Portable generator ownership is on the rise. The global generator market is predicted to be worth $1.5 billion by 2024. That makes generators some of the most common emergency survival tools for a wide variety of different demographics.
Will a generator actually keep you and your family safe in the face of a catastrophe? The short answer is – yes.
There’s a reason the U.S. Government recommends having a generator in case of emergency. Portable generators are largely analog and can usually be kept running even during a mass emergency like an EMP blast.
In today’s increasingly digitized world, however, you can never be too sure if a piece of equipment’s vulnerable to electrical attack.
If you’re wondering, “Will an EMP destroy a generator?” the short answer is – no. We’ll show you how to make sure your generator’s safe from an EMP blast, however, so you can rest easy at night.
Will an EMP Destroy a Generator?
Let’s start off by learning what an EMP is, shall we? Then we’ll learn how you can safeguard your generator against these powerful electrical currents.
What Is an EMP?
EMP stands for ‘electrical magnetic pulse.’ An EMP can be generated by any kind of large electrical burst. Solar flares and lightning storms are known to create an electromagnetic pulse, for instance.
The EMP from natural events are often not significant enough to do any major harm to a generator, however.
Man-made EMPs tend to be significantly more powerful, on the other hand. The detonation of a nuclear bomb at a high altitude often creates a powerful enough electromagnetic pulse to disrupt the power grid of a wide geographic region.
How an EMP Effects a Generator
The impact an EMP could have on your generator is going to depend on the severity of the blast. Naturally-occurring EMPs caused by lightning or solar flares will likely only affect the electrical grid.
Transformers and power substations are the most at-risk for natural EMPs. Your average electrical protection should be enough to make sure your generator will be safe.
If you have a standby generator, it should activate automatically in the event the grid goes down. If you have a portable generator, you’ll need to start it up manually.
In the instance of a nuclear detonation, anything electrical has the potential to be disrupted by the strong electromagnetic current. Even car engines or gas station pumps are likely to cease working in the wake of a nuclear attack.
How to Protect Your Generator from an EMP
You’re going to want to make sure that your generator is as fail-proof as possible in case the electrical grid goes down. In the instance of a powerful nuclear blast, there’s not too much you can do, as it’ll likely destroy all of the electrical devices over a wide geographic area. An entire continent’s electrical grid could be taken out in the wake of a nuclear blast.
Protecting a larger stationary generator from powerful EMPs can be exceptionally difficult. You can install voltage transient protectors and suppressors to help negate some of this damage. This can require expert electrical knowledge, however, so you may want to consult with your electrician to install these devices.
Smaller or more portable generators are much easier to protect from powerful EMP blasts, luckily. Either can be stored inside of a Faraday Cage or Faraday Bag to help shield them from the magnetic fields.
Faraday bags and cages can help safeguard larger generators to a certain degree, as well. You can remove potentially vulnerable electronic components and store them inside of these shielded devices.
How to Make Sure Your Generator Will Work After an EMP
Having a generator is all about being ready for anything. You need to know it’ll work even if the entire electrical grid is disrupted.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life. There are a few things you can do to make sure your generator will be able to withstand an EMP blast.
Generators often run on gasoline. If there’s a massive EMP, as from a nuclear blast, however, gas pumps aren’t likely to be functioning. You’re going to want to have a backup on hand.
There are dedicated solar-powered generators that you could investigate if you want to go fully off-the-grid. You can also invest in a solar panel array and a power inverter to convert the solar panel’s DC into AC to power your household devices.
To make sure your power inverter’s as safe as possible, store it in alternating of plastic and aluminum foil to shield it from the electromagnetic current.
You’ll also want to stock up on gasoline if at all possible. As we’ve already mentioned, the gas pumps are likely to be down in the event of an EMP. Simply having some gas on hand goes a long way in ensuring your generator will be able to keep you and your family in power until the grid comes back online.
A generator is one of the most useful things you can have in case of emergency. It should be an important part of your prepper’s emergency kit if you haven’t included on already. A portable or stationary generator combined with ample food and water stores will make sure you and your family are kept as safe and comfortable as possible if something goes wrong.
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