With an ever-growing dependence on digital technology, it is becoming more and more important to be prepared for potential disruptions in our electronics.
Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are a genuine concern, as they can cause a devastating amount of damage to sensitive electronics, such as computers, phones, and other devices.
Preppers and survivalists must be aware of the potential harm of EMPs and take necessary steps to protect their electronic equipment.
Is The Threat Real?
Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are intense bursts of electromagnetic radiation that can cause severe damage to sensitive electronics. Various sources, such as nuclear explosions, solar flares, or electromagnetic weapons, can cause EMPs.
When an EMP passes through an electronic device, it can cause permanent disruption or even destruction of the device.
Electronic devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and two-way radios are particularly vulnerable to damage from EMPs, making it nearly impossible to reach out to other people. However, here you can learn the only way to communicate after an EMP.
An EMP will disrupt the device’s delicate circuits, causing it to malfunction or even fail. In addition, an EMP can also cause permanent damage to the device’s memory, making it impossible to recover any data stored on it.
For this reason, preppers and survivalists who rely on these devices should be aware of the potential risk posed by EMPs and take steps to protect their equipment.
A Faraday cage is a metal enclosure that protects electronics from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and derives its name from the English scientist Michael Faraday, who discovered the principle of electromagnetic shielding.
Faraday cages shield objects from electromagnetic waves using a metal enclosure to block external static and non-static electric fields. Electromagnetic shielding is due to the metal reflecting and redirecting the electric field lines, thus creating a neutral potential inside the cage.
Related: 10 Faraday Cages You Can Make at Home
To construct a Faraday cage, the metal enclosure should be completely covered with a conductive material and have no gaps or openings.
Additionally, the metal should be thick enough to block the electric field but thin enough not to absorb too much energy.
Depending on the strength of the EMP, different types of metal will work for a Faraday cage, such as aluminum, copper, or steel.
Effective Faraday Cages
The following five attributes are present in a practical Faraday cage:
- Electrically Conductive: The faraday cage must be made of an electrically conductive material, such as aluminum or copper, to be effective at blocking EMPs.
- Shielding: Shielding the Faraday adequately to block the electromagnetic waves from entering. Shielding can be done using correctly grounded metal sheets, a metallic layer, or a combination of both.
- Seamless: The faraday cage must have no gaps or seams through which EMPs can enter.
- Air Tight: The faraday cage must be airtight for it to be effective at blocking EMPs.
- Durability: The faraday cage must be durable enough to withstand the force of the EMP, meaning that the material and construction of the faraday cage must be able to withstand the force of the EMP.
Using A Microwave Oven As A Faraday Cage
Some preppers believe microwaves can be used as a Faraday cage to protect electronics from EMPs.
The belief centers around the fact that they have a metal housing.
The metal housing, in theory, should keep electromagnetic waves out.
Related: 11 Things You Believe About EMPs and Faraday Cages That Are Actually Wrong
However, it is essential to remember that a microwave oven may not provide complete protection from EMPs, as the extent of protection can vary depending on the size and power of the EMP.
The effectiveness of microwave ovens as Faraday cages is compromised by the fact that there is a gap between the door and the microwave’s body through which an EMP could enter.
Using A Refrigerator As A Faraday Cage
Refrigerators are a better Faraday cage for protecting electronics from EMPs because they are airtight and made of metal.
The metal exterior of the refrigerator will act as a shield, blocking electromagnetic energy and preventing it from entering the device.
Additionally, the insulated interior walls of the refrigerator will serve as a buffer, helping to absorb the energy and further protect the electronics.
The fact that refrigerators are airtight will also help protect electronics from outside environmental factors, such as dust or moisture.
Sealing the refrigerator completely by insulating all gaps and cracks is essential. Overall, the effectiveness of a refrigerator as a Faraday cage for protecting electronics from EMPs depends on how well it’s sealed and insulated.
Related: A Step-by-Step of What to Do Immediately After an EMP Strike
Which is Better? Microwave Versus Fridge
Refrigerators are generally a much better choice for Faraday cages than microwave ovens for a few reasons:
- The metal content of a refrigerator is much higher than a microwave’s, making it a much better conductor of electricity and, therefore, better at shielding the electronic equipment inside from an EMP.
- Refrigerators are much larger and have much more interior space, allowing more equipment to be stored inside. A refrigerator’s insulation also helps absorb the energy from an EMP and further protects the equipment inside.
- A refrigerator door’s airtight seal helps prevent any leakage of electromagnetic energy and further protects the electronics inside.
It would be better to use older refrigerators as they are generally made with thicker metal and provide more shielding from an EMP.
In addition, refrigerators that are buried underground or in a subterranean bunker are generally a better choice as they are better shielded from an EMP due to their distance from the surface and the other earth covering them.
Some Guidelines On Metals For Faraday Cages
The minimum thickness of metal that can be used to construct a Faraday cage will depend on the type and size of the cage. Generally, the thicker the metal, the more protection it will provide.
For most Faraday cages, a sheet of aluminum or copper with a thickness of at least 0.0625 inches (1.6 mm) is recommended.
Copper is the best option for a Faraday cage because it is an excellent conductor and very durable. It is also relatively easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
Aluminum is also a great choice for a Faraday cage because it is an excellent conductor, lightweight, relatively easy to find, and inexpensive.
Steel is a good choice for a Faraday cage because it is durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and pressures. It is also relatively easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
You can also buy metal fabrics or Faraday fabrics online that can shield or cover gaps in your current Faraday cage.
For the Faraday cage to work as intended, it needs to be grounded. Grounding is done by running a copper wire from the cage to a copper rod driven into the ground, providing a path for the electric current to flow through and protect your electronics from the EMP.
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