What is an EMP Bomb and How to Protect Against It

Over 7 million cell phones in New York City alone will be disabled from an EMP attack or event. 

An EMP bomb or solar flare will cripple the nation’s ability to contact other people, travel and even receive medical care. How do you protect yourself and your property? Keep reading to find out.

What’s an EMP Bomb?

EMP stands for an electromagnetic pulse and is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that not affects pretty much anything with a microchip, which is most electronics nowadays. 

Man-made EMP can come from nuclear blasts or other devices designed to create a blast. This sounds like science fiction, but in reality, it’s scientific fact. An EMP bomb is something that really exists and is a side effect of a nuclear bomb that many don’t think about.

When a nuclear bomb goes off it will destroy anything within the blast radius, but the EMP that results from the blast travels far outside that blast radius. Even if you survive the attack, your electronics may not, making it hard to get to safety.

Natural EMP?

In the 19th century, America experienced a natural EMP in the form of a solar flare. The sun gives off an enormous burst that can make contact with the earth, disrupting electronics. At the time, the telegraph system experienced catastrophic damage, imagine what would happen now.

Unlike coordinated attacks, we have the ability to receive a warning before a solar flare, meaning that you can take precautions ahead of time and get ready.

What’s at Risk?

When you start to consider everything that can be disabled by an EMP bomb, you realize just how reliant we’ve become on electronics. EMP protection isn’t just about saving money by not having to replace electronics, it’s about keeping safe.

Smart Phones

An EMP attack will disable pretty much any cell phone in range unless it is protected with a Faraday cage or other device. With your phone disabled, you’re on your own. Data stored on your phone, contact information and GPS will be unavailable to you.

Unlike a power outage from a normal storm, an EMP bomb will completely damage electronics. Your phone won’t come on once power is restored.

Modern Cars

Almost every car made in recent years is heavily dependent on electronics.

Computers and other systems control the ignition system and other components. An EMP weapon is deadly because it makes it almost impossible to get away from ground zero.

Remember, it’s not just your car that’s disabled, the roads will be jammed with cars that have suddenly died. There is also the fear of mass transportation such as planes experiencing sudden and deadly loss of power.

Medical Equipment

It’s not just patients in hospitals that rely on medical equipment, there are many people who use them at home. Even if an electromagnetic pulse comes from a natural source, people’s lives can still be very much at danger.

Hospitals have emergency procedures in place, but if you or a family member uses a CPAP machine or some other medical device you should protect them so that they can be used in a safe area after an evacuation.

Office Buildings

If you work on a high floor in a skyscraper or live in a tall apartment building in the city, chances are you use an elevator daily. An EMP bomb will most likely disable elevators, meaning mass evacuation and stressed crowds of people.

City Infrastructure

Your water, electricity, and food are all kept running and safe with systems that are vulnerable to an EMP attack. In the event of a large-scale attack, the recovery time could be very lengthy, meaning that you will be without the basic necessities for quite a while.

Gas stations, water treatment, and emergency services will all be severely affected by an EMP bomb. 

Protection

With so much on the line, where do you start with protecting your devices? While there is no way to prevent all damage, you can take certain steps to ensure that key items survive an EMP bomb.

Turn off and Unplug

If you’ve received a warning about a solar storm, you can take a few steps to protect your electronics. Warnings may not come before an EMP bomb goes off, but the same steps can be taken quickly if there is some sort of cautionary alert.

Unplugging your electronics from the wall outlets prevents power surges from damaging them.

Even devices that won’t necessarily suffer from an electromagnetic pulse itself, will still be damaged if a surge of power comes through the power lines after the EMP bomb or storm.

Turning off any electronics and removing the batteries from those devices that use them will also increase their chances of surviving an EMP bomb. The key thing to remember is that anything connected to the power grid is in danger.

You should definitely take these steps, but just because something is off and unplugged, it does not mean it is completely secure. There is an option that is scientifically proven to be the best protection against an EMP. Faraday cages are the best option for protecting your electronics.

Faraday Cages

Perhaps the most common and well-known object for protecting electronics is a Faraday Cage. 

Michael Faraday took Benjamin Franklin’s research and progressed it, discovering the science behind the protection that would be named after him.

In the early 19th century Faraday found a simple yet effective way to protect against electronic currents.

Using a layer of conductive material such as foil and an inside layer of something non-conductive will prevent an item or person inside the layers from receiving an electric current directed at it.

The outer layer absorbs the current or radiation so that it never reaches the inside. Putting multiple Faraday bags inside of each other is called nesting and is a way to ensure that the contents are protected against the largest attacks.

Your Own Faraday Cage

You can design your own Faraday cage with some simple household items, but well-built and thoroughly tested products are available. You can store your items inside Faraday cages as boxes or bags.

Creating your own is an inexpensive way to protect your electronics, but if you miss a step or even accidentally put a small hole into the protective layer it can all be worthless. 

When choosing the type of Faraday cage to use you should figure out how much space you need. Your need will come down to how much you want to protect and how portable you want it to be.

Your small devices such as cell phones, portable chargers, and personal GPS systems can be stored in a small Faraday bag. These bags can be put into backpacks or other containers that make it easy to grab and go. 

Larger items can be stored inside a box. Faraday cages can protect anything inside of them, but remember that the large storage options aren’t very portable and may be harder to safely store.

Faraday EMP bags come in a variety of sizes and are the preferred option for most people preparing against a potential EMP disaster.

Other Options

If you haven’t prepared or are visiting somewhere without your supplies. There are some last-resort options that you can use. 

Steel trash cans and even microwaves may offer some protection, but they should only be used in the most critical circumstances. They aren’t guaranteed to protect against an EMP weapon and they aren’t made for portability.

The advantage to Faraday EMP bags is that they can be bought in large numbers and extras can be stored easily in a bag. These should be a must for travel and you should literally never leave home without one.

Preparation

Your protection is useless unless you’re prepared to use it. It’s not just protecting your phone from an EMP bomb that will keep you safe, it’s being prepared to live in an area where an EMP weapon has disabled everything around you.

Transportation

Your new car in the garage will most likely not work after an electromagnetic pulse. Unless you have turned your whole garage into a gigantic Faraday cage, you’ll want a backup plan.

Some cars have shielding available that helps, but to ensure that you have reliable transportation, your best bet is to keep an older car or truck that doesn’t rely on computers and electronics to run.

Diesel vehicles are the best bet as they have the least reliance on electronics and can haul trailers, allowing you to pack up your family and everything you need to keep safe.

If you live alone and don’t need a large vehicle, you may want to consider a motorcycle or other small two-wheeled option. Not only are these easy to store, but they have much more maneuverability on roads that are full of disabled vehicles.

Food and Water

When clean water stops pumping into your home due to the treatment plants being shut down from the electromagnetic pulse, you’re going to need a supply of clean water.

Depending on the size of your family, you should store several gallons of clean water in a container that is easy to grab and pack into a car if you need to leave the area in a hurry.

Non-perishable food and emergency rations will keep you and your family nourished while you look for a more permanent solution. The benefit to these emergency investments is that they are also good for storm preparedness and other needs.

Electronics

Determine what you’ll need in the case of an EMP bomb. Cell phones are an obvious choice, but there may be others that you don’t think of during a crisis, so it’s best to prepare now.

So you don’t have to keep your phone in a Faraday bag at all times, you may want to invest in a phone just for emergency purposes.

Keep the phone and extra batteries inside the Faraday bag which you can then place inside an emergency backpack.

Personal GPS systems may be spotty after an EMP attack depending on the severity and type, but they can prove useful once you’re outside of the blast radius. Keep this as well as non-electronic guidance tools such as compasses inside your bag.

There will be a lot of time spent with nothing to do. While entertainment devices such as games and e-readers may not seem important, it’s a lot easier to carry around one e-reader than a dozen or so books. 

Entertainment devices can keep your mind occupied and help reduce the stress of the event. 

Alternative Power

Batteries are great for small devices but they will only last so long. If you have the means, solar and wind power are great alternatives to keep your home powered at least partially after an EMP attack.

Fuel for your car should also be a consideration.

If gas stations are disabled from an EMP bomb, you’ll need a supply of fuel to get out of the area. Keeping gas stored in containers will be an investment and task that can make the difference between getting to safety and being stuck in a bad situation.

Society Stress

It is a given that this sort of event will cause a great level of disruption among the public. Your neighbors will be panicked and unpredictable. This level of chaos can put your preparation at risk.

You need to plan out either an escape plan or a routine for home protection. Knowing exactly what to do during an emergency not only reduces the amount of stress, but it allows you and your family to have the best chances of a successful evacuation.

Protect Your Power

An EMP bomb or electromagnetic pulse from a natural event sounds scary and it is certainly a daunting thing to consider, but luckily scientific safety measures are available and easy to use.

Investing in Faraday EMP bags is an affordable solution that not only has the ability to save you money but also your life. If you have any questions or are interested in taking this step toward protection, contact the experts now.

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