by Ken Jorgustin
An EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is thought to be a highly unlikely event. And it might be. On the other hand, no one can predict with any certainty one way or the other…if and when we get ‘zapped’ into a pre-high-tech age in which many or most of our ‘survival’ systems stop working (any system which depends upon electronics to keep on functioning).
While the follow-on effects of a devastating EMP event would be horrific, for those who are preparing for such an event – what are the electronic items that you would consider ‘saving’ in a do-it-yourself Faraday cage for life after the EMP?
Here are a few thoughts:
A quick review of potential EMP sources.
– Natural occurring
I have written a number of articles regarding the topic of EMP. Long story short, nuclear weapons detonated at high altitude have the potential to instantly destroy today’s high-tech electronics within a debatable radius. It is conceivable that an EMP could be detonated from a weaponized orbiting ‘satellite’, or from a launched missile.
A naturally occurring EMP would be sourced from the Sun. While the technicality of the EMP effects are different (as well as the most vulnerable systems – e.g. the power grid itself), there is zero argument that this is a ‘regularly’ occurring event. Fortunately the time between events is not terribly frequent (to our own relativity), although many scientists say that a ‘1859 Carrington Event’ could occur sooner than we think… Space physicist Pete Riley, senior scientist at Predictive Science in San Diego, published an estimate in Space Weather Journal (FEB-2012) saying, The Earth has a roughly 12 percent chance of experiencing an enormous megaflare erupting from the sun in the next decade.
With that said, and for the sake of hypothesizing what we might protect in a Faraday cage, lets assume that most all electronic systems are ‘down’ (except those which may have been EMP ‘hardened’). If we presume that much or all electronic systems and the power grid is down, this will certainly influence the value (if any) on some of the items you may wish to consider for EMP protection…
My thoughts on a few potentially valuable items to protect in a Faraday cage:
2-way handheld battery powered radios for communications (GMRS/FRS/MURS). These do not rely upon any external systems for basic direct 2-way communications. After an EMP SHTF there will be significant value in local radio communications (for various reasons – especially security among a group).
Similar to the aforementioned 2-way radios, CB radios are also battery powered and may serve a useful comms purpose after EMP.
Portable Shortwave (plus AM/FM) radio.
Following an EMP event, not everyone may be ‘down’. There will likely be…