistic situation.  Most people try to prepare for extreme situations don’t pack a small blackout bag (a bag for electricity outages).

What is an EMP and HEMP attack exactly?
An EMP attack with an electromagnetic pulse generated without the use of nuclear weapon is called an NNEMP (Non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse). The range of an NNEMP is extremely smaller than a HEMP because they require a chemical explosive as their initial power source. That being said we’ll be talking about HEMP’s since, as stated, they could be as big as an entire country. A HEMP attack is employed by launching a nuclear bomb (even a simple one) 25+ miles above Earth’s atmosphere and detonating it. The pulse overloads all electronic devices (and batteries such as the one from a laptop will be “shorted”). If this were to happen and a nuclear bomb was launched ~30 miles above the atmosphere of the United States and detonated above Kansas it would take out ALL electronic operations in the entire U.S. The same kind of reaction is possible with a solar flare (it has the same geomagnetic storm as an E3 area of a HEMP).

But you have a backup plan for your power source?
Unless you have your inverter in a Faraday cage it will be fried along with transformers and power lines. ANY electronics not protected WILL be destroyed. (Whether or not you have a surge protector or if they’re not plugged in a socket).  Wouldn’t it be good to have some MRE’s at that point?
Solar Flares:
A big concern with EMP’s are with solar flares, but why is that? A severe solar flare has a similar geomagnetic storm to an E3 area of a HEMP. Solar flares happen every day and in most cases it takes less than a day to reach Earth (sometimes only 17 hours). If your entire city was told you had 17 hours until a solar flare might destroy your city’s power for a few weeks would you be prepared? Or more likely you wouldn’t have a warning (like the province of Quebec on March 13).
March 13, 1989: The ENTIRE province of Quebec was blacked out when the EMP created by the solar storm found their way into the power grid of the Hydro-Quebec Power Authority. Their capacitors tried to maintain the currents but couldn’t handle it and within seconds 6 million people found themselves without power. The only thing that stopped this from happening to the US was the fact the extreme zone hit Canada instead. It would have been an estimated cost of $6 billion damages if the capacitors on the Allegheny Network had been hit like they were in Canada.
Another one that’s interesting:
October 29, 2003: One of the fastest moving solar flares to date causes a $450 million dollar satellite to crash to Earth.  How can you protect against a solar flare/EMP? One of the more trustworthy methods is a Faraday cage.

What is a Faraday cage?
A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure formed by conducting material or by a mesh of such material. Such an enclosure blocks out external static and non-static electric fields. Two things to remember is a Faraday cages HAVE to be grounded and there can’t be any gaps in the protective material. Even though a Faraday cage isn’t fool proof it will increase the chance of saving your emergency electronics infinitely (since it WILL be destroyed if it’s not protected). The higher the frequency of the EMP, the faster it is. If it goes too fast it will causes a burn out. This is why the cage must be continuously grounded and the openings in the mesh/material cannot be too large. If they holes in the mesh are too large then the magnetic pulse will manage to slip in. A simple Faraday cage would be to get a small box (or you could easily make the basic wooden frame of the box) and use very fine mesh (2×4 brass mesh sheets are fine) and stable the brash mesh on the outside of the box. Make a secured way to get in the box (a simple lid with hinges would work) and solder a ground wire to one of the corners and ground the cage. If you want to go the extra mile to protect against any type of EMP bury the box under a few feet (2-3 feet would work) of soil. You can place all your emergency battery operated equipment in it (remember to include batteries in the cage as well).
With a properly constructed Faraday cage you can most likely protect anything that was placed inside it from an EMP or solar flare.

Electronics that are not properly shielded WILL be destroyed if they are hit with an EMP. It doesn’t matter if they are plugged into the wall or not. (There have been rumors that say if your electronics are not plugged in the wall then it they will be fine. This is not true). If you’d like the full explanation as to why you can email/message me.
A Faraday cage that uses only mesh or sheet metal can only shield against a magnetic frequency up to the RF range. Electronics nowadays are useful in the SHF, UHF and VHF range (such as your television). To efficiently protect your electronics from a EMP that is higher than an RF range you need some steel, iron or thick copper.

This is Jeff from Survival Hour and we are dedicated to informing the public how to survive almost any situation and providing the best gear to help. Be sure to check out our Survival Hour blog as well for even more in-depth information.


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