Preparing for Solar Storms or EMPs

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There are many things to worry about in today’s world…the global economy, cold war revival between the US and Russia, nature disasters rising, etc.  One additional scenario that people are aware about but rarely prepare for is electromagnetic radiation that can fry our power grids and sensitive electronics.  I personally put any type of specific preparation (e.g. – Faraday cages) for this situation on the back burner as there was much more concrete evidence of needing to prepare for other scenarios.  However, recent events prove that another Carrington Even, whether sparked by a solar flare or nuclear EMP blast may not be so rare.

As you prepare, you may potentially end up racking several hundred or even thousands of dollars in preparedness gear over the years.  If any of this goes into sensitive electronic equipment such as HAM radio, night vision, or alternative energy, you should protect it in case a solar flare or EMP scenario happens.  Thanks to one of On Point’s members for submission of the Faraday cage designs!

What is a Faraday Cage?

A Faraday cage is an enclosure formed by a conducting material that protects the contents inside.   The cage redirects current around the object in the middle, effectively insulating it from the dangers of the electrical current.  If you’ve ever been to a science museum, you’ve probably seen this experiment:

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Simple Box Faraday Cage

The simplest Faraday Cage can be constructed from a box with a lid.  Simply glue or tape heavy aluminum foil to the exterior of the box and lid, and place the items to be protected inside. Close the box and the items inside will be protected. Just make sure that there are no holes inside the box that would allow any item inside to touch the aluminum foil. Any item touching the outside foil would be vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation.  While this is the simplest and cheapest mechanism, there is no telling whether the foil will be strong enough to hold the entire energy of an EMP.  A better solution would be to build a larger faraday cage out of sheet metal, use an all metal garbage can, or metal on metal pressure canner.  See below for the large faraday cage construction.  CLICK HERE for the pressure canner or garbage can variation.

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Large Storage Cabinet Faraday Cage

This Faraday Cage is the most complex and will cost around $200 to $250 if you build it yourself, but it provides greater storage capacity and extreme protection. The size of the metal cage itself is 36″ wide by 31.5″ deep and about 85″ high. The exterior size is slightly larger since 1.5″ by 3.5″ two by fours are used as the support frame for the metal cage. The interior is also smaller than the dimensions provided since the interior of the metal cage is lined with 2″ styrofoam. The dimensions selected were done so to allow the storage of the following items:  1) a gaseoline electric power generator would fit in the bottom of the cage, 2) a small dorm size refrigerator could be stored in the top of the cage and 3) the middle of the cage could be used to store two large go bags with associated survival equipment. To see detailed plans for building the cage follow this link to the Construction Plans.

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