One of the greatest fears that people have about EMP attacks is how they will fry most electronic devices instantly, assuming that the pulse is strong enough and detonated high enough in the atmosphere.
Phones, laptops, tablets, TVs, etc…no more.
But only if you don’t have a Faraday cage…and only if you don’t have the electronic item of your choosing stored securely in the Faraday cage at the time of the EMP.
That’s right if you have something called a ‘Faraday cage,’ and if your electronic item of choice inside that cage at the time of the EMP, there is a strong chance that it will survive and still be fully operable even when most other electronics have become disabled.
That would be a huge advantage after an EMP attack and not something that you can afford to ignore. So at the very least, a Faraday cage should pique your interest.
Let’s cover what a Faraday cage is (and what it isn’t), a brief history of the development of it, and then how to build one on your own at home for cheap.
History and Development of the Faraday Cage
Faraday cages have been around since the 1830s, so they are hardly a new development.
So named for the British scientist who invented them, Michael Faraday, a Faraday cage is not really a cage, per se, but rather an enclosure that can strop an electrical wave from passing through it.
In other words, when an EMP goes off and the electrical radiation fries all electronics, it’s simply going to pass over or around a Faraday cage, and the item(s) inside will be untouched.
How Faraday cages accomplish this is they enclose an area using a metal conductive material, which serves to protect the interior against the electrical waves by blocking them.
Meanwhile, the electronic device stored inside the Faraday cage is separated from the metal conductive material with a non-conductive insulator, which can be cardboard, wood, or plastic.
Faraday cages come in a very wide variety of sizes. Some are very large, as in the size of an entire building, while others are incredibly small and designed to protect only small electronic items such as phones or laptops.
You can easily make a DIY Faraday cage on your own at home on the cheap by using materials that you should already have in your possession. There are two primary methods that we will talk about next:
DIY Faraday Cage #1 – Cardboard Box Method
The first method for building a DIY Faraday cage is to use the cardboard box method. With this method, you will need to assemble each of the following items:
- Cardboard Box (can be of any size, but smaller is easier; no holes or tears can be present)
- Old T-Shirt
- Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
- Plastic Wrapping
- Duct Tape
- Your Electronic Item of Choice
Have those items assembled? If so, you’ll be ready to begin.
Start by taking your electronic item of choice and wrapping it in your old T-Shirt until the entire item is covered.
Then, wrap the T-shirt with at least three layers of plastic wrapping. Every single square centimeter of the T-shirt should be covered by at least three layers of the wrapping.
Take the resulting package, and place it inside the cardboard box. Shut the box and keep it shut by using duct tape (you can also use electrical tape or scotch tape or any other kind of tape for that matter, but duct tape is the most secure).
Now cover the entire cardboard box with a minimum of three layers of the heavy duty aluminum foil. Every square centimeter of the box should be covered by at least three layers of the aluminum foil.
At this point, your makeshift Faraday cage is now complete!
Even when and after the EMP goes off, the electronic device that you stored inside should be fully operational when you re-open the package afterward.
DIY Faraday Cage #2 – Galvanized Trash Can Method
The Galvanized Trash Can method for building a DIY Faraday cage is even simpler than the last, and is better suited for storing larger items, such as desktop computers or TVs or solar panels.
To do this method, you’ll need to take a galvanized trash can that’s in good condition (no holes or punctures should be present).
Line the entire inside of the trash can with cardboard, so that every square inch of the interior of the can is covered. You can use duct tape to secure the cardboard to the interior of the can, and repeat the process with the interior of the lid as well.
Now take your electronic item and place it inside the trash can. As with the last method, you may want to cover the item with an old T-shirt and plastic wrapping, though it’s not one hundred percent necessary.
Proceed to shut the lid and you’ll be set! To be extra safe, consider using duct tape to secure the lid over the container.
As you can see, Faraday cages are not expensive or difficult to make. You can easily build either or both of the types of DIY Faraday cages using the methods that we just went over.
Is it absolutely guaranteed that either of those Faraday cages is going to work?
Whether they work or not is really dependent on the strength and intensity of the EMP and how well you built your Faraday cage.
A very real possibility is that your electronic device, whether it be a laptop or a phone, will work after being stored in a Faraday cage, but it just may not work as well as it used to (the screen may have static or be blurry, for instance).
Still, since Faraday cages are so cheap and easy to build, there’s really no reason not to build one. It’s one of the simplest ways to become more prepared for an EMP attack, and also one of the most effective.