Protect Your Gear From An EMP: What to Do and Why

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How much do you know about EMP protection? Do you know how to protect your gear from an EMP?

On a scale of one to ten, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and, more specifically, a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) are events that rank about an eleven on the prepper’s Scary Survival Event Scale.

While all nuclear weapons create EMP, the EMP generated is massive when detonated high in the atmosphere. As a result, it can destroy electronics and permanently knock out the country’s power grid and other critical infrastructure.

Because of this, many preppers are interested in EMP protection measures for their electronics. 

image: eastern half of america at night with lights

A Note from The Survival Mom

There was a time years ago when the idea of a HEMP terrified me. I’d just read One Second After by William Forstchen about life in a small town following an EMP event. I even reviewed it.

However, I don’t believe that’s a realistic scenario anymore. It’s too widespread and renders critical infrastructure useless to the attacker as well. 

Instead, localized EMP events, sabotage, and, to a lesser extent, Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are what we need to be prepared for. For example, something along the lines of this attack on a California substation is exactly what I would expect to happen.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some facts and how you can protect your sensitive electronic gear from an EMP attack, regardless of how it occurs.

EMP is survivable, but you need to start preparing for it now. Click To Tweet

Factual information is hard to come by

The first thing we need to look at is the lack of information available about EMP and its effects. Most of what we know is from nuclear tests, both American and Soviet, in the 1960s. 

Data and information after that period are still highly classified, so all we have to go on is what has been declassified from this earlier era of tests. However, this information and a few pieces of recent data are enough to make some reasonable projections.

The second thing we need to understand is that a HEMP attack on the United States is about as bad as it gets. Experts predict that 70% – 90% of Americans would die within 12 – 18 months after an EMP attack. The reason for this is the extreme dependence on electricity and the delocalization of resources, like food, water, and sanitation abilities.

EMP is survivable, but you need to start preparing for it now. Unlike other disasters, there is no warning or precursor, and no ability to “finish prepping” once it occurs. EMP is an instantaneous event.  

There may, however, be a brief period of time before the masses realize what has happened is more significant than the typical power outage. Use this list of what to do immediately following an EMP to make the most of that time.

Just as deadly, the Coronal Mass Ejection

A Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME, is another event that can take out the entire power grid. When highly charged plasma particles from the surface of the sun crash into the Earth’s magnetosphere, it induces an electrical current in long lines of metal, like wires and pipes. This induction of current will destroy the transformers needed for power transmission on the grid, essentially wiping out the ability of the power grid to remain operational.

However, unlike EMP, a CME event does not destroy electronic devices unless they are connected to the power grid or long lines that will collect the induced current. Also, there are plenty of advance warnings before any solar event that might affect the planet.

This post goes into greater detail about what an EMP is, how likely it is to occur, and what the impact could be.

Video: Why bother protecting electronics from EMP?

You want to protect your gear from EMP by utilizing a Faraday container for two main reasons.

The first is that you maintain the ability to communicate via radio and generate power. This gives you a huge tactical advantage when trying to survive in a powerless world.

The second is the massive amount of information you can store in digital format. As hardly anyone today remembers how to do things the “old world” way, this information will allow you to restart your life at the mid-1800s level.

Read this post for suggestions about what you might want to place inside EMP protection.

In this video, The Survival Mom explains in greater detail why you SHOULD consider protecting some of your devices. She also discusses her opinions about EMP and other possible power grid failures. The video starts at about the five-minute mark, so you can dive right into the main topic.

What is a Faraday cage?

The Faraday cage is named after Michael Faraday, the scientist who discovered its properties for shielding against electromagnetic waves, including electricity. You can build simple Faraday cages at home at a very low cost that will work just as well as the expensive ones that the government uses. All it takes is some common household items.

How does a Faraday cage/container work?

A Faraday cage protects its contents by preventing electromagnetic energy from getting inside. Expensive Faraday units use a combination of fine copper mesh and solid aluminum. You can build your own at home using aluminum foil and a galvanized steel trash can.

By the way, Faraday shielding doesn’t actually have to be a “cage.” It’s simply any container that blocks electromagnetic radiation.

Many places on the Internet claim that a microwave oven or Mylar bag protects devices from EMP. Mylar bags of the correct thickness have been proven to be effective, but the microwave oven as a Faraday container isn’t something you can rely on.

The frequencies for EMP range from approximately AM radio to approximately FM radio. (Actually, EMP frequencies have a broader range, but the AM/FM radio comparison is close enough.)  AM signals go as low as 540 kHz, and the FM radio band stops at 108 MHz. So don’t worry if those frequencies don’t mean anything to you.

The important thing to know is that you can test how effectively a container shields electromagnetic frequencies by using an AM/FM radio.

Determining if a container is effective EMP protection

It’s a simple process to determine if a container will function as EMP protection.

First, tune an AM/FM radio to a strong FM station. Turn up the volume. Put it into the Faraday cage you’re testing and listen to see if the radio station is still being picked up by the radio. Don’t get too excited if it doesn’t. As FM signals are very easy to shield against.

Then, tune the radio to a strong AM station and retest. The low frequency of AM signals is very good at penetrating objects. So if you can’t hear the AM station anymore, that’s a good sign. 

Anything that can block strong AM and FM radio signals would probably make a good Faraday cage. Keep in mind, though, that the power of these signals in your home is relatively weak (unless you happen to live under a radio tower).

This is important to know because you’ll see videos online where people put their cell phones into a microwave, Mylar bag, or some other type of “Faraday” protection and demonstrate the effectiveness by showing how the cell phone loses the WiFi and cell tower signals.

Cell signals are extremely weak to begin with and are very easy to block. Therefore, these demonstrations are NOT good tests for protecting against EMP. 

A food-grade Mylar bag won’t even stop 11 watts of WiFi signal (a 2.4 GHz frequency) from reaching my iPhone when it’s right next to the wireless router. It certainly won’t stop the destructive pulse from EMP.

My EMP protection measures tests 

While looking for an inexpensive way to protect my electronics from EMP, this author personally tested several methods. As I mentioned, the tests are imperfect because we’re only testing for a certain range of frequencies. However, it’s still possible to obtain good information from these tests.

One test involved being on top of a mountain filled with radio antennas. The collective power of all these radio towers was 9,000,000 watts of RF (Radio Frequency) energy! Another test was standing at the base of a 50,000-watt AM station.

What EMP protection DIDN’T work?

Using the AM/FM radio test, I found that both Mylar bags and microwave ovens were unsuitable for Faraday cages. Both of these failed inside my home.

They did not work well at all.

When I tuned an AM radio to a strong station and put it in the microwave, I could still hear the station. This is because the shielding on a microwave oven is tuned to block out signals in the 2.4 GHz range, the same as most WiFi routers (most cell phones are close to this range, too).

Thus, when you put your cell phone in them, it’s not surprising that they lose signal. They can also block out most FM radio stations. However, because of the nature of longer radio waves, AM signals pass right through the shielding found in the modern microwave oven.

Because Mylar bags are much easier to transport than a microwave oven, I tested them at the radio antenna sites. Unfortunately, the signals still got through, even tightly wrapping the radio in two Mylar bags. In fact, the Mylar bags didn’t seem to reduce the RF radiation at all. EDITOR’S NOTE: The thickness level of the Mylar bag used in this test is unknown.

What EMP protection DID work?

It turns out that a very effective EMP protection measure, or shielding, can be made from aluminum foil. Common heavy-duty aluminum foil successfully blocked all nine million watts of RF energy from reaching the radios. The radio needed to be wrapped in three layers, but it worked! For AM signals, though, I needed five layers to block out the RF energy successfully.

This means that you should be able to easily protect your electronic gear from EMP simply by wrapping it in aluminum foil. I also found that placing the foil-wrapped radio inside a galvanized steel trash can significantly increase the effectiveness of the shielding.

image: abstract graphic depicting an EMP strike

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How To Make A Faraday Cage

The hardest part about protecting your electronics is simply doing it. However, a few rolls of heavy-duty aluminum foil, some cardboard boxes, and a galvanized steel trash can are enough to create your own Faraday cage and provide EMP protection. You can also buy faraday cages for smaller items.

For more information about this protection, read Survival Mom’s interview with Dr. Arthur T. Bradley here.

How To Make A Faraday Cage

  1. Gather your supplies.

    Heavy-duty aluminum foil. You’ll use a lot of this, so be on the lookout for coupons!
    Either plastic wrap (Saran or something similar) or plastic bags for each electronic item you want to shield.
    Pieces of cloth or sheets to wrap items. This is an excellent way to re-purpose old t-shirts, jeans, and clothes the kids have outgrown.
    Cardboard boxes of assorted sizes
    Small, essential items that contain an electronic component, such as a clock radio, a hand-crank weather radio, walkie-talkies, ebook/Kindle, mp3 player, etc.

    Make sure these aren’t things you’ll want or need in the near future. If you don’t already have duplicates, make a list of what you want to be stored in your Faraday container. Then look for inexpensive duplicates at garage and estate sales.image: supplies to protect gear from EMP plastic wrap, blue cloth and electronic devices

  2. Prepare each electronic device for wrapping.

    If your device has an antenna that doesn’t retract or fold into the device and can be removed, go ahead and remove it. Likewise, for any cords or wires. Removing these is unnecessary but can make it more challenging to wrap. 

    You don’t want to risk protruding parts poking through the foil, as this will void any EMP protection. Ensure that any wires, cords, and antennas are within the foil.

    If the device has a removable battery, remove it and store it separately. The last thing you want is to find out that the batteries leaked and ruined the equipment that you went to so much trouble to protect.

    What if you want to protect devices that have internal batteries that can’t be removed? Many of these items would be helpful in a post-EMP world, but you’ll need to determine a way to store them and periodically recharge the batteries.
    image: electronic device with batteries removed to protect gear from EMP

  3. Wrap each item to isolate it from the foil.

    When you wrap your electronic device, it’s essential to prevent it from touching the foil. Otherwise, it’s like making an antenna for the EMP to get right to the item you’re trying to protect. 

    You can prevent this by wrapping the device in paper, wax paper, an envelope, or a cardboard box. Whichever works best for whatever you’re wrapping in foil. If the device has protrusions, it’s best to wrap it in something thicker than thin plastic wrap or paper. Use a box or envelope of some sort. This will help keep the item from poking through the foil.

    You can use anything non-conductive to wrap the devices. Here I used an old sheet and plastic wrap. The cloth sheet prevents “pointy” parts of the device from poking through the foil, while the plastic wrap keeps the cloth holding the fabric in place.

    I could have used tape, but the plastic wrap is reusable and I can see through it to make sure that the cloth is in place. Also, I don’t use plastic wrap directly on devices, as I don’t want any letters or print on the device to get stuck to the plastic in long-term storage and come off when I remove the wrap.
    image: electronic device wrapped in blue cloth and plastic to protect gear from EMP

  4. Wrap each device in foil.

    Wrap each item in the foil, ensuring that all device surfaces are covered in a minimum of three layers. Gently mold the foil each time, making sure there are no holes or rips. In tests that I’ve done, wrapping each layer individually seems to work better than folding the foil into a double layer and then wrapping.

    However, you don’t have to wrap up every item individually. Instead, you can save time and space, and avoid the need for cloth and plastic wrap by putting several devices into a small bag, cloth pouch, or box.

    Once you have all of your devices wrapped in several layers of aluminum foil, you’ve taken a big step in protecting them from EMP. You should, however, place all of these foil-wrapped items into another layer of Faraday protection. An EMP is an extremely powerful pulse. Every layer between it and the device diminishes its ability to destroy electronics.

    If you’re not going to be storing these foil-wrapped items in another Faraday container, then make sure to wrap five layers of foil around the device.
    image: electronic devices to be put in bag and wrapped to protect gear from emp image: foil wrapped electronic device to protect gear from EMP

  5. Prepare the container.

    One of the easiest ways to do this second layer is to put the wrapped devices in a galvanized steel trash can. With a tight-fitting lid, it’s surprising how well this works.

    Because you need to keep the items inside the can from touching the inside metal of the can, line the trash can with cardboard. If a foil-wrapped item touches the inside of the can, it’s like there’s only one level of protection, and could end up focusing the EMP directly towards the device. Not a good thing.

    Once you have your items wrapped and your can lined, place the items in the can and put the lid on. You may want to duct tape the lid so it doesn’t accidentally get knocked loose. Any gap between the lid and the can and it loses its ability to function as a Faraday cage. If you have space, go ahead and wrap the items in more cloth. This further protects them from accidentally shifting and causing a tear or hole in the foil when you move the can.

    You’ll find there’s a lot of room in a 31-gallon trash can. Pack the items that can be left sealed in foil indefinitely on the bottom. Then, on the top, place the things that need to be checked on or have their batteries charged.

    Alternatively, you could use several smaller steel cans with lids rather than one large one.

    If you happen to fill the can with equipment, make sure you place a cloth or other non-conductive material on top so that nothing can touch the inside of the can lid or the top around the sides. 

    Also, make sure that you have metal-to-metal contact between the lid and the can. Don’t put paint, tape, or anything that would get between the can and the lid, as this would likely render the can ineffective as a Faraday cage.
    image: galvanized steel trash canimage: galvanized steel trash can, lid off, with cardboard wrapped around interior to protect gear from EMPimage: cardboard wrapped interior of a galvanized steel trash can with foil wrapped devices on top of a blue cloth to protect gear from EMP

Tips for Success

For the best chance of success, remember these things:

  • There must be a minimum of 3 layers of aluminum foil surrounding the device.
  •  Use a minimum of 5 layers if you’re not going to be using the second layer of shielding, e.g. the metal trash can.
  •  The foil must not contact the device directly, so first, wrap it in paper or cloth. I use cloth.
  •  The foil-wrapped device must not touch the inside of the outer Faraday container.
  •  For the Faraday cage to be effective, the metal must completely surround the protected device.
  •  Use heavy-duty aluminum foil; the thicker, the better.

One final note about EMP protection

Should an EMP attack ever happen, don’t rush to open your Faraday cage and start pulling out your gear. The enemy may pop off the first EMP and then wait a few days or a week before popping off another one. This way, they could ensure that they are destroying as much as possible. Read more about what to do immediately after an EMP here.

Consider having two sets of gear in separate Faraday cages. The first one would be small and only have a few items, like an AM/FM/Shortwave radio and a few walkie-talkies. Your second one would be larger and contain all of your main gear, which you would open only after a reasonable amount of time or when you needed the equipment inside.

As you can see, EMP protection isn’t difficult. Unfortunately, EMP will destroy most electronic equipment and take out the power grid. However, by taking simple precautions now, you can ensure that you have functioning equipment to make the transition to a whole new way of life a little easier.

These novels portray EMP survival — entertainment AND food for thought!

Do you use Faraday cages to protect gear from an EMP?

159 thoughts on “Protect Your Gear From An EMP: What to Do and Why”

  1. Thanks for the info! Sounds so much easier than I thought. Any advice on protecting vehicles from an EMP? it is my understanding that car ignitions won’t work after such an attack.

    1. I know a guy that insists that simply disconnecting a cars battery will protect the cars computer from an EMP. Is there any truth to this?

      For Anne, battery backups, solar power tied to battery banks and generators will still run a lot of electronic equipment. Think HAM radios and the ability to connect with others over great distances. The more info from the outside the better.

      1. The hardest thing to protecting your gear against EMP is actually doing it. Followed closely, I think, by how to manage those devices that don’t have removable batteries, but you want to store anyway. Things like old iPhone or Androids, ebook readers, and so on. For these devices, I think it’s just a matter of having to have the discipline to take these out every 30 to 60 days and charge them up.

        As for vehicles, there is no way to know for sure. There has been no hard-core conclusive testing on vehicles, so a lot of what scientists and engineers talk about are only educated guesses. Granted, these are very educated guesses, but there’s enough dispute among them to be able to derive a conclusive answer from it.

        There’s also a lot of variables: Is the car running when EMP hits? Is it parked under a metal roof or underground? How well shielded is the computer on the vehicle from the manufacturer? Etc.

        Best answer we have: Some cars will be toast, some won’t. You may be able to reset the computer by disconnecting the battery for a few minutes.

        1. My pre-electronics VW Beetle is looking better all the time. The problem arises in the fact that I am not so sure modern day gasoline pumps have manual capabilities. If that is true, obtaining fuel would be difficult to say the least.

          1. Jon from Milwaukee

            Aircooled VWs are not truly “pre-electronics”. An EMP would still very likely fry things like the starter and alternator or generator. If you want to keep spares in a hardened container, they are not too difficult to access and replace on the vehicle. A spare battery might not be bad as well, I’m not sure what would happen to it during an EMP, especially one that’s installed in what would effectively become an EMP antenna (the car).

            If you have a running vehicle, getting gas from a gas station in a survival situation may be possible. Open the fill hatch (it mat be locked or require a special tool), and insert a long hoes attached to a hand pump.

            As a possible alternative, I’ve heard that some old diesel engines could be started with compressed air or large spring contraptions. Diesel engines do not require spark, so the older ones with mechanical injection can run without electricity once started. Diesel engines can also use a somewhat wider range of fuels, and biodiesel can be made at home.

          2. Hand pump or electric pump stored in your vehicle or at home. Electronics are nice, but we lived without them.

        2. what about a faraday paper. I dont know the correct term but it is a big roll of silver paper. I thought to take a car cover a stitch the faraday paper (Tech RFID Fabric) inside of it and just throw it on top of your car. Will that work?

      2. I am an electrical engineer with 13 years of experience and I work on avionics. Disconnecting your car battery alone will not protect your vehicle from EMP damage. EMP is radio frequency radiation. Every circuit board trace, electrical circuit, and wire in your car will act like an antenna and must be enclosed in a Faraday cage to protect from EMP.

        1. It might be even worse to disconnect the battery, as the power distribution now has no ability to sink energy into the battery. Anyway, if you did this, substantial protection may be obtained if you also short the power cable to the vehicle chassis with a short hefty jumper cable. Individual electronics may still be susceptible, but the major damage path of inducted energy in the power distribution wiring would be greatly attenuated. Remember to disconnect the short before re-connecting the battery.

      3. No, that is absolutely not true.

        The induced electrons will still destroy certain things. If its a microprocessor with silicon arsenide, it will get zapped.

      1. The Survival Mom

        That’s a question that has stirred a lot of debate, but the most authoritative experts say do NOT ground a Faraday cage. The grounding just provides a path for the electric charge to follow.

    2. remove the starter distributor coil plugs and wires and all electronics and wrap them in Faraday Cage – ESD EMP 3.0MIL Thick Material place all in a large rubber maid box and wrap with Faraday Cage – ESD EMP 3.0MIL Thick Material, bury 4 feet under dirt and wait till it happens then wait 48 hours and open the box you buried and unwrap all re assemble and your going again

    3. don’t think you will be able to just drive around even if your car runs.
      beware the ‘wolves’ who will kill ya to take it. and law enforcement will attempt to confiscate (by force if necessary) any running vehicle for their own use. IMO.

    4. So I’m just wondering…are we suppose to be wrapping up our electronics BEFOREHAND? Assuming we all have more than one phone etc?

  2. What I don’t understand is, if there is going to be no power for a very long time or maybe indefinitely, why protect electronic devices that you will then be unable to use becasue there is no power? I get the walkie talkies and a radio, but what else are people thinking of? Exactly what devices are people trying to shield, and are they things that would be able to run on batteries? My thinking has run along the lines of just adjusting to life without power and do everything possible to be able to survive and thrive without it. Am I missing the point?

    1. Receiving information over AM or Shortwave would be good to have, but so would the ability to communicate with others, especially for defense purposes. Far easier for a group or neighborhood with a few CB radios to be able to warn each other about intruders, than clanging on a large bell.

      Many modern flashlights, including LED lights, are very susceptible to EMP.

      If you live on a farm or retreat, I’m sure having some spare parts to keep your alternate energy system working and/or your well pump working would be incredibly handy.

      Night vision and perimeter monitoring would give you the tactical advantage to stay alive as you try to defend your home or retreat.

      The ability to have massive amounts of information in a digital format allows for you to search for specific information far faster and more efficient than with paper books. You should have paper books, but having additional books in digital form, is a huge plus. Not to mention having thousands of novels, videos and songs that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

      For more info: or

      1. Cbs, shortwave, walkie talkie, anything like that is also quieter than ringing a bell. Surprise is a big plus in defense. If they know you know, they aren’t caught off guard.

        If it’s worth fighting for, it’s worth fighting dirty for.

    2. THANK YOU EDITOR the help of building this I’m going to start collecting stuff to do this:)

      I’m not sure but they do have things like solar power panels (HARBOR FREIGHT ) WRAP THEM TOO! That are fairly cheap or hand crank generators……I’m not sure but I’ve seen them.
      You could put those and even a generator …..into the FARADAY CONTAINER. (AFTER WRAPPING IT OF COURSE! ) Generators are expensive I’ve come to find out we had a Honda and forgot to put oil in it and ran it into the ground! 🙁 I’VE watched the
      JIM BAKER SHOW…don’t laugh and stop reading now…he had alot of stuff on his website for end of the world type situations,
      Like the solar power generators /hand crank too ……A little pricey. …but I did get some of his water bottles that clean everything out of the water. SEYCHELLE WATER BOTTLES …..GO TO THEIR WEBSITE IT TAKES OUT EVERYTHING! YOU CAN ALSO GET FROM BAKERS WEBSITE. NO I’M NOT PROMOTING FOR THEM ALTHOUGH I DO APPRECIATE THE PREPARATION FOR US THANKS…..HARMONY

    3. Anne, I live in Baltimore and too near D.C. for me to chance staying put. I have a 72 VW Bus Camper as a just in case and all Comments above are excellent… as is the Article. Thanx!

    4. I just want to access my photos/files I’ve digitalized on my computer/hard drives…AND…who knows, energy is free…maybe someone will figure out how to ‘access it’ and one day we’ll be able to plug in for ‘vital info’. I am a techie-minimalist…but if this does happen, who knows what we’ll need to survive and in what form it will come in!

    5. Batteries for lights/flashlights, batteries for baby toys n refrigerator, cooking stuffs, and washer n dryer… Maybe a heater or ac depending on the weather?
      I have baby’s and idk what I would do I can’t afford to stock up

  3. Why do you have to shield disconnected power cords? I get that they can act as antennas, but if not connected to anything, what damage can EMP do to them?

    Thanks for the great, practical info!

    1. I don’t think the article said to wrap these by themselves. If you cannot remove cords and antennas from devices, then they need to be completely contained in the same container as the device they’re connected to. If they can be removed and do *not* have any electronics in them, they don’t need to be protected, though you’ll want to keep all parts together so you don’t lose or misplace these removed parts.

      Keep in mind, though, that some cords, especially those like charging cords, have chips in them. This includes cords you wouldn’t expect to have chips in them like Apple’s cords for iOS devices. These would also need to be protected to ensure that they will function after an EMP.

    2. We’ve never experienced an EMP at the level of technology we’re at…no one really knows the full affects…since it afffects ‘all technology/electronics’, I feel it’s best to protect the ‘electronics’ in the cables ‘just in case’.

  4. Thanks for the informative post. Question: what about the charge controller for my off-grid power system? We live off the solar panels, charge controller, inverter and batteries (Edison batteries are amazing, by the way!) with a back up generator for long stretches of cloudy weather. We are about 7 miles from the nearest utility pole. I can’t figure out if this system is vulnerable to what you are describing. I need to know if I should be wrapping my power shed with tinfoil! Thanks! – Z

    1. Look into Patriot Power Generator. The Platinum version has an EMP bag to keep the entire unit safe from EMPs, except for the solar panels, which so long as they aren’t connected to anything are not susceptible to EMP damage.

      More important than protecting your electronics is to keep safe drinking water on hand. Without water you will dead in three days, and drinking contaminated water can also kill you. Water4Patriots has a high-quality water filter for $300 that can literally make urine, rainwater, ditchwater and even sewer water good-tasting and drinkable. One filter lasts about 5,000 gallons, and you can buy additional filters to extend that by 5,000 gallons for each additional filter you buy. Filters are about $250 each. This system is too expensive for everyday use for me, but when the SHTF it can save your life. The only downside is that it isn’t too portable; use it at your shelter base, not backpacking.

      1. I use mine on a daily basis and save lots of money over jugs of water from the store. Should probably have extra filters based on unknown duration of power loss.

  5. First, keep in mind that anything that is connected to wires or metal is more susceptible to an EMP. The metal in wires and pipes acts like a collector for the EMP and directs it into whatever is connected. If what is connected contains semiconductors, they’ll probably be damaged of not outright destroyed. Small devices not connected to wires or metal might survive, or they might not; it depends on how strong the EMP is at your location (i.e., are you directly under the blast or at the edge of the line-of-site radius).

    Charge controllers, inverters, blocking diodes are all very susceptible to an EMP. I think there are some ways to protect using MOVs, but I have no experience with these. The only way to make sure that you’ll have all your systems working after an EMP event is to have safely squirreled away replacements for them. Likewise with your generator; store whatever electronic parts are needed for it to run.

    Wrapping your shed in foil might work, but unless there was no gaps in the metal sheathing, it would probably only be marginal protection. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. Since we don’t know exactly how an EMP will behave, particularly for a given location, every step you take is like adding another layer.

    So, putting tin metal sheeting on your shed, storing often used items in a sealed metal trash can when not in use, deep storing in Faraday containers replacements and spare parts, and even unplugging devices and appliances from the wall outlet when not in use would all help to decrease your susceptibility to an EMP.

    1. Question is it true that, if you take a lemon and cut it in to and put one prong of your electrical phone charger in to one half of a lemon and the other prong in to the other half that this will charge your cell phone when you are somewhere where there is no electricity? And if this can be done would this not also work for other electrical items needed?

      1. Jon from Milwaukee

        I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but an EMP would probably fry the cell towers anyway, making the cell phone useless. For non-EMP situations, a small solar charger or an external battery pack with a USB port would probably be more reliable. Those battery packs have gotten REALLY inexpensive lately if you watch sales and clearance racks.

  6. I would suggest that you wrap your laptop battery seperate, the newer batteries are controlled using micro circuits that are built into the battery pack.

  7. One Item I’ve found that works well are 20mm ammo cans. I line the inside with AL foil then 1/2 expanded foam (as an insulator) put my items inside and then a wrap of foil around the seam of the can and lid. It is both water tight and EMP proof.

    1. Some people have conjectured that a second EMP could be used to further destroy electronic capabilities, so it might be wise to wait even a couple of weeks or more unless an item is absolutely necessary for survival. You could always re-package your Faraday container contents and open them at a later date.

  8. A Faraday cage is nothing more than a ‘lightning rod’. And as such, NEEDS TO BE GROUNDED properly to work effectively, just like a lightning rod.

    1. No, a Faraday cage does NOT work on the same principle as a lightning rod. Lightning IS electrical energy which induces some electromagnetic energy, not the other way around. Instead, a Faraday cage works on the principle that a magnetic wave induces a current into any conductor that it strikes. The electromagnetic energy is converted into electrical energy rather than continuing through the container as electromagnetic energy. The electrical energy mimics the electromagnetic energy as it passes by. Faraday’s theory holds that if the conductor is good enough to handle the wave’s power, that no signal gets through. Note that in the experiments in this article, none of the items were grounded.

      It is generally accepted that grounding a Faraday cage intended for EMP protection is either irrelevant or counter-productive. A lightning rod attracts lightning, resulting in a large destructive current at that point. Note that airplanes are often struck by lightning but their sensitive electronics are rarely impacted, precisely because they are not grounded.

      1. The Survival Mom

        Bill, the issue of whether or not to ground a Faraday cage continues on survival websites everywhere! I agree with you that grounding isn’t necessary and might be counter-productive.

        1. Fried electrics

          I worked for a major airframe company and I had to interact with an EE who was our source for information on grounding. All modern jet fighters, cargo or refueling aircraft, must be able to operate in a high energy threat environment. Most of the battlefield areas have jamming equipment that operates whenever a threat is detected, and often it can be carried on another fighter who’s sole purpose is to flood the battlefield areas with EME to interfere with the enemies electronics.

          The entire airframe is a flying Faraday cage to protect the on-board electronics from EMI, up to and including a lightning strike. All of the equipment racks are grounded to major airframe metallic parts, but the equipment is only connected to its power cable and/or sensor cables which are specifically “hardened” against EMI.

          I am simply trying to confirm that one should never ground equipment to the Faraday cage that is around it. It also confirms that wrapping the equipment and its power cables separately, is important as each single item is vulnerable to EME.

          Your advice is very sound and should be effective against HEMP.

          1. The Survival Mom

            You may be interested in reading Arthur T. Bradley’s book, Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms.

        2. Grounding the outside of a Faraday Cage doesn’t affect how it protects your stuff; your stuff is insulated within the cage and no electrical current from an EMP reaches it either way. What grounding does is protect YOU. After an EMP event, your Faraday Cage acts just like an enormous capacitor and may keep a VERY high electrical charge on the outside of the cage in the form of an ionized field. Touching such a big electrical charge can kill you. The charge won’t build up to any degree if the outside of the cage is grounded.
          Look up “Leyden Jar” and study its principles, or build one. Your Faraday Cage can hold a charge just like a Leyden Jar, and if the charge is high enough, it can kill you. Grounding is needed for YOUR safety.

          1. The Survival Mom

            Since you’ve left multiple comments giving advice about grounding Faraday containers, I must point out that the advice I give here is based on the actual EMP studies of Dr. Arthur T. Bradley.

      2. As an electronics technician for 40 years, I disagree; a Faraday Cage SHOULD be grounded. The reason is that if an electromagnetic pulse strikes your Faraday cage and it is NOT grounded, that enormous charge has nowhere to go and can KILL a person when the current from a million-volt charge goes through that person’s body to reach ground. In tech school we thought it was great fun to charge a capacitor in a DC circuit, then carefully remove it without a ground and buzz a classmate’s neck with it. Examine how to build a Leyden Jar; the principles of it’s construction and a Faraday Cage–and the consequences of touching either one that has an electrical charge–are identical. You have actually built an enormous capacitor that, if not grounded, an EMP pulse will charge to VERY high voltage levels; it needs a path to ground.

        And no. that charge does NOT fry the contents of your Faraday Cage; the charge won’t build up if it is grounded, and will discharge harmlessly to ground using the outer, metal casing as the conductor, while your stuff inside is insulated from that current by the cardboard, sheets and other non-conducting materials used to wrap your stuff. BTW, I see no reason for wrapping each device in foil; no current ever gets past your insulating materials. In fact, you can dump everything into a Rubbermaid-type, nonconducting material container with a tightly-fitting nonconducting lid, then put that into a GROUNDED metal garbage can with a tightly-fitting metal lid. It will function just fine that way, and makes your stuff easier to get to.

        1. The Survival Mom

          Not to try and one-up you, but Dr. Arthur T. Bradley disagrees with you regarding grounding of Faraday containers. He’s an electric engineer with NASA and has done a number of different EMP tests that you can watch on YouTube. Whether or not to ground a Faraday container is a topic that continues on forums and comment sections like this one ad nauseum. Personally, if Dr. Bradley says that it doesn’t need to be done, I will go with his advice. If you’d like to ask him why he believes this to be so, his email address is

      3. Grounding the OUTSIDE of a Faraday Cage does NOT ground the electronics you want to protect. They are still wrapped in sheets, plastic, or whatever non-conductor you use (I put my stuff in a sealed Rubbermaid tub), insulated from any electrical current created from an EMP, whether the Cage surrounding it is grounded on the outside or not. But if you do NOT ground the outside of your Faraday Cage, that outside surface of the Cage may hold an enormous electrical charge just like a capacitor, which discharges through the soon-dead body of the first grounded person to touch it! The outside of the cage should be grounded; the storage space where your stuff is should be inside the Faraday Cage BUT completely electrically insulated from the Faraday Cage itself.

  9. Thanks for the article.. Just wondering though.. How do you know when to start wrapping your electronics? Will we get an email saying that an EMP is about hit?
    Good info !

    1. Robert Waldron

      How will it keep the electric on unless you have your wiring covered? like plugins for lights or ac or other electric devices?

      1. Jon from Milwaukee

        it won’t “keep the electric on”, the power grid will most likely collapse as the result of an EMP. You would need a means of powering whatever you are protecting, either by batteries, a generator or other “alternative energy” means. Your power source would also need to be protected.

  10. Suppose you want to go an extra step besides making a Faraday Cage. Could taking the batteries out of an electronic device, disabling or cutting the current, until after a CME or God forbid an HEMP. Would that device, such as a battery powered flashlight, would still work if you put the batteries back in? Would the light turn on?

  11. What about batteries? AA, AAA, C, D….. I have a small solar charger that can recharge rechargeable batteries, but do you need to protect them from EMP? Also, if I stock pile a whole bunch of store purchased disposable batteries, do they need to be protected from EMP? Car batteries? Thank you!

  12. Protecting Yourself from EMP(why? Because you can set up afterwards with solar or generators which are not so susceptable– and NO George.. Its not a lightning rod.)

    © 1989 by Duncan Long

    EMP. The letters spell burnt out computers and other electrical systems and perhaps even a return to the dark ages if it were to mark the beginning of a nuclear war. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Once you understand EMP, you can take a few simple precautions to protect yourself and equipment from it. In fact, you can enjoy much of the “high tech” life style you’ve come accustomed to even after the use of a nuclear device has been used by terrorists—or there is an all-out WWIII.

    EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse), also sometimes known as “NEMP” (Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse), was kept secret from the public for a long time and was first discovered more or less by accident when US Military tests of nuclear weapons started knocking out phone banks and other equipment miles from ground zero.

    EMP is no longer “top secret” but information about it is still a little sketchy and hard to come by. Adding to the problems is the fact that its effects are hard to predict; even electronics designers have to test their equipment in powerful EMP simulators before they can be sure it is really capable of with standing the effect.

    EMP occurs with all nuclear explosions. With smaller explosions the effects are less pronounced. Nuclear bursts close to the ground are dampened by the earth so that EMP effects are more or less confined to the region of the blast and heat wave. But EMP becomes more pronounced and wide spread as the size and altitude of a nuclear blast is increased since the ground; of these two, altitude is the quickest way to produce greater EMP effects. As a nuclear device is exploded higher up, the earth soaks up fewer of the free electrons produced before they can travel some distance.

    The most “enhanced” EMP effects would occur if a nuclear weapon were exploded in space, outside the Earth’s atmosphere. In such a case, the gamma radiation released during the flash cycle of the weapon would react with the upper layer of the earth’s atmosphere and strip electrons free from the air molecules, producing electromagnetic radiation similar to broad-band radio waves (10 kHz-100 MHz) in the process. These electrons would follow the earth’s magnetic field and quickly circle toward the ground where they would be finally dampened. (To add to the confusion, we now have two more EMP terms:

    “Surface EMP” or “SEMP” which refers to ground bursts with limited-range effects and “High-altitude EMP” or “HEMP” which is the term used for a nuclear detonation creating large amounts of EMP.)

    Tactically, a space-based nuclear attack has a lot going for it; the magnetic field of the earth tends to spread out EMP so much that just one 20-MT bomb exploded at an altitude of 200 miles could—in theory—blanket the continental US with the effects of EMP. It’s believed that the electrical surge of the EMP from such an explosion would be strong enough to knock out much of the civilian electrical equipment over the whole country. Certainly this is a lot of “bang for the buck” and it would be foolish to think that a nuclear attack would be launched without taking advantage of the confusion a high-altitude explosion could create. Ditto with its use by terrorists should the technology to get such payloads into space become readily available to smaller countries and groups.

    But there’s no need for you to go back to the stone age if a nuclear war occurs. It is possible to avoid much of the EMP damage that could be done to electrical equipment—including the computer that brought this article to you—with just a few simple precautions.

    First of all, it’s necessary to get rid of a few erroneous facts, however.

    One mistaken idea is that EMP is like a powerful bolt of lightning. While the two are alike in their end results—burning out electrical equipment with intense electronic surges—EMP is actually more akin to a super-powerful radio wave. Thus, strategies based on using lightning arrestors or lightning-rod grounding techniques are destined to failure in protecting equipment from EMP.

    Another false concept is that EMP “out of the blue” will fry your brain and/or body the way lightning strikes do. In the levels created by a nuclear weapon, it would not pose a health hazard to plants, animals, or man PROVIDED it isn’t concentrated.

    EMP can be concentrated. That could happen if it were “pulled in” by a stretch of metal. If this happened, EMP would be dangerous to living things. It could become concentrated by metal girders, large stretches of wiring (including telephone lines), long antennas, or similar set ups. So—if a nuclear war were in the offing—you’d do well to avoid being very close to such concentrations. (A safe distance for nuclear-generated EMP would be at least 8 feet from such stretches of metal.)

    This concentration of EMP by metal wiring is one reason that most electrical equipment and telephones would be destroyed by the electrical surge. It isn’t that the equipment itself is really all that sensitive, but that the surge would be so concentrated that nothing working on low levels of electricity would survive.

    Protecting electrical equipment is simple if it can be unplugged from AC outlets, phone systems, or long antennas. But that assumes that you won’t be using it when the EMP strikes. That isn’t all that practical and—if a nuclear war were drawn out or an attack occurred in waves spread over hours or days— you’d have to either risk damage to equipment or do without it until things had settled down for sure.

    One simple solution is to use battery-operated equipment which has cords or antennas of only 30 inches or less in length. This short stretch of metal puts the device within the troughs of the nuclear-generated EMP wave and will keep the equipment from getting a damaging concentration of electrons. Provided the equipment isn’t operated close to some other metal object (i.e., within 8 feet of a metal girder, telephone line, etc.), it should survive without any other precautions being taken with it.

    If you don’t want to buy a wealth of batteries for every appliance you own or use a radio set up with longer than 30-inch antenna, then you’ll need to use equipment that is “hardened” against EMP.

    The trick is that it must REALLY be hardened from the real thing, not just EMP-proof on paper. This isn’t all that easy. The National Academy of Sciences recently stated that tailored hardening is “not only deceptively difficult, but also very poorly understood by the defence-electronics community.” Even the US Military has equipment which might not survive a nuclear attack, even though it is designed to do just that.

    That said, there are some methods which will help to protect circuits from EMP and give you an edge if you must operate ham radios or the like when a nuclear attack occurs. Design considerations include the use of tree formation circuits (rather than standard loop formations); the use of induction shielding around components; the use of self-contained battery packs; the use of loop antennas; and (with solid-state components) the use of Zener diodes. These design elements can eliminate the chance an EMP surge from power lines or long antennas damaging your equipment. Another useful strategy is to use grounding wires for each separate instrument which is coupled into a system so that EMP has more paths to take in grounding itself.

    A new device which may soon be on the market holds promise in allowing electronic equipment to be EMP hardened. Called the “Ovonic threshold device”, it has been created by Energy Conversion Devices of Troy, MI. The Ovonic threshold device is a solid-state switch capable of quickly opening a path to ground when a circuit receives a massive surge of EMP. Use of this or a similar device would assure survival of equipment during a massive surge of electricity.

    Some electrical equipment is innately EMP-resistant. This includes large electric motors, vacuum tube equipment, electrical generators, transformers, relays, and the like. These might even survive a massive surge of EMP and would likely to survive if a few of the above precautions were taking in their design and deployment.

    At the other end of the scale of EMP resistance are some really sensitive electrical parts. These include IC circuits, microwave transistors, and Field Effect Transistors (FET’s). If you have electrical equipment with such components, it must be very well protected if it is to survive EMP.

    One “survival system” for such sensitive equipment is the Faraday box.

    A Faraday box is simply a metal box designed to divert and soak up the EMP. If the object placed in the box is insulated from the inside surface of the box, it will not be affected by the EMP travelling around the outside metal surface of the box. The Faraday box simple and cheap and often provides more protection to electrical components than “hardening” through circuit designs which can’t be (or haven’t been) adequately tested.

    Many containers are suitable for make-shift Faraday boxes: cake boxes, ammunition containers, metal filing cabinets, etc., etc., can all be used. Despite what you may have read or heard, these boxes do NOT have to be airtight due to the long wave length of EMP; boxes can be made of wire screen or other porous metal.

    The only two requirements for protection with a Faraday box are:

    (1) the equipment inside the box does NOT touch the metal container (plastic, wadded paper, or cardboard can all be used to insulate it from the metal) and
    (2) the metal shield is continuous without any gaps between pieces or extra-large holes in it.

    Grounding a Faraday box is NOT necessary and in some cases actually may be less than ideal. While EMP and lightning aren’t the “same animal”, a good example of how lack of grounding is a plus can be seen with some types of lightning strikes. Take, for example, a lightning strike on a flying airplane. The strike doesn’t fry the plane’s occupants because the metal shell of the plane is a Faraday box of sorts. Even though the plane, high over the earth, isn’t grounded it will sustain little damage.

    In this case, much the same is true of small Faraday cages and EMP. Consequently, storage of equipment in Faraday boxes on wooden shelves or the like does NOT require that everything be grounded. (One note: theoretically non-grounded boxes might hold a slight charge of electricity; take some time and care before handling ungrounded boxes following a nuclear attack.)

    The thickness of the metal shield around the Faraday box isn’t of much concern, either. This makes it possible to build protection “on the cheap” by simply using the cardboard packing box that equipment comes in along with aluminium foil. Just wrap the box with the aluminium foil (other metal foil or metal screen will also work); tape the foil in place and you’re done. Provided it is kept dry, the cardboard will insulate the gear inside it from the foil; placing the foil-wrapped box inside a larger cardboard box is also wise to be sure the foil isn’t accidentally ripped anywhere. The result is an “instant” Faraday box with your equipment safely stored inside, ready for use following a nuclear war.

    Copper or aluminium foil can help you insulate a whole room from EMP as well. Just paper the wall, ceiling and floor with metal foil. Ideally the floor is then covered with a false floor of wood or with heavy carpeting to insulate everything and everyone inside from the shield (and EMP). The only catch to this is that care must be taken NOT to allow electrical wiring connections to pierce the foil shield (i.e., no AC powered equipment or radio antennas can come into the room from outside). Care must also be taken that the door is covered with foil AND electrically connected to the shield with a wire and screws or some similar set up.

    Many government civil defence shelters are now said to have gotten the Faraday box, “foil” treatment. These shelters are covered inside with metal foil and have metal screens which cover all air vents and are connected to the metal foil. Some of these shelters probably make use of new optical fibre systems—protected by plastic pipe—to “connect” communications gear inside the room to the “outside world” without creating a conduit for EMP energy to enter the shelter.

    Another “myth” that seems to have grown up with information on EMP is that nearly all cars and trucks would be “knocked out” by EMP. This seems logical, but is one of those cases where “real world” experiments contradict theoretical answers and I’m afraid this is the case with cars and EMP. According to sources working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, cars have proven to be resistant to EMP in actual tests using nuclear weapons as well as during more recent tests (with newer cars) with the US Military’s EMP simulators.

    One reason for the ability of a car to resist EMP lies in the fact that its metal body is “insulated” by its rubber tires from the ground. This creates a Faraday cage of sorts. (Drawing on the analogy of EMP being similar to lightning, it is interesting to note that cases of lightning striking and damaging cars is almost non-existent; this apparently carries over to EMP effects on vehicles as well.)

    Although Faraday boxes are generally made so that what is inside doesn’t touch the box’s outer metal shield (and this is especially important for the do-it-yourself since it is easy to inadvertently ground the Faraday box—say by putting the box on metal shelving sitting on a concrete floor), in the case of the car the “grounded” wiring is grounded only to the battery. In practice, the entire system is not grounded in the traditional electrical wiring sense of actually making contact to the earth at some point in its circuitry. Rather the car is sitting on insulators made of rubber.

    It is important to note that cars are NOT 100 percent EMP proof; some cars will most certainly be affected, especially those with fibreglass bodies or located near large stretches of metal. (I suspect, too, that recent cars with a high percentage of IC circuitry might also be more susceptible to EMP effects.)

    The bottom line is that all vehicles probably won’t be knocked out by EMP. But the prudent survivalist should make a few contingency plans “just in case” his car (and other electrical equipment) does not survive the effects of EMP. Discovering that you have one of the few cars knocked out would not be a good way to start the onset of terrorist attack or nuclear war.

    Most susceptible to EMP damage would be cars with a lot of IC circuits or other “computers” to control essential changes in the engine. The very prudent may wish to buy spare electronic ignition parts and keep them a car truck (perhaps inside a Faraday box). But it seems probable that many vehicles WILL be working following the start of a nuclear war even if no precautions have been taken with them.

    One area of concern are explosives connected to electrical discharge wiring or designed to be set off by other electric devices. These might be set off by an EMP surge. While most citizens don’t have access to such equipment, claymore mines and other explosives would be very dangerous to be around at the start of a nuclear box if they weren’t carefully stored away in a Faraday box. Ammunition, mines, grenades and the like in large quantities might be prone to damage or explosion by EMP, but in general aren’t all that sensitive to EMP.

    A major area of concern when it comes to EMP is nuclear reactors located in the US. Unfortunately, a little-known Federal dictum prohibits the NRC from requiring power plants to withstand the effects of a nuclear war. This means that, in the event of a nuclear war, many nuclear reactors’ control systems might will be damaged by an EMP surge. In such a case, the core-cooling controls might become inoperable and a core melt down and breaching of the containment vessel by radioactive materials into the surrounding area might well result. (If you were needing a reason not to live down wind from a nuclear reactor, this is it.)

    Provided you’re not next door to a nuclear power plant, most of the ill effects of EMP can be overcome. EMP, like nuclear blasts and fallout, can be survived if you have the know how and take a few precautions before hand.

    And that would be worth a lot, wouldn’t it?

    Some initial thoughts on EMP protection from the US military packaging division.

    A continuously sealed metal barrier has proven to be very effective in preventing EM/HPM energy from reaching susceptible electronic or explosive components. Exterior packaging fabricated from plastic, wood or other fibre materials provides almost no protection form EM/HPM threats. The metal enclosure can be very thin provided there are no openings (tears, pin holes, doors, incomplete seams) that would allow microwaves to enter. Sealed barrier bags that incorporate a thin layer of aluminium foil and are primarily used to provide water vapour proof protection to an item, can add a great deal of resistance to EM/HPM penetration.

    A number of cylindrical and rectangular steel containers have been developed by the Packaging Division for a wide range of munitions, weapon systems and associated components. The cylindrical containers are end opening and the rectangular containers are top opening. All the containers have synthetic rubber gaskets that allow them to maintain a +3 psi environmental seal to the outside environment. The containers are constructed using seam welding to provide for continuous metal contact on all surfaces of the body assembly. The cover openings have been held to a minimum and the sealing gaskets positioned in a manner to allow overlapping metal parts to add additional protection to these areas. Microwaves are very adept at bouncing around and working their way into even the smallest opening. Tests of the cylindrical and rectangular steel containers used by this organization have demonstrated a high level of protection in preventing EM/HPM energy from entering the container.

    The key is to use a metal enclosure and eliminate or minimize any openings. Where openings are needed they should be surrounded to the greatest extent possible by continuous metal and in the case of a gasket, metal sheathing or mesh can be placed around the elastometer material or conductive metal moulded into the gasket. The closer the surrounding container comes to a continuous metal skin the more protection that will be provided.

    High quality gaskets, utilizing either a mesh or embedded conductive metal design, are very expensive. They add a magnitude of cost to a normal gasket and can easily double the price of a container similar to the ones mentioned above.


    1. Good information, except I don’t agree with your view on “inadvertently grounding” a Faraday Cage. So long as the protected devices are still electrically insulated from the grounded Faraday Cage, those devices will still be protected from an EMP event. My own opinion is that, given the massive voltages with which an EMP event can charge an ungrounded Faraday Cage, that field of charge can be dangerous to a grounded person touching it. So long as the OUTSIDE ONLY of the Faraday Cage is grounded and the INSIDE device storage is electrically insulated from both ground and the Faraday Cage, I should think that grounding only the outside of the Faraday Cage would be the safer design.

      1. The Survival Mom

        To ground or not to ground — one of the many survival/prepper controversies that never seems to go away. I’ve based the recommendations on this blog to NOT ground Faraday containers after personal conversations with Dr. Arthur T. Bradley, a PhD in Electrical Engineering who works for NASA as an electrical engineer. He has personally set up multiple EMP experiments, many can be viewed on YouTube.

  13. I’ve been looking into investing on a galvanized corrugated steel pipe bunker to help serve as a fallout shelter. Would you think that galvinized steel pipe would protect the power systems in my bunker from EMP? I just want to be sure that my generator will stay running so I have light in my shelter, if you think it won’t protect against EMP then I think I will build a faraday cage for it and any other electronics in the bunker but I just want to have a general idea about this before I invest in such a big “prep”.

  14. I’ve used this technique with several devices, such as an iPod shuffle, it would probably get boring,a kindle, good info, usbs with an old laptop, and a radio, and several charge packs for all of them. Thanks!

  15. Good article but just a thought. If there was a serious EMP I suspect the least of my worries would be my radio or ipad. The grid would be down in which case nothing would work including running water. Humans really have painted themselves into an impossible corner with our reliance on electricity. We have no backup plan. It will be a reset back to the stone age.

    1. this ongoing ,unsolvable,to ground or not to, discussion, could it simply not be resolved by giving all components a bit or more of time before putting hands on so the energy fields surrounding any equipment will naturally dissipate? after all when our world goes blank why would we want to immediately dig out our stuff to see if it still works ?

  16. As a woman trying to protect her own kids I am also a foster parent so I have a lot riding on my shoulders. I take my responsibility very seriously. I know the obvious items that would be effected by an EMP but what are some of the other NOT so obvious items that need to be protected. Example: solar panels? Generator? What about just the batteries for the solar back up? I hope to very soon purchase an RV refrigerator that runs on propane would this need to be protected? like I said I got the obvious but it’s the not so obvious that I am concerned about can we maybe get a list of these items and maybe a general idea or suggestion on how to protect the BIGGER items? I live not far from Nellis Air force base and yes there is an actual area 51 so an EMP is a definite concern.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to help those of us who want to help themselves!! To those who don’t well God Bless!!

    1. Robert Waldron

      How would light fixtures be affected? Would I have to take off the covers and try and insulate them?

    2. I haven’t yet read an answer to your question. I wish someone would answer because those are the things I worry about and want to take care of.

      1. The Survival Mom

        Sorry that question hasn’t been answered yet. The bottom line is that virtually everything with an electronic component is vulnerable to an EMP or a Coronal Mass Ejection. However, that doesn’t mean that everything will necessarily be completely disabled since there are literally thousands of variables. Liz asked about these specific items:

        Solar panels? They contain an electronic component, so yes, they are vulnerable. Also vulnerable is their connection to a battery or to the electric company.

        Generator? Yes, vulnerable. Some people have kept their portable generator in its original packaging/box and then wrapped the whole thing with aluminum foil. The problem is that generators need fuel and that fuel comes from a supply chain which, at each segment, would be affected by a widespread EMP. A “solar generator” protected by a Faraday container, along with solar panels (also protected) would provide an EMP-proof source of energy.

        What about just the batteries for the solar backup? Probably not the batteries themselves but the other components would be.

        RV refrigerator that runs on propane would this need to be protected? Yes, the fuel type doesn’t matter. It’s the electronic component in the motor that are vulnerable.

  17. I just purchased a portable solar generator. I am unsure as to how I would secure said generator along with accompanied solar panels. I have not taken it out of the box and basically know nothing pertaining to its operation. I did note that the article mentioned several times to place backup components into a Faraday cage however again I have zero knowledge of the mechanical aspects of the generator. Any ideas or thoughts? Thanks much!

  18. Well I was thinking since I live in a mobile with a metal roof, and aluminum siding that I would probably be safe. But I get radio signals in the house : (

    1. Robert Waldron

      I too live in a mobile home.. Will I have to take the fixtures off of them and try to insulate each one?

    1. I’ve heard that it’s possible for EMP waves to enter the microwave through the area around the cord, but many people believe that a microwave WILL work.

  19. I don’t understand why a little crack or pinhole defeats a Faraday cage. If the effect is line of sight, then MAYBE a crack would be a problem if it lined up exactly with the source of the pulse, but even then, wouldn’t it only allow a tiny sliver of the pulse to pass? If a screen (which has a lot of holes) is effective why does a crack matter?

  20. Testing on cars actually HAS been done. I need to find the report from the UK, but it basically said that most cars would be easily restarted after the end of an EMP attack. Unless, of course, everything in your car is computerized, including the starter. Mine is not. Anybody buying a computer for a car that can be hacked and tracked is an idiot anyway. Also, here’s some better info about automobiles after EMP atatcks:

  21. It makes a difference because electricity travels in waves. So with the hole, the waves get in. You have to think of it like water. It won’t let alot in, but enough to be a problem. Additionally, this is a good reason why we shouldn’t let the gov’t eliminate important thinks like PHYSICS from public education.

  22. Take an AM radio, tune it to the strongest AM station in your area, and place it in your microwave. Does it still pick up the radio station? Most likely, it will (unless you happen to be a good distance from an AM station).

    Microwaves are designed to shield the ~2.4 Ghz waves from escaping. They do not shield for frequencies above or below those used by the microwave itself. Thus, it is a very poor EMP shield.

    Same with Mylar bags. They may block 1 Ghz and up, but most of the energy of EMP frequencies are well below this range, and they too, won’t work.

  23. EMP does its damage by inducing large voltage differences into sensitive devices. It seems to me that removing the batteries from electronic devices may be half of the solution and may actually create an additional problem. Without the battery, the ‘hot’ side of the circuitry is floating and any induced voltage may actually be greater due to the high impedance of the internal circuitry. The internal impedance of the battery may actually lower the overall ‘hot-ground’ impedance and any induced voltage.
    I believe, where practical, I would actually remove the battery and short the ‘hot-ground’ inputs to sensitive equipment while in storage. In the case of an AC input that uses a step-down transformer (as opposed to a chopping power supply) removing the AC and shorting the input would actually prevent the primary winding from inducing any voltage into the secondary. At a minimum, the device may have a greater chance at common-mode rejection wherein any induced voltage is induced into the hot and common sides of the circuitry equally, in-phase at least at lower frequencies, and self-canceling.
    I ‘m not speaking from any real-world testing, just thinking about alternate possibilities and issues for further discussion/evaluation.

  24. Addition to last — To have any positive effect (if there is one to be had) the equipment would have to be turned ‘on’ in storage. I understand this would make minimal difference in much of the solid-state equipment out there, but would it hurt?

  25. Um I have some questions . I’ve been all over the internet looking up things like this , but you and one two other sites are the only one that make since to me. I’ve read your article but I still have questions since there is a lot of miss information out there .
    I wish to protect some of my electronic devices , I know that the devices I wish to protect would be useless without power ,I’m just doing it for reasureance .
    Here’s what I need to know. –
    Will cds and DVDs / games be affected ( those on disc)
    I’ve read that yes they’ll be fine , no they won’t be fine .
    ( I have a CD player for CDs)
    Will headphones be fine if they aren’t in use . ( I have more than one pair but I’m just curious )
    I wish to protect my game systems just for the sake of making me feel better .
    Do I need to put power cords in the cage too or can I just leave them one the floor or something.
    I’ve read that you can use holiday popcorn tins and others say you can’t .
    I can’t really ground the cage because i live on the upper level , do I need to do something special because I have carpet . Some say that the batteries will explode, others say no.
    I know that I cannot protect everything , but that doesn’t me I can’t protect some . And I know that the game systems will be useless without power . But the reason I’m doing it is because if things ever go back to normal I have something , things that I can call my own , things that work. Things that bring me comfort .

  26. Great questions, Holly.

    “Will cds and DVDs / games be affected ( those on disc)”
    No. Optical discs have no electronics and won’t be affected by EMP.

    “Will headphones be fine if they aren’t in use”
    It depends. If they are simply wires and speakers, they should be fine. If they have any electronics in them, they will probably be affected. Better to assume they will be susceptible to EMP.

    “I wish to protect my game systems just for the sake of making me feel better”
    Who wouldn’t?! They will need to be protected in a Faraday box, as they are very susceptible to EMP, especially if they are plugged in.

    “Do I need to put power cords in the cage too or can I just leave them one the floor or something.”
    Unless the cord has electronics in it, it will be fine. However, it’s probably best to keep everything together.

    “I’ve read that you can use holiday popcorn tins and others say you can’t ”
    I wouldn’t use them. They’re too thin to provide a lot of EMP protection. I have put an AM radio into one and it still was able to pick up the AM station. How is it going to protect against the much stronger pulse of EMP if it can’t block a weak AM radio signal?

    “I can’t really ground the cage because i live on the upper level , do I need to do something special because I have carpet”
    You do not want to ground your EMP Faraday containers. Not to be mean, but anyone saying different doesn’t understand EMP. Common electricity theory does not apply to EMP, so there are those that will argue for grounding, because it’s what you do for safety with electricity.

    “I know that I cannot protect everything , but that doesn’t me I can’t protect some . And I know that the game systems will be useless without power . But the reason I’m doing it is because if things ever go back to normal I have something , things that I can call my own , things that work. Things that bring me comfort .”
    Agreed. I think large gaming systems might be a bit much to try and protect, as you also need to protect the controllers and an entire television, which is probably difficult. But, tablets, smartphones and small gaming systems (like DS, PSP, etc.) would be easier to protect.

    Although, I don’t think you would have too much time to play games after an EMP event, as you’ll be struggling to survive nearly every minute of the day. Having electronics to provide information (books, PDFs, text, videos), entertainment (audio, books, videos, pictures, games), and security (CO monitors, night vision, perimeter detection, alarms) can give you a force multiplier over the next guy, which is why they’re worth protecting.

  27. I don’t really have any intention of playing games after and emp . I just want the comfort in knowing my stuff is safe. But really a big thing of mine is music and as long as I have that I’ll be fine . Which is why I asked about the CDs .
    But would they be fine is I stored them in a cardboard box anyway ?
    (Cause I have a box that I can wrap in foil and put them in .)
    Though they might do better if I moved them over to the wooden book case instead of havering them sit
    On a metal stand .
    One thing i cannot get right is the lining.
    I have a 6 gallon galvanized steel trash can , but I can’t get the card board to line up right .
    Is it supposed to flush with the can ?
    That’s the one part I have a hard time with , getting it adjusted right.
    ( but I’m also using cut cardboard boxes , and I don’t think I can tape the pieces together)
    Um one final thing my house has an old tv antenna on top of the chimney , would that pose a problem?

  28. I hate to keep bothering you Rob but I have one more question .
    My mom took the trash can I was going to use as a cage.
    Now I’ve read that you can use boxes (which I hope work just as well)
    The box I’m hoping to use is the kind that you get from staples ( the white folded ones)
    Since that would fit what I want in there nicely .
    I’m gonna add extra cardboard to the inside of the box . How many layers of foil should I use?
    The items that I put in the box will be in cardboard boxes wrapped in foil . ( at least two layers )
    In a way I think this might work better in my room space wise .
    ( I hope that box works because the only other ones I have are the basic ones with the flaps at the top.)
    I know that a steel trash can would work better but you do with what you have I guess. And maybe with this done I can go back to my studies . ( though I wish I had my sisters attitude , if it happens it happens if it doesn’t , then it doesn’t . ) my family worries about the here and now , don’t get me wrong we’ve prepped and have things stored away . And thankfully we don’t live in the city , we live in the country will cows and such and farm equipment running up and down the road . ( the well water took some getting used to ). Sorry for the ramble , but please let me know if that box works .
    Please and thank you.

  29. Does anyone know if the site is accurate ?
    Cause he says foil boxes won’t work , that it’s not adequate or whatever.
    He says batteries will be fine then he turns around and says batteries won’t be fine. seems pretty accurate .
    He told me that I needed to ground , but how can I do that if I have carpet ?

  30. I haven’t had much luck with foil lined boxes or envelopes. They might work if you were able to get enough layers of foil around them, but personally, I’d avoid them.

    If you don’t have access to a single container you can use, then wrapping each device in multiple layers of foil is probably the next best solution. Five layers of HD foil at the minimum. And make sure you first wrap the device with a non-conductive material. is a good site to reference.

    Batteries will probably be fine, unless they have electronics in them (some do). Better to protect any that you will be depending on, as you won’t get a second chance with EMP.

    Faraday containers for EMP should not be grounded.

    I have available extensive information on my website and podcast about EMP Preparedness and suggest you read over that information, as I think you’ll find most of your questions answered in it. I also have a book, if you’re looking for a concise source of the info. You can find access to all of that here: EMP Preparedness/.

  31. Thank you very much for your help . I greatly appreciate it.
    I found another trash can , but it’s different than the other one .
    It says it galvanized sheet steel . The one I was going to use was a brehens , and it says high quality steel . ( I can feel a slight difference in thickness) but it’s the same thing right .
    The only thing is the sheet steel can isn’t a locking lid .
    But is there a steel difference ?
    One a small note I’m going to make a temp emp cage , which will be for items that I use every day. It will be a foil wrapped box that can fit other wrapped boxes inside . This is just for when I’m out or away.
    I know it’s not a lot of protection but it’s something . I might keep some cds in a small cardboard box ( cant hurt can it?) . But thank you for you help . Though I hope and pray that we are never attacked in this fashion. And I pray that we never have to use our prepp gear . As grandma said better to have it and not need it , then to need it and not have it . Nothing wrong in praying that you never need it.

  32. I know I asked this already , but I actually forgot to add this with my first post about cds .
    I know that CDs / DVDs from the store would be safe .
    So that means my game discs should be too.
    However the question I would like to know is are
    CD-R discs safe as well . I forgot to ask a long time ago and I hate to be a bother.
    I keep being told to ‘put the cd in the microwave and find out . Or that the metal layer is a conductor and will fry the disc or erase the data . Or super – emps will wipe or melt them’
    ( the reason I ask about the CD-R disc is because me and my sis have a lot of them. )
    But I’m sorry for asking a repeat question I just want to make sure I don’t have to put them in the cage ,
    And was trying to find scientific facts on optical data emp testing but I guess no ones done that .

  33. I don’t know specifically about CD-Rs, but as they’re not electrical based, I would think they would be fine. I wouldn’t put them in a microwave, as they’re likely to melt or warp. Microwave energy found in a microwave oven is not the same thing as EMP.

  34. When I was young the rule was; 3 minutes to breathe, 3 days to drink water, 3 weeks to eat in survival.
    Provided you survive an attack, the next most important and critical event is to have clean water to drink, without electricity. An old fashion point well and hand pump will be crucial, and a good water filter will keep you alive and healthy, and possibly all your neighbors. Food storage and preparation is next. As any camper from the 1950’s knows fuel and a spot to cook becomes the next most important item, again no electricity means no refrigaration. All meats need to be cooked immediately or it will spoil. Stock pile wood, kerosene, and gasoline. Survival of the first 3 months will give you time for the people to organize to the new realities and start the rebuild process. If you live in the suburbs you may meet your neighbors for the first time, some not so friendly, be prepared, need I say more!

  35. You must ground the container acting as a Faraday cage to earth with a direct, low resistance ground – or it will NOT work at ALL. Any metal shielding that is not connected to ground will inductively couple and become a secondary radiator of the RF impulse, putting your equipment at even more risk by concentrating local electromagnetic fields.

    If the cage/can/container is grounded to earth (IE 8 foot copper clad ground rod, heavy gauge, low impedance wire) the induced RF current will shunt to ground, and the cage will not become an antenna. The aluminum foil you have wrapped on devices inside the faraday cage is not doing anything, as it is not connected to a ground. If, during your test, you would have grounded your trash can with an old piece of copper waterpipe or a ground rod, the grounded trash can and the cardboard insulator would have blocked out virtually all RF, aluminum foil is completely unnecessary. The cloth is good thinking, it will allow the devices to breathe as temperature and relative humidity changes. Thank you for the article!

  36. Rich, a small gap will not necessarily defeat your Faraday cage, it has to do with the size of the gap and the frequency of the radiation. So long as the gap is smaller than the wavelength(this depends on frequency) of the RF field/EMP, the wave will not be able to pass through the hole without being captured by the metallic shield. Kind of like the shape blocks from when we were kids, for example if the wavelength of the frequency of the EMP burst was 5mm, any gap larger than 5mm will allow RF to pass through it – the inverse is also true. That is to say that any gap smaller than 5mm will attenuate the radio wave (emp). As long as you have a metallic container and a ground wire soldered onto it connected to an earth ground rod, any wave that strikes the outside of the container (being conducted into it) will shunt to ground.

  37. See this is why I have anxiety. Some say ground , others say don’t .
    I can’t bury anything because the yard floods . My cage is a galvainzed steel trash can that’s sitting in my room on a carpeted floor . I have no place to ground it too.
    My cage is lined with cardboard , sides ,top and bottom, the stuff in the cage is in a cardboard
    Box wrapped in two layers of HD aluminum foil.
    And not to be a bitch , but how do you know that a cage needs a wire . For all you know grounding could have the opposite effect, and the ones that aren’t grounded are safe. I’m sorry I don’t mean to question your knowledge, it’s just I’m so frustrated and confused, that I actually get anxiety .
    I though I was doing it right but now I don’t know .

  38. Jeff Stormcrow

    Has anyone tested the effect that a grid of rare-earth magnets would have on EMP? Close enough together to create a magnetic bottle to shield against the induction caused by the EMP. No wires near the magnet, just a grid of multiphase permanent magnets spaced equally distant and not connected to each other electrically. Is there an effect? Would it shield EMP?

  39. Jeff Stormcrow

    Holly, I believe the danger in grounding a faraday cage lies in the length of the wire used to connect to the ground. If the wire is more than 30 inches long, it would act as an antenna and actually increase the effect. Obviously, in your scenario, if the ground spike is in the same spot as the faraday cage, then the wire connecting to it would be short and a ground would be beneficial. However, if it is at the other end of the house, then the wire leading to it would induct a voltage. Causing the cage to be charged more than if it had never been grounded. Hope that helps.

  40. Robert Waldron

    I live in a mobile home in a trailer park. How suseptible am I to an emp attack?How can I protect my electric plugins? Do I have to take off the covers and insulate them? If so how do I keep from getting electrocuted?

    1. Robert Waldron

      Does every light switch have to be covered with aluminum? if so how do I know how to do this without shutting off the electric power? Or getting shocked?

        1. I appreciate your anxiety on this topic, I think we all feel a bit worried. However, to expect instant answers to multiple questions, when others have provided tons of resources seems a bit… rude. In my opinion, from what I’ve read, there would be no way to shield an entire home or trailer from EMP. Anything connected to a wire or plug would be vulnerable. For a Faraday cage to be effective, the item you are wishing to protect must be completely shielded within the (multiple protective layers) and the cage. To attempt to insulate an electrical outlet still connected to a grid would be futile, I believe. Rob Hanus, from has offered highly valuable information. Take a look there, and/or purchase his excellent book on the topic of EMP. As a final note, anyone telling you to ground your Faraday cage (or that a gap in the layers of protection) doesn’t understand anything about EMP. Do not ground it, or you will defeat the purpose. Educate yourself, and choose your sources wisely.

          1. oops. Left a sentence unfinished. I meant to say “Anyone telling you … that a gap in the layers of protection DOESN’T MATTER… doesn’t understand anything about EMP”

      1. HAHA, and thanks for the levity. 😉 A sense of humor needs to be on any survival list. I live in Florida and during the 2004 hurricane season I was without power and water for a month. Almost decided to move after that but I am still here. Staying positive is the key. Even if you lose a lot. Thanks for the article and comments. I am improving my preps for general disasters and I’m getting great ideas.

  41. I have looked at several article about EMP, one thing I see people seems to forget is that the EMP if is destroyed in the air will effect the satellites in space as well. Or is the space satellites in space made of components that will keep them from be effected by the EMP blast. Also it seems that Solar Panel and generators will be effected by the EMP.

    1. That would depend on the source of the pulse and the altitude of the satellite. A targeted EMP over the U.S., or any other country, only needs to detonate somewhere above 25 miles. Satellites are usually at an altitude of 100-1000+ miles. Now, one thing that COULD affect satellites would be a coronal mass ejection.

      I don’t know if satellites are hardened against EMP. My guess is that its structure lends itself to that protection, and yes, solar panels and generators will most likely be disabled by an EMP. It’s possible that older generators, like older model vehicles, would be okay, since they wouldn’t be dependent on electronic components.

    1. Better Safe Than Sorry

      It would be easier to replace it with a safe that has only mechanical components. If you must keep your electronic keypad safe you would have to put it in a Faraday cage like all other electronic components….not to practical. Sell it on Craigslist. And get a safe that is either class B or class C, so others cannot break into it easily.

  42. Minimum effective shielding for EMP is estimated to be at least 80 dB attenuation at all frequencies. Most people can’t measure their shielding, so you need the maximum assurance you can get from the construction. If you use a galvanized can with a lid for shielding, duct tape is the WRONG tape to use on the lid. You need wide COPPER tape, with a part of the edge folded over to make a conductive bond that gets around the insulating adhesive layer of the tape. Any long non-conductive gap in the seal, no matter how narrow, is a pathway for RF energy to get through. This is known to RF engineers as a Slot Antenna. A good course by Henry W. Ott covers shielding properly, for those interested. (

  43. I’m waaay more worried about our own government attacking us than anybody else . Five years ago I believed in them 100% , then I started to really investigate 911 . They did it , they really did . Vote Donald J Trump folks . Please , we are taking our country back ! Back from the criminals like Hillary Clinton and the special interest groups that own her ! We need your help !

    1. This isn’t a political site but I have to say that since Trump has never made a political decision in his life, it’s a pretty far stretch to say he has a love of war. LOL

  44. thats the best info i have found to protect my electronics,walmart sells a galv trash can half the size of the full size can for ten bucks,i got three to use.will follow your plan thanks!

  45. Question. Have you tested burying anything? It’s a lot cheaper. There’s nothing more grounding than the ground, right? It’s a theory anyway.

    1. The Survival Mom

      I’ll ask Arthur T. Bradley. He’s a NASA electronics engineer and has done a lot of EMP testing. He’s an instructor at Preppers University, so I’ll shoot him and email.

      1. If it turns out water is a pretty good shield and if it doesn’t take to much water to do the trick, perhaps chucking your (plastic sealed) electronics into your emergency water supply is an option? …or the pool, if you have one. Here in MI you are never more than 5 miles from water. …although I’d be careful about what water I’m drinking south of a certain line due to industrial contamination. We have our Corporate Greed Fiend’s to thank for that. Supposedly 6 feet of water is all it takes to protect from radiation, at least that is what they say at nuke plants, and we all know water is a conductor. Of course it tends to freeze here in MI during certain months of the year.

    2. The Survival Mom

      Here’s what Arthur T. Bradley had to say about your question:

      “Yes, it is possible to bury items in the ground to protect them. The earth is basically a giant weak conductor. It’s not clear to me how deep the items would need to be buried, but I would think at least 5-10 feet. I did read once about electromagnetic testing underwater, and it appeared that something would have to be 6-10 feet under water to have adequate RF shielding. The other issue with burying electronics I would think would be condensation, potential water damage, temperature fluctuations, possible infestations, etc. For most people, a simple shielded box in their home would be easier.”

      1. Of course. No option is perfect and always one must balance ease with effectiveness and circumstances. I probably CAN’T bury anything here BECAUSE I’m too close to a lake. The water table is just a few feet down. Can’t build a root cellar either. Got water though. It’s probably too small for much fishing but it does attract water fowl. Good plan for a wildfire also. For 9 months out of the year, the bottom of the lake is (apparently) a good place for an EMP safe *IF* I can protect my stuff from the circumstances down there.

  46. Something just occurred to me pertaining to cell phones and computers. They will be useless because an EMP would have destroyed the infrastructure they require to use. In a nuthshell, no cell towers means no service. You might put a sat-phone in your cache or a GPS because these devices can be stand-alone. “Can be” means that you must ensure that they are by checking the technical details or getting someone to do it for you. You could put a computer in there if it has some form of satellite communication. Like IDK, a sat-phone modem or Satellite Internet service. Of course if the EMP event is very large, it might not matter. I’m a tech pro and I think I would limit myself to things like a battery operated GPS. A set of walkie talkies might help. A police scanner type radio might help, but make sure it also does AM/FM. My brother does HAM radio, that might help but IDK if you can easily protect something that large.

  47. Great, clear instructions. Thank you so much, I too have found that information on HEMP effects is very hard to find.
    Something to note about storing electronics people should consider- try to not store electronics for more than 7 years without repowering-up and checking operation, especially with two-way radios. Because if some electronic components (like capacitors) stay dormant for too long they will lose their “Conditioning” and be much less operational when you need them.
    Great tactic of waiting a few days before unpacking after a HEMP, that’s exactly right there would be 2-3 attacks at random succession to completely cripple a country.
    Thank you!

  48. I just tested 3 layers of aluminum foil and my wifi still gets through, I’m sitting about 2 feet away from the router I believe it’s a 2.4ghz signal.

  49. Edward B. Kiker

    Really great site and info on building and testing EMP protection. I have sent it to our greater membership.

  50. There is a big difference between relatively low-power radio frequencies and high-power high-frequency EMPs. Foil may be enough to stop radio frequencies from getting through, but it is not substantial enough to handle the current generated by an EMP. Using foil to guard against an EMP would be similar to using 24 gauge wire for a car battery; it is likely to burn through. The Carrington Event of 1859 proved this point when it caused telegraph wires much thicker than foil to catch fire.

    1. The Survival Mom

      Hi Debra. We adhere to the information and guidelines from Dr. Arthur T. Bradley who has done extensive testing on the effects of EMP on vehicles and other electronics and has even developed a device to protect a home’s electric system from an EMP. He recommends aluminum foil as the protective layer and that is what we continue to recommend to readers. You can watch his very informative videos on YouTube.

  51. David Svarrer

    Dear EMP readers,

    It has surprised me profoundly to read all the EMP and Corona literature. Truly, it is all fear based. And truly, it could happen. And truly, it may be more realistic in the current situation (in the world) that it would happen, based on a man-made event, such as an atomic bomb blast..

    Many Americans have chosen a range of things – from creating shelters, filing them with canned food, creating water storages, bunkers, now EMP shields.

    Better yet would be to elect presidents who are not war mongers, war-addicts, violent as such or similar financially violent, selfish, “America First”, or similar.

    ALL kind of escalation of unfriendly behaviour, ie. via price-wars, trade-wars, tariff wars, and other unnecessary hostility towards other people, their countries, cultures etc. – and ALL kind of hostility towards refugees (even though we do not right now know what to do with them) – ALL of the above – leads to the prospect event of having to survive EMP’s and more than that.

    You guys have no clue to what it takes to survive just with a whisker, from such events. ALL your preparations are – in vain. The best preparation, ever, is descalation, peaceful coexistence, reduction in populations, sharing our resources, localized energy (no centralized energy) etc. etc.

    THAT would take that when you go to vote, then indeed – you vote for peaceful candidates, and not the current rubbish you pull into the White-House via your X on the voting system.

    Live well. Fear not. Have faith in all that is good – and LIVE that way instead of voting in fools to lead your country and then in hiding, creating de-funct fantasy-shelters against the ones you voted in, in your backyard.

    David Svarrer

    1. The Survival Mom

      I don’t know what happened with his EMP invention as other people sell something similar, and I see that one of his competitors brought the lawsuit.

      I do know that he has conducted many experiments to discover what may or may not work to shield electronics from EMP, and that is worth knowing about.

      Also, not a fan of EMP Shield.

      1. Not your business

        Wait Wait, Survival Mom,

        Love your website but, don’t understand….How is Bradley’s EMP Storm an invention if someone else already invented it?

        EMP Shield created this tech and its patented..

        1. The Survival Mom

          Okay. You know that more than one person can have a similar concept and create similar products, right? I don’t have a dog in this fight other than acknowledging Arthur Bradley as one of the few people who have done extensive, helpful research to help answer questions about EMP and preparedness. What he invented or not, what he said or not has, apparently, been handled in a court of law.

  52. Survival Mom,

    you understand he lied big time about the EMP Shield in a video and also was told he close the Storm project refunding people.

    However, EMP Shield is working on the grid with the DEMSO in Texas and is listed by DHS. They completed all military requirements (even more than the DR recommended and at higher levels).

    They’ve competed UL certification and are backed by several huge companies.

    I’ve also learned they are the Kansas Emerging Business of the year.

    Might I ask why you don’t like them?

    1. The Survival Mom

      If you believe the EMP Shield is a worthwhile investment and will protect your home in the event that an EMP takes out the power grid, then more power to you.

    1. The Survival Mom

      Comments are held for moderation due to spam. It looks like there was a total of 15 minutes between your comments. It also looks like you have some sort of vested interest in my opinion of EMP Shield and Arthur Bradley.

  53. Everyone should have a vested interest and I applaud anyone willing to stand apart from the crowd which seems in this website is trying to push towards Bradley. Especially if they are selling a lie. Now he’s trying to sell ferrites lol

    Sucks he got sick and glad he’s doing better but… oh jeez.

    and by the way, if anyone has a vested interest, isn’t it you? You’ve promoted Bradley a bazillion times.

    Heard some chatter about this on discord so figured I would see if it was real

    1. The Survival Mom

      The anti-Arthur crowd has had their say, and I’ve been fair in approving every comment so far. I will not disavow nor will I be removing links to his books or disavow his advice in regards to EMP as they add value to past blog posts on the subject.

      The household EMP device issue has never been mentioned on my site, I’ve never recommended it, nor do I have any connection with it. No further comments will be approved as they add nothing to the discussion.

  54. Can you build a small EMP safe Command and Control Center out of common copper cents? If so this would be a blessing for nearly any house to benefit from. Please tell me if the follow suggestion has merit for others to apply:

    I was told copper can generate a protective field which might block EMP damage concerning electronics.  After giving this some thought, and assuming this idea is legitimate, I realized good old fashioned work (a.k.a. do it yourself methods) could accomplish such at an affordable cost.  Besides, people tend to have more time than excess money (especially due to stay-at-home orders concerning Covid-19).  With that said, what if copper cents (standard US pennies from 1981 to 1959 of which ~25% of all cents in circulation happen to be) were glued onto a one square foot piece of plywood?  Once done, another square foot piece of plywood could be glued to the other side.  Also, consider applying a thin layer of caulk around the four edges just in case some pennies become unglued.  This way the overall size and weight would be manageable for nearly all ages to handle.  Furthermore, the number of copper cents per square foot wouldn’t be unbearable to piece together.  Once this concept was applied numerous times you could have a small Command and Control Center (e.g. the size of a walk-in closet) in nearly any home.  Obviously some sections would need to be smaller than a square foot in order to fit around odd shaped walls; however, this wouldn’t be a concern if done in the corner of a standard room (e.g. basement).

         Would the thickness of each copper cent (not zinc cents hence no 1982 and newer US pennies since ~19% of all 1982 US cents are zinc cents) likely protect (a) electronics from EMP damage and/or (b) provide a dead zone which makes it difficult for verbal conversations to be overheard due to global surveillance technologies?  If so, you can go online to eBay and buy bags of common copper cents (non-wheat cents) for 2 cents (or more) per penny.  That’s cheap.  As of today (8-29-20), has a US copper cent valued at ~1.85 cents each.

         Please respond if you believe (not promise) this idea is worth applying.  Also, consider adding value to this suggestion and sharing it with others.  However, please don’t include my email address (personal information).

    Thank you.

  55. If an EMP weapon is so powerful;WHY HASN”T ANYONE TRIED TO USE ONE YET? An EMP weapon is not an offensive weapon. let’s say you want to occupy a city. If you use an EMP weapon; It will shut down the city’s power grid. Plus destroy all of it’s computer systems. You’d have to repair all the stuff you knocked out immediately. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

    1. Absolutely! In fact, a few months ago I recorded a class for my Survival Mom Sisterhood members and that was one of my main points. If an EMP destroys power stations, city water systems, etc., how will the conquering army survive? Generally, it makes for good fiction and then you start thinking it through…

  56. I’m a ‘newbie’…I have a question if you can help:
    I’m using 2 plastic bags to line my steel garbage can…is that enough?
    I’m putting my devices in ‘bubble wrap envelopes’ folding and fastening them tightly w/rubber bands and then putting them in the can…should I ALSO wrap the envelopes in aluminum foil first…is that ‘overkill’?
    Just in case there are ‘any possible leaks’ in the ‘locking lid’, I’m using a plastic bag on top of the lid/rim before sealing…should I do something else? Thanks for any help.

  57. CME`s do destroy electronics, even melt copper wire. Remember about a decade ago we we’re worried about a CME sending us back to the stone age. Go watch suspicious observers on youtube, we have gotten extremely lucky in the last two weeks.

  58. Thanks Lisa for the research and excellent article!

    Here’s an article on how various devices and appliances may be affected (or not) by EMP.

    He says the containers have to be grounded.

    I’m trying to figure out how to protect my external backup hard/SSD drives, which are swapped out weekly, from static/EMP and fire. (Separate issues.) They go in antistatic drive cases inside a fireproof safe. The plastic faraday/antistatic drive cases and bags will melt at a certain temperature but then so would the circuit boards and all other plastic components. As far as I can tell an antistatic drive case inside several antistatic or aluminum bags is the best possible solution for now.

    1. The Survival Mom

      Jessica, we’d love to see your version of an EMP protective container that meets military standards! Can you email the links and your photos to admin @ Thanks!

  59. 9 million watts of RF from what? A radio transmitter farm? They are not additive. I think a lot of prepers are going to get a post EMP rude awakening. I’ve not come across any prepers yet who have tested their Faraday sheild against an actual military weapon level EMP. Good luck with your aluminum foil. It would probably serve you better on your head.
    So much misinformation and false hope provided by DIY prepers. Hey most personal electronic devices are already wrapped in nonconductive material. It’s called plastic.

  60. I’m using 1 mil copper foil to line the interior siding of my house, to help block EMF from the many 5G cell phone towers and countless WIFI routers in my city (Los Angeles). My intent has been to line parts of the interior of my attic area to help block EMF.
    The arguments on this thread go to “ground” and “don’t ground” but are centered small faraday cages.

    Anyone here add copper foil to the interior of their homes to block EMF? If so did you ground by connecting to an electrical outlet? Or as the Survivor Mom points out, “not necessary?”
    Thank you

  61. Interesting site, thank you! I first thought you’d just put things into things marketed as EMP bags. But after reading here, should the items all be wrapped in something else first so they don’t touch the foil-looking bags, or are the bags themselves multi-layered so the wrapping isn’t necessary?

    1. The Survival Mom

      Arthur Bradley says it’s okay to just put your various electronics into the EMP bags with no other layers. The instructions here say to wrap each item indiviually. So — either way is fine.

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