Having an understanding of basic EMP protection and the reality of the threats we face is crucial if you want to live a prepared life.

As technology continues to evolve and tensions rise all over the world, the chance of an EMP attack happening is increasing significantly.

But the interesting thing is that EMP protection is one of the areas that preppers seem to overlook the most. It’s not like they’re wasting their time on other things, they just drastically underestimate the power an EMP attack can have.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about surviving and protecting yourself from an EMP. The principles are simple, all you need to do is take action.

What Is An EMP?

EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse. This is a quick burst of electromagnetic energy that can have a number of interesting (and unfortunate) effects.

An EMP can be caused by a number of different things. Among them are magnetic, electric, and radiated fields. Additionally, a conducted electric current can also be used to cause an EMP.

These occur naturally through a variety of phenomena, but can also be triggered by man-made devices as well. For the sake of this article, we’re going to be focusing on man-made EMPs.

While a burst of electromagnetic energy might sound like one of those “sciency things” that doesn’t have a tangible impact, we can assure you the opposite is true.

A significant emission of electromagnetic energy is enough to wreak havoc in modern society. That’s because it doesn’t play nicely with all the fancy electronics we use on a daily basis.

Small electromagnetic pulses that occur from lightning, static discharge, or motor starts are too small to be an issue. However, when you ramp up the intensity it doesn’t take much for an EMP to become very disruptive.

A few of the most concerning causes are coronal mass ejections, pulses that occur due to a nuclear explosion, and devices that are created primarily for the sake of emitting electromagnetic pulses.

These are the main reason why EMP protection is so important, and why we’re laying out your options in this guide. While you might write off a coronal mass ejection as something unlikely to happen, anything man-made is never out of the question.

As long as humans have tools to cause destruction, we’ll gladly use them.

How Much Damage Can They Cause?

The reason why EMP protection is so important is that it can shut down EVERYTHING that runs on electricity. From the little things like your computer and cell phone to major infrastructure that powers the financial and health sectors, it’s all on the table.

If your electronic device is not protected from an EMP attack it’s toast.

The ability to communicate, navigate, pay for things, or store food in the ways we’re used to will simply disappear.

Then when you consider the implications it can have on airpower it gets even scarier. We’re talking plane crashes and drones falling out of the sky.

Pretty much everything gets a hard reset.

This means large groups of desperate people with no clue how to take care of themselves. It will get very scary very fast.

That’s why understanding how to survive an EMP attack is not so much about dealing with the burst itself, it’s about being prepared to deal with the aftermath.

In a large-scale EMP attack, the affected area will become a dangerous place to be within a matter of hours (or less). When that happens you need to be prepared to go to your bug out location and have the skills and equipment to stay safe.

How Altitude Can Impact Their Impact

An interesting thing about EMPs is that more altitude will mean a larger affected area (within reason). This is different than a lot of other weapons where closer proximity leads to more damage.

While most nuclear explosions will cause so much damage to the area that the EMP goes unnoticed, a device specifically designed to create an electromagnetic pulse is different.

There’s a growing concern that a device like this in the wrong hands could be used like this for the purpose of triggering mass hysteria in a populated urban area.

The greater the affected area, the more unsafe you are if you’re trying to survive the aftermath. You’ll have to cover more distance to get out of the mess which greatly increases your chances of unfriendly encounters

While there really isn’t much you can do when it comes to protecting yourself from an EMP that occurs at altitude, it’s useful to have an understanding of how they work. More knowledge is never a bad thing especially in a chaotic situation when everyone is trying to piece together what happened.

What Happens If A Large EMP Attack Occurs?

While a lot of the methods we’ll list below will help you have more tools at your disposal to protect yourself from an EMP, there’s more to it than that.

If you’re totally prepared and have followed a basic EMP preparedness checklist that’s great. You’re going to be far better off than a lot of other people in the affected area.

But that’s the problem. When everyone else doesn’t have electricity that will impact you in a number of ways. If you’re planning on using electronics to get somewhere safe, you’ll need to have a sustainable source of energy at your destination.

The desperation of the surrounding people will ramp up quickly as well. This means it will be important to be able to defend yourself and your family.

The government’s outlook on how society would fare when faced with a large-scale EMP attack is not good. In fact, they say that most people would perish.

This is why a smart EMP protection gameplan is smart, but general preparedness and survival skills need to be there too. An EMP attack of that magnitude could effectively turn the clock back hundreds of years. No more ordering your groceries from your phone!

EMP Protection

Now that we’ve outlined just what an EMP is and the impact it can have, it’s time to think about protection.

Having tools that can still use electricity is going to be a massive advantage. This means doing what you can to keep your electronics and appliances up and running should be a priority.

One of the most popular options for effective EMP protection is to encase your electronics in something a pulse can’t penetrate. Instead, the pulse will hit this “shield” and pass into the ground.

This can be used around electrical cables that provide power to other devices.

The trick is that these devices and equipment will also get affected by the EMP, so you’ll need to protect those as well.

Fortunately, you can use something called a faraday bag/cage to encase and protect smaller devices.

Mission Darkness Non-Window Device Faraday Bag

  • EMP Tested and compliant to MIL STD 188-125 specifications
  • Military-grade build an design
  • Also offers 100% shielding of WiFi, Bluetooth, cell signals including 5G networks, GPS, RFID, and radio signals
  • Outer dimensions: 9.75″L x 9.5″W

This is an enclosure that can be used to keep electromagnetic fields from penetrating. For our purposes, think of this as a protective shield or box that you use to keep devices from being affected by EMPs.

Some people prefer to double up the layering to maximum EMP protection. This means placing one faraday cage inside another.

You can buy these, but it’s also possible to build them yourself. While they might seem like complex witchcraft so far, there really isn’t a lot to it.

Simply put, the generous use of aluminum foil can keep electromagnetic pulses at bay. You can wrap them around a bag or box to create a safe space to place electronics, or you can encase a specific device (like your phone) with aluminum foil.

Something interesting about the use of aluminum foil is that multiple layers of foil don’t actually do anything when it comes to its ability to protect something from an EMP. Actually, if you use multiple layers then you need to make sure there’s some form of non-conductive insulation between them (or else your attempts at extra security could backfire).

As long as you have that taken care of, doubling up on layers can be a good idea though. The reason for this is that foil is flimsy and easy to break. You want to make sure that a tiny hole isn’t the reason you can’t use an important electronic device.

There are other interesting products that you can use to p[rotect your home and vehicles from an EMP attack. These are called EMP shields and they work in a different way than a faraday cage or foil shield. 

These work by shorting the overvoltage that comes in from the grid. This happens extremely fast and can prevent an electromagnetic pulse from affecting whatever it’s connected to.

This can be a bit more costly than the prevention methods we listed earlier, but it’s extremely effective. If you want to take EMP protection seriously, that’s definitely something we would recommend.

Conclusion

EMP protection is something that all preppers should be thinking about. The severity of an attack is often seriously underestimated.

Fortunately, there are a handful of EMP protection options ranging from cheap to expensive that you can put into action right away. These will help you survive an EMP attack and get to a safe place.

You don’t want to be one of the many people without a tool at their disposal and an inability to put distance between themselves and the resulting chaos. Take this stuff seriously.

You owe it to yourself and your family.

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