Prepping for an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack

by Ray

empEMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse Attack. Most of us have heard of it, some of us understand what it is and what it does, and those who have read “One Second After” have an idea of what will happen if we are attacked with it. Some additional info can be found at here.

The U.S. Government created a commission to study EMP and what it could do to the safety and security of the United States. Unfortunately, this Committee published its report the same day as the 911 Commission, so it didn’t get much news coverage. You can read the report at The bottom line in the report is that it is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ we will be hit.

EMP will take out everything electronic, whether it is connected to the grid or sitting unplugged on the kitchen counter. Things connected to the grid may fry from the 100,000 volt surge brought in through the power distribution lines.

Electronics with transistors or integrated circuits are extremely sensitive to static electricity, and can be destroyed by as little as 100 volts. Walking across a carpet and sparking to that door know is well over 1000 volts. The surge created by the EMP in your electronic device will be sufficient to destroy them if they are not protected.

One of the committee members likened EMP to a time machine, transporting our society from ‘today’ to ‘1870’ in about one second. We become, once again, an agrarian society, capable of supporting the level of population that we had in 1870. This means that there will be a lot of Americans dying.

Our goal, your goal, is to be among the survivors. There are many things that need to be done to prepare: learning survival skills, having land and gardening/preserving knowledge, and many other things.

Having communications and some of the gadgets survive could mean the difference between surviving and not surviving. Things like solar battery chargers, batteries, inverters, ignition systems for chain saws, critical farm equipment electronics, walkie-talkies, NV gear among others could be critical when the time comes.

What is EMP?

When a nuclear bomb is exploded above the atmosphere, it releases gamma rays in all directions. The ones that head towards the atmosphere strike air molecules and strip off electrons.

Those electrons and gamma rays head towards Earth, stripping even more electrons. This avalanche of electrons, called the Compton Effect, interact with the Earth’s electromagnetic field, creating very strong magnetic waves.

When a magnetic field crosses a conductor, electrical current is produced. When this EMP magnetic wave crosses power lines, electronic equipment, anything conductive, current is produced. Enough current could be produced to create fires, exploding transformers, extremely high voltage (current pushing through resistance results in voltage) which can break down insulation and create arcing and short circuits.

In 1962 the US detonated a 1.4 megaton bomb over one of the test sites in the Pacific. It was high enough that the island of Hawaii, 900 miles away, had 300 street lights go out, and some microwave links were damaged.

Hours after the detonation there were still surges and ripples in the power system. That was when we used vacuum tubes and before transistorized equipment was on the market. Today, with microcircuits and all of the very high tech equipment that we have in our homes, our factories and our defenses, we are more vulnerable than ever.

The U.S. Senate recently stripped funds for hardening the country’s power grid against EMP from a homeland security bill.

We are on our own.

What can be harmed?

Will EMP harm you? You, the human, will be safe. Magnetic waves, even very strong ones, will not harm you. MRIs use strong magnetic waves to make images of your innards.

But, look around you at anything with a wire or a chip. Whatever you see, be it toaster, TV, laptop, microwave oven, radio, chain saw, car, or truck, it is vulnerable, and the higher the technology the more vulnerable.

WSHTF you won’t need a TV, but you will need a radio, perhaps walkie-talkies, probably solar battery chargers, that ignition coil on your chain saw, maybe that night vision scope and whatever else you deem necessary for your survival. EMP won’t hurt you, but it may take away every electronic device that you posses.

If you are part of a group, you might consider building a larger box and sharing it, and the cost.

What can I do?

One way to protect your gear is to build a Faraday Shielded Box and keep your stuff in it. A faraday shield is simply a physical device that prevents electromagnetic radiation from passing, in or out. In our case, we’ll take a cardboard box, cover it with copper screening material, and then ground it well.

I’ll describe the one that I built and you can size it up or down as you think necessary. Copper screen material with wire spacing of 0.1” is needed, and is the most expensive part of the project. You can keep costs down by only making as big a box as necessary. But when you think of the cost, think of the cost of the items that you will be protecting and what it might cost you if they don’t make it.

I started with a 2’ x 2’ x 3’ cardboard box. I actually had two of them. I cut the top flaps off of one, and cut up the other to bend and fold a lid like a hat box, with about 2” of side overlap. I wanted a loose fitting top, with plenty of overlap on the sides. You don’t want any holes or gaps in the copper shielding, which is why I put the 2” flap on the lid for the box.

I laid out the screen coverage to minimize the number of lapped joints, cut the screen and used spots of hot melt glue to hold the pieces in place. I folded the screen around lips and edges, cut and tucked it into corners, and then used a very hot (150 W) soldering iron to solder all of the lap joints and corners. On the lid, not only cover the outside, but fold the screen into the underside for the side overlaps. You don’t want any missed areas of coverage of the screen.

Next, take a piece of bare #10 AWG or #12 AWG (house wiring Romex) and strip off the insulation. Form it into a loop with a pigtail. Now make a second one. Lay one on one side flap of the lid and solder the pigtail to the screen. Put the lid on the box and solder the other loop to the main box a couple of inches below the pigtail loop on the lid.

Your box is ready. Find an out of the way place where it can stay undisturbed. From the box, run a copper wire (#10 AWG) outside the house to a ground rod. You can use a ground rod of copper or galvanized steel, or you can get 10’ of ½” galvanized pipe. Drive it into the ground at least 8’, attach the copper wire to the clamp, and make sure that you always have the box and lid connected to the ground wire. At the box end of the wire, use alligator clips to conned the main wire to one of the pigtails and then make a short jumper between the two pigtails.

I haven’t finished stocking mine, but my list includes: night vision goggles, IR laser sight for the rifle, game camera, batteries, crank emergency radio, walkie-talkies, solar battery charger, 12V to 110 VAC inverter, ignition coil for the chain saw and an alternator for the tractor.

Recommended resources:


  1. Photos please?

  2. Let’s see it and where do you keep it.

  3. In referenced to the EMF thing, I have read multiple studies and research papers that are available and yes, most things will revert to another age, so to speak. What was interesting was that most of todays vehicles will be OK as long as they were off at the time. The ignition systems of the engine are shielded due to all the fancy electronics of the vehicle itself. (read static interference) When I worked for the agency, our vehicles had shielded systems due to the nature of our comm systems. Never had a problem. I had talked with a Sandia engineer who happened to be on the project concerning our vehicles and he did tell me that our engine ignitions systems would in fact survive an EMP attack- – – all that due to the shielding from the factory. Amazing! However, I suppose an actual incident will determine the truth regardless of all the testing to ascertain program results.

    • What if the body and the hood are plastic? Will the EMP make it thru?

    • According to what I’ve read, its the actual computer, ignition electronic systems that are shielded. So that wouldn’t make any difference what was plastic or metal. I’m still searching for more research papers to really understand it. Hear-say is just that- – – hear-say. I really wish more research was available to allay the fears of many.

  4. FWIW: “I see many reports of people trying to “ground” something by running a long ordinary-sized wire halfway across a house or other building. This may work as a static drain or to protect against electric shock; but for an EMP ground it is worse than worthless, it is an antenna.”

    www futurescience com/emp/emp-grounding.html

    • Hildegard says:

      Kind of like trying to use a ground rod and #4 AWG copper wire to thwart a lightning bolt. In a direct hit, good luck with that. That charge has just jumped all the way from the cloud deck. A wire that size cannot possibly handle that much energy. The amount of energy in a lightning bolt is immense.

    • MM,
      Bingo. Absolutely true. The physics of antennas and transmission lines work very differently at the frequencies in an EMP, then the original 60 Hz AC or DC they were created for. Best to not ground the enclosure at all.

  5. I have read “One Second After” and of all the possible SHTF scenarios this one scares me the most. I am not worried for myself but for my parents who live several hundred miles away from me.
    Building a faraday cage is something that I need to do. This year we hope to make some headway of taking ourselves off of the grid.

  6. Good info and well written.

  7. A single EMP device would be marghinally effective with a country the size of the U.S. It would take multiple devices, one estimate is 24 in a grid pattern around the country. Imagine for a minute that some country sets off 24 nukes a miles above our country. Literally a nuclear attack. Would it cripple our own nuclear response? No. So why would any country, even a crazy terrorist group use EMP devices? If they are going to attack us with nules they MUST destroy our ability to retalliate with nukes and destroy our conventional power as well. ALL the EMPs would do is really really piss us off. And if it were terrorists who attacked and who don’t really care if they are retalliated against why would they waste a nuke on an EMP device? Sneak them into a large city and have the greatest effect. An EMP attack just isn’t logical. I am far more afraid of the terrorists getting one or two nukes and sneaking them into one or two of our large cities. I am equally afraid of our president so weakening our nuclear deterrent that Russia or China might think the risk of retalliation is less then the potential gain of eliminating a superpower.

    • Centurion_Cornelius says:

      Yep–you and I are on the same page.

      A 24 nuclear strike “grid” of EMP detonations would be needed for America. Ain’t gonna happen.

      I worry more about a “suitcase” nuke in various cities.

    • Where did you get this information? Other sources indicate it would take far fewer than you say. For example, the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from
      Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack here: in the footnote on page vi of the Preface, says, ” a nuclear explosion at an altitude of 100 kilometers would expose 4
      million square kilometers, about 1.5 million square miles, of Earth surface beneath the burst to
      a range of EMP field intensities.” IIRC, the lower 48 of the USA is 3.5 million square miles. Also, IIRC a SCUD missile that N. Korea, Iran or maybe even ISIS could acquire can reach 150km with a _one ton_ payload, even higher with less payload.

      • Exactly. Not sure where they got the 24 figure. A single EMP strengthen nuclear detonation at an altitude of around 200 miles above the Earth could effectively reach the entire US main land. Factors such as the angle of detonation in relation to the US, the strength of the Earth’s ionosphere at the time, etc would play a factor as well.

        As for autos working or not working, there simply is not enough hard, current data to know for sure. The last actual Nuclear EMP Test was the Soviet test 184 in 1962. A lot has changed since then.

        Newly unclassified reports state that some of the vehicles in Hawaii at the time of the Star Fish Prime test had their non-electronic ignition systems damaged by the EMP.

        The EMP Commission automobile tests in 2006 were poorly conducted and are now out of date.

        The sad truth is, we really don’t know nearly enough about nuclear EMPs.

      • Someone somewhere must have more accurate data that we’re not privy to. 🙁

      • The effect drops of dramatically over distance. So that creates two problems for a single source EMP. The first problem is in order to keep the angle of the EMP effect fairly steep at the farthest borader of the U.S. the EMP device must be quite high. An EMP device set off 200 miles above North Central Kansas still gives you a very narrow angle for the EMP wave reaching the Pacific Northwest or Florida or Maine etc. So to keep that angle steep the device may have to be even higher which all factors into the EMP device being physically further from the target. The inverse square law states: intensity = 1/distance (squared). Or: the intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source. The distance is the problem. If the power of the EMP device was infinite then this wouldn’t be a problem. But in fact it isn’t and really isn’t strong enough to cause damage 1000 miles away. So factor in the hieght to cover a big target and the distance that hieght gives you plus the distance to the outermost area of the target and you need an EMP device more powerful than any that has ever been created and probably more powerful than humans can build. So the immediate solution to this problem becomes a matrix of equally spaced EMP devices. But the continental U.S. is quite large and the ideal matrix quickly shapes up to 24 in a 6×4 array East to West.
        But that only sets up the “ideal” not the perfect. Often people refer to the EMP as though it wipes out everything. In fact anything behind a mountain or a hill or a mound of dirt or even a building will be shielded. In brief what this means is that with the ideal 2 EMP devices set to go off at the same time each in their correct exact spot will incapacitate between 50% and 75% of the electronics with best results being within a small cone directly below the device and the worst results being everything further away.
        So you can see the problem.

        • Sorry Sweetpea…but that is not the case.

          There is some truth to the belief that the law of physics known as the inverse square law applies to nuclear detonations, but it is not relevant to most cases of nuclear EMP. There are several reasons for this. One reason is that, although the nuclear weapon may be detonated far away, the E1 EMP is generated in the atmosphere overhead. Most of this E1 generation is in a region of the stratosphere between 20 and 40 kilometers overhead. (That is about 12 to 24 miles overhead.) This region is commonly called the source region in scientific articles about EMP, since it is the source of most of the E1 EMP.

          A second thing that makes the inverse square law less relevant is that there are saturation effects that limit high-altitude EMP to about 50,000 volts per meter. These saturation effects mean that the intensity of the E1 EMP is fairly uniform over an extremely large area, regardless of the intensity of the gamma radiation hitting the source region (unless the weapon has an unusually low gamma ray output).

          A third thing that makes the inverse square law less relevant is that the inverse square law applies to the total energy density expanding outward from a single point. The damage generated by the E1 EMP is dependent upon the electric field intensity in volts per meter (or the magnetic field intensity in amperes per meter). These destructive components are linearly proportional to distance. If the inverse square law applied to EMP in the way that many people argue, then radio and television broadcasting would only be effective very close to the transmitting site.

          (To be technically correct, though, in a symmetrical nuclear detonation at extremely high altitudes, the inverse square law does begin having an effect because of gamma ray dissipation. Even for extremely high altitude bursts, though, the gamma ray dissipation may not obey the inverse square law if the weapon is designed to emit most of the gamma radiation in a highly-directional manner.)

          • Your site is wrong. The EMP is not a cloud of 50,000 volts or gamma radiation. It is a simple electromagnetic pulse. This pulse when it encounters a conductor like a wire, a car, a railroad track generates electricity. It acts like an electromagnetic pulse and it does indeed lose strength over distance consistent with the inverse square law. No magic, no nuclear radiation, simply a powerful electromagnetic pulse not dissimilar from a radio signal.
            There will be radiation but the radiation in general doesn’t travel far and is also subject to the inverse square law. With an atmospheric detonation fallout will be minimal and not a serious aspect of the blast.

            Regarding the protection that a building offers: It is not absolute and depends a lot on the building or multiple buildings. A metal building will absorb and reflect the electromagnetic pulse which tends to follow a line of sight. So if your car is parked on the opposite side of a metal industrial building you can walk out to it after the EMP and it will start up. Also if the actual closest EMP device is 200-500 miles away and your car is made of a metal vs fiberglass it can be parked in plain sight and you will probably be able to start it. The one sure thing about a nuclear EMP device is that nothing is sure. It all depends. It depends on how far away you are and what’s between you (or your electronics) and it and what might be around to either absorb or deflect the pulse of energy.

        • George Goodfellow says:

          So if that were true about behind a building, mound of dirt, etc., then by that logic INSIDE a building should be just fine an I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.

    • Good point, sweetpea. The problem as I see it is that while Starfish Prime knocked out streetlights only in Honolulu, that single blast was 900 miles away. If we had exploded Starfish Prime above Pittsburg, the entire country east of the Mississippi would have been affected. That was back in the days of mechanical switches.

      The entire country doesn’t have to be knocked out to devastate the entire country. Knock out the power grid east of the Mississippi, and you wipe out water supplies, sewerage grids, natural gas pipelines and petroleum pipelines (they need pumps), gas station pumps, you name it.

      The effect of an effective attack though, would not send us back to the 1870s: In the 1870s most of the population lived on farms and produced most of their own food. They had millions of draft animals to pul plows, they had seeds and canned foods. They were equipped with both the knowledge and the farm implements to survive. Effectively, no one in the country is equipped to go back to 1870s levels of food production. Houses don’t have wells in the back yards, we don’t have plow animals, and we don’t have plows suitable for animal power even if we had the animals.

      I expect the die off in a worst case scenario would take us far below 1870s levels of population. Fortunately, while a bad case of EMP would be an awful situation, worst case scenarios are inherently unlikely.

    • Actually, one or two strategically placed devices would do a significant amount of damage to the grid, because it acts as a large antenna, transferring the damaging power to areas that are not directly affected. A single device, detonated at a height of 250 miles in the center of the country, would have a radio and potential damage horizon radius of 1625 miles, or enough to affect the entire country from coast to coast.

  8. One of my faraday cages is a 33 gallon metal trash can. I cut cardboard to fit the bottom and line the sides. I cut aluminum foil and taped it over any holes such as the rivets for the handles. I made an “o-ring” seal out of aluminum to help seal the lid.

    Most of the items I’ve placed in the cage are nested faradays. For example: I put my walkie talkies in zip lock bags then wrapped them in aluminum foil. Another zip lock bag and another layer of foil. A final zip lock bag finishes the “nesting”. The more sensitive the equipment, the more “nests”. It cuts back on storage space but hey, metal garbage cans are relatively cheap.

    I don’t ground my cages but they are sitting on a concrete floor. After seeing a youtube video on a similar set up I now seal my cages with aluminum duct tape.

  9. Please DO NOT GROUND. The ground will act like a antenna and damage all of the equipment.

    Make the box and do not ground………

    John RF EE………

    • Big John,
      It may or may not damage the equipment stored inside; however, it will most likely induce high voltages and currents which can cause arcing from the ground wire or the enclosure surface and potential fires. Those who don’t understand the physics of high frequency radio generally do not understand grounds, something I’ve been fighting for years.

  10. You can skip the copper mesh and use a galvanized trash can with a snug fitting lid. Line the trash can completely with corrugated cardboard so nothing can touch the can and store your sensitive stuff inside. I saw a Youtube experiment where they sealed the lid to the can with metal backed tape used in ductwork and it cut the signal penetration to nearly zero.

    Grounding won’t be necessary if you use the can.

    • The cardboard insulation from touching the can is a good idea. I used remainders of a roll of ESD rubber matting after I lined all the seams with aluminum tape. then I applied rubber cement all over the inside before adding the rubber matting. I also isolate the electronics from each other in cardboard boxes (usually the original packaging). another thing I do is to use the rubber cement to line the inside cover lip with 000 steel wool so the lid has solid contact with the trash can.

      • Skydiver,
        What are you calling ESD rubber matting? If you’re talking about the mat on my bench to keep ESD down, then it is at least partially conductive, and probably not a good material to insulate your gear from the outer metal shield of the enclosure.

        • OP, yes, my use of ESD rubber mat is incorrect. The bench ESD mat is attached to a ground with some resistance. The ESD benches at work have the resistance grounded mat on the bench, but we have a roll of rubber mat on the floor to isolate us even more; it is the plain rubber mat from the floor that I meant.

  11. There was a video on using a trash can and aluminum tape as a Faraday cage. We liked the idea only using a 3-5 gal trash can with a bail. We have nothing that would be too large for it, and we cold have multiple cans. Plus the can can be reopened and resealed as required.

  12. Tracy in the woods says:

    My employer gave me a huge non-working food freezer after it sat for awhile. With the lid shut water had gotten inside. I still need to get a seal to make it weather tight. I pushed it into a ravine and covered w a camo tarp and let leaves and branches cover it. It has not been tampered with yet. So it may work as a hiding spot.

    Would this work as a faraday cage or should i just use for food or bugout supplies?

    • Yes, this would work as both. However, being in a ravine, it is in contact with the ground; not a good idea. Maybe get some old tires to set it on so the rubber isolates it. I suggest you also remove the motor and wiring so they do not act as an antenna. Along with a new seal for weatherproofing add some kind of wire mesh tubing or steel wool along the door opening to have continuity completely surrounding between the door and the main compartment.

  13. Sw't tater says:

    YES! both if it is big enough. Use smaller garbage can to put inside electronics in, prpeare like the can is independent.and food/supply cache

  14. Stop worrying about EMP, every nuke plant in the country relies on recirculating pumps to keep cool water flowing past the reactor and more importantly the spent fuel pools, you know like Fukushima.. Once the circuits are fried, they all melt down, EMP is a world ending event.. So, many of you will say ” the plants are hardened” they’re not but keep believing it. Imagine you work at a nuke plant, emp hits, you stay or go home to be with momma and the kids??

    • My down voting friends explain how I am wrong.. Supply lines are gone, JIT anyone? Even if the diesels work as all nuke plants have non-electronic control 1970’s era diesels as back up power plants lulz.. Where do they get the diesel to run them? And of course after scramming the reactor all those selfless workers hang out to die manning bucket brigades to keep water in the spent fuel pools as it boils off, right.. I thought this was a reality based community..

      • “I thought this was a reality based community”.
        ~There is lot one can learn from the folks here mang.
        putting people down is crap.
        suggest you add positively… it will take you farther.

    • @calmdown ,
      1. “Stop worrying about EMP”.

      ~i AM NOT going to EVA going stop
      being extremely concerned with E.M.P. !

      “every nuke plant in the country relies on recirculating pumps to keep cool water flowing past the reactor and more importantly the spent fuel pools, you know like Fukushima.. Once the circuits are fried, they all melt down, EMP is a world ending event”.

      … i agree totally with what
      you said about the nuke plants,
      and have felt that way for a while now.
      It is indeed dire, and foolish of Governments to be building the damn things (nuke plants)…in the first place,
      and even more foolish to not have them hardened from E.M.P. , along with massive amounts of redundancy involved in a Major Plan to damn well ensure everything
      possible has been done to keep them running.
      Same things with the rest of the country’s power grid; having
      MANY back ups.

      What i do not think people realize is that setting off an E.M.P. will still cause Radiation Fallout Right?
      So… learn to try to Survive that 2.
      2. WHEN…Fukushima…gets hit again by yet another bad assed quake or tidal wave its bye bye Japan, and time to evacuate the entire West coast…
      See: David Suzuki’s Fukushima Warning Is Dire And Scary (VIDEO)
      ( whether Suzuki is right or not…
      i believe it Will happen…will get hit again….
      and will be VERY bad…
      …i keep an eye on the big storms that recently hit the Philippines and even Tokyo recently)…
      Their has been talk that if/when Fuchushima goes…
      everyone will be moving to the Southern Hemisphere…
      3. Massive Warfare involving nukes
      is yet another possible and very real Reality folks.
      China has recently ordered Her military to Prepare for War,
      and Russia believes and Prepares for a “winnable” nuclear War.
      …any one of these WILL be a gamechanger… and maybe game over.

      How DO you Prepare for THESE THINGS?

      Answer: Put your faith in God, and
      DO YOUR BEST to learn every necessary Preparedness Skill you can, Stock up BIG, Cache and scatter Caches everywhere…and Be as Fit and Healthy as you can. Try to wake up the sheeple to prevent lives lost, and be Ready to try to Help Others as much as you can to rebuild Community. Period.

      …take M.D.’s advice for example
      by building a Faraday Cage,
      and in so doing these things…
      with the hopes that maybe
      these things we do might make the difference to our Survival.

      Studying the free ebook Nuclear War Survival Skills is also a good start.

      “The U.S. Senate recently stripped funds for hardening the country’s power grid against EMP from a homeland security bill”.
      ~ Yet another foolish Government decision, among many including
      putting all the chips down on (M.A.D.)-Mutually Assured Destruction, instead of building up a massive N.A.T.O. Civil Defence Program.
      ~Antidotes to the 3 radioisotopes that pose most of the danger to humans:

      1. radioactive iodine.
      =Take Potassium iodide tablets.

      2. cesium-137 (as well as cesium-134).
      =Pharmaceutical grade Prussian Blue (For Human Consumption).
      =potassium-(taking too much potassium can be dangerous, or even fatal):
      ~freeze-dried banana slices-
      (Bananas have a large amount of potassium (as do some other foods), but the human digestive system cannot absorb the potassium from bananas too rapidly. So potassium overload from bananas is very rare).

      3. radioisotope strontium-90.
      =taking adequate calcium.
      =natural (non-radioactive) strontium.
      ( natural strontium is available as a nutritional supplement, usually as strontium citrate).
      Go to and check it out.
      To many things are beyond our control…
      Just take it all one day, and one step at a time Folks…

      and Chill people. Life is short so get
      out their and enjoy it a bit.
      one day wether you like it or not you will die.
      …go watch that Sunset or something!


      • Gee, that does not seem very positive… Some things are not survivable when your located in 1st world countries with 124 nuke reactors like the US, sorry..

        • BREARBEAR says:

          All you can do is do your best.

          What i wrote was indeed reality based.
          Every Country in the World that uses Nuclear Energy is in the same situation.
          i read somewhere that there are several hundred N.R.’s being built Worldwide at this moment.

          Remember too, that if another Country Hits us-(N.A.T.O.),
          we will respond in kind. It is Terrorist Extremism that i fear.

          i still stand by what i wrote.
          Chill out and try to enjoy Life!
          Life is short.

          But also, Keep Prepared.
          It is all you can do.

          “Some things are not survivable”.

          ~Even getting out of bed might not be survivable. Even a small Regional Disaster might take you out.
          Maybe the Sun will explode.
          To many what if’s and maybe’s that are beyond our control.

          no one really knows what will happen if an E.M.P. hits.
          To many unknowns and variables.

          And whether you believe this or not,
          like it or not, right now, in a mostly pre-disaster World,
          AND afterwards…
          WE all must (and do) work together as a Community.
          Have some faith in your Country and Her people, that WE will All come together in Challenging Hard Times
          to help each other, and Prevail.

          Just do your best and try to be a good person.

          Preparing STRESS can make you ILL.

          Remember To Take Some Chill Time.

  15. I am more worried about radiation from a nuke blast then I am emp. Emp may make the lights go out, but radiation makes it so you don`t need light.

    • Depends upon the altitude of the detonation. If its detonated 200 miles above the Earth, the nuclear fallout should be negligible.

      • A device configured for gamma ray output will produce little fallout. Fallout is generally created from a low height air burst (Hiroshima was something like 2000 feet) and the fallout is all of the dust, dirt, and debris that is irradiated by the explosion and thrown into the air, falling back to earth, thus the name, fallout. An EMP weapon would be detonated at a height of 200+ miles.

      • I think 200 miles would be in space?

      • negligable perhaps… but it will still add fallout to what we already have,
        from past tests, from Fuchushima etc.
        More Fallout is not a good thing.
        Fallout can spread hundreds if not thousands of miles.

        Whatever happens, build a homemade (K.A.P.)- Kearny Air Pump, and (K.F.M)- Kearny fallout Meter. Acquire and learn how to use
        a Geiger Counter and Dosimeter.
        Gather the basic tools/materials to build an (E.F.S.)- Expedient Fallout Shelter, find a strategic place to build it. Cache a lot of water etc. nearby.

        A lot of small disasters/attacks…can add up to one big bad assed Disaster fast.

        • It all depends on height of E.M.P. detonation doesn’t it?
          (for biological hazards or electronic).
          “EMP is produced when a nuclear detonation occurs in a non-symmetrical environment, especially at or near the Earth’s surface or at high altitudes”.

          “A high-altitude detonation, or an exo-atmospheric detonation within a certain altitude range, will generate an EMP that could cover a very large region of the Earth’s surface, as large as 1,000 kilometers across.

          “A surface or low-air burst would produce local EMP with severe intensity, traveling through the air out to distances of hundreds of meters”.

          “After an air burst the fission products, unfissioned nuclear material, and weapon residues which have been vaporized by the heat of the fireball will condense into a fine suspension of very small particles 0.01 to 20 micrometers in diameter. These particles may be quickly drawn up into the stratosphere, particularly so if the explosive yield exceeds 10 Kt. They will then be dispersed by atmospheric winds and will gradually settle to the earth’s surface after weeks, months, and even years as worldwide fallout. The radiobiological hazard of worldwide fallout is essentially a long-term one due to the potential accumulation of long-lived radioisotopes, such as strontium-90 and cesium-137, in the body as a result of ingestion of foods which had incorporated these radioactive materials”.

    • Plus in this day and age, an EMP attack with a high altitude nuclear detonation from N. Korea, Iran, or even a well-funded terrorist organization like ISIS is more likely than a straight up nuclear attack like during the Cold War.

  16. A question no one seems to be able to answer: What effect will an EMP have on gun safes that use an electronic pad to get the safe to open? Even the safe mfr did not have an answer! Your take on this and what to do…..

  17. For an interesting look at what Lloyd’s insurance thinks of the likelihood and effects of a Carrington-type Event, which might have effects very similar to those of an EMP attack, check out the Lloyd’s “Solar Storm Risk to the North American Electric Grid” report.

    From the executive summary:

    >>A Carrington-level, extreme geomagnetic storm is almost inevitable in the future. …

    The total U.S. population at risk of extended power outage from a Carrington-level storm is between 20-40 million, with durations of 16 days to 1-2 years. The duration of outages will depend largely on the availability of spare replacement transformers. If new transformers need to be ordered, the lead-time is likely to be a minimum of five months. The total economic cost for such a scenario is estimated at $0.6-2.6 trillion
    USD <<

    This is from Section 8: Implications for the Insurance Industry:

    "a major space weather event on the scale of the Carrington Event could lead to power loss for a period of weeks or more. This would cause major disruption to transport, food
    supplies, emergency and hospital services amongst other things. For example, if pumping operations needed to be suspended that would quickly affect water and fuel supplies, sewage systems and flood defences. The absence of such fundamental services could lead to major and widespread social unrest, riots and theft with ramifications for the insurance industry and society in general. It is also likely that financial
    markets (especially as the financial sector is generally concentrated in the areas most at risk i.e. the northeast
    of the US) could be significantly disrupted by a severe space weather event, which would have major global financial impacts"

    You can find the report here:

    • Lloyds also wouldn’t insure Stanley Kubrick against alien life being discovered before the release of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, 50 years later we’re still waiting on that one.

      But, trying to determine the potential damage from an EMP produced by a standard nuclear weapon or from the effects seen in 50+ yr old tests might not apply either. No doubt the nuclear powers all have developed specialized devices to maximize the strength of the EMP generated at detonation, when that effect is desired.

    • When it comes to replacement transformers, don’t get your hopes up.

      The US has about 2100 electrical transformers, with about 370 (rough estimate) of those as high voltage (HV) transformers. Until about a year or two ago, no company in the US made these transformers. Today there are just two. Building just one could take weeks. Replacing one could easily take a month or more. HV transformers would take even longer.

      Compounding this problem, these transformers are NOT one size fits all. The rule of thumb is that for every 13 transformers, there are 10 different designs. Also, these different transformers are designed to handle different amounts of electric currents based upon where they are located. So you have multiple types of transformers that handle multiple types of currents. And most are not interchangeable.

      See the complexity this causes?

      Now let me mention all of the problems that transporting these transformers would pose. (The whole no fuel thing.) Rail might still be available, but many areas where there are transformers are not accessible by rail. So this is another logistical nightmare.

      And that is just the transformers. You still have over 500,000 miles of high–voltage transmission lines in the U.S. and many hundreds of thousands more miles of distribution lines that carry electricity to our homes. Power lines could sag and even snap as a result of the massive surge. So you could be looking at replacing who knows how much line. (And producing more/transporting it etc.)

      And finally, there are no procedures have ever been developed for a “black start” of the entire power grid. Starting a large power generating station actually requires electricity.

      • Not so true in every area! Just happen to play golf with an …well say…up to date ..guy. TVA has installed transformers in ALL necessary areas that the EMP ‘may’ have an effect! Circuit protection is in place. In communication with NASA, with satellites that will shut down all electricity with-in 3 seconds of a Solar EMP. So, surge protection plug strips are all you need.

        If a Nuclear overhead….maybe the techs know….(I doubt it) but are you really worried about your cell phone, auto coffee maker, or………the third leg on you grand child! ?

  18. Curley Bull says:

    Howdy Fellas,

    I don’t suppose anyone was watching 20/20 about 15 years ago when they did a special on EMP without the bomb. This fell went to the scrape yard and then to Radio Shack and built his EMP generator for about $100 with a 50-foot radius of effect. When he hit the switch, it shut down every thing within that radius (some vehicles, computers, radios, phones, etc.). He ask if you could imagine a van (non-electronic ignition) with one of these devices driving through Washington DC and frying everything within 500 feet. By the time people figured out what had happened, the van could be two states away. He also stated that lucky for us only about 8 people in the world have this knowledge and they’re on out side.

    Some of you that are good at research see if you can find that program/report and then share it with the pack.

    Just some food for thought . . .


    • Bill,
      I know the technology he was using and there are a lot of folks who now know how to build this type of equipment. While it would cause damage, I think it would end up more as a nuisance than a real thret.

    • BREARBEAR says:

      Curley Bull,

      “Some of you that are good at research see if you can find that program/report and then share it with the pack”.

      Is this what you were looking for?

      *i first came across this site, about Schriner:
      “Back in 1999, David Schriner, a former civilian electrical engineer for the U.S. Navy, set up a controlled E-bomb demonstration for ABCNEWS’ 20/20”.

      “With a device that pumped out an energy burst of a million watts, Schriner crashed two computers in seconds. Schriner then used his device to give a car an electronic nervous breakdown. Schriner said any vehicle with a computer-controlled engine can be vulnerable to the energy burst provided by an E-bomb”.

      “Schriner’s makeshift device is just an example of the serious damage an E-bomb would cause. However, those in the know would be able to protect their equipment from the bomb’s devastating effects, said Schriner”.

      Will Saddam Fall Victim to the Elusive E-bomb?
      *i highly recommend reading the entire Report
      @ the below Address i have cited…
      ( its long, but a great read)!

      *These are quote’s about Schriner from the Report:
      “David Schriner, a former civilian electrical engineer for the US Navy, told Congress in 1998 that he’d assembled $US500 worth of automobile ignition coils, batteries, fuel pumps and other assorted hardware in his
      basement and in one week he’d built an e-bomb that could make a running car hiccup at 15 metres by overloading its electricals. Congress was sufficiently frightened to give Schriner a million-dollar contract to
      see if he could build a truly effective e-bomb out of readily available materials”.

      “Until you have one that can take out a whole building,” says Schriner,
      “you don’t have a credible weapon.” He has since built a “building within a building” at his Ridgecrest, California, engineering firm and, with a more powerful device built around a telephone-poll transformer the size of a desktop printer, successfully shot through walls to scramble a collection of IV pumps and other electronic medical equipment”.

      “Before you get too panicked at the thought of impending e-bomb warfare, keep in mind that defence against
      e-bombs can be as low-tech as the bombs themselves. “It’s pretty easy to shield equipment,” says Schriner.
      “Sometimes the fix is a 10-cent device like putting a ferrite doughnut around the mouse cord”.

      “But until people know about the threat,” he says, “they can’t do anything about it.”

      Secret weapons of Iraq war and Their Potential Terrorist Use

      • BREARBEAR says:

        “DIANE SAWYER (VO) So Schriner gathered components available in places like salvage yards and hardware stores and catalogs. He says for a tinkerer who knows engineering, RF weapons are not hard to create or expensive. He used these components to build a machine which is a kind of direct-energy Uzi. He says he can take out not just computers but whole computerized systems”.

        “DAVID SCHRINER I can build the things here. I can design them here. But when it comes down to the turning them on, we have to go to a safe and legal place to do that”.

        “DIANE SAWYER (VO) He takes us far away from people and towns and highways, to the China Lake Navy desert test range north of Los Angeles. We decided to test his device on a lot of things we use every day. Schriner won’t let us reveal exactly what’s in the machine. That’s classified. Though it doesn’t have the look of a high-tech weapon. (on camera) You know, this is not a beautiful thing. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but it’s not”.

        “DAVID SCHRINER It’s rather crudely made. You know, we just kind of used whatever we had in my lab to build it”.

        Weapons of the Future
        *Also see:
        David Schriner: The Design and Fabrication of a Damage Inflicting RF Weapon by ‘Back Yard’ Methods
        Statement of Mr. David Schriner
        before the Joint Economic Committee
        United States Congress Wednesday, February 25, 1998

        “The Design and Fabrication of a Damage
        Inflicting RF Weapon by ‘Back Yard’ Methods”
        To the Pack, i hope you all read this.


        Thank You!

        It is definitely food for thought!


  19. One second after is a very poor depiction of a post EMP situation from the aspect of what gets damaged. They ignore things like car batteries, a valuable resource, from the hundreds of cars stopped along the interstate. And only the old hippie guys Volkswagen still run. Not very likely to be the only thing running.

    Thins sitting unplugged on the kitchen counter may or may not be damaged. A cell phone may have no damage at all, due to small surface area. Things like toasters, even when plugged in will likely suffer little or no damage; however, post event there will be no power to run them.

    The chain saw ignition coil, generally a magneto should be fine, except for any diodes, which are easily stocked and replaced.

    Instead of copper screen you can use aluminum or for that matter, any other metal.

  20. Probably more likely to fall in a sink hole. God Bless all!

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