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  1. The Electrical fields produced by an EMP are finite in nature. The estimate due to certain physical constraints, is 25 kV per meter. The size of a small walkie-talkie, cell phone or key fob is only a few centimeters. Therefore the electrical impulse maximum sustained by these items will be in the range of a kilovolt or two. Believe it or not, they are probably engineered to survive that, because normal static discharges can easily be 25 kV. The devices made to protect are called electrostatic discharge protection, and any well-made device in the last quarter century has them! That’s because designers got tired of having most of their product returned at big box stores, and begin building in static protection (ESD) into most consumer products. The amount of energy in a static discharge is limited and these protections do well.

    The things that get destroyed by E1, E2 our systems that have many meters of wire connected to them and therefore can pick up an enormous amount of voltage and power. Think ham radio, things on powerlines, things in your house connected to the house wiring, telephones, cable modems that sort of thing A good number of these devices would be destroyed if not adequately protected

    The things destroyed by the geomagnetic field shifting of E3 Are things connected to the commercial power grid, huge transformers, generators substations that sort of thing That industry assiduously refuses in most states to protect their system

    I don’t have any inside knowledge on the products offered by this company, however it is likely that they include overvoltage protection system such as metal oxide varisters, and gas discharge systems. These will have the side benefit of reducing your risk to lightning strikes near you Installing them is a good idea! I discuss these things in Fairland in a text which I produced which you can easily find with a little Google search

    The protection devices themselves are very cheap. The advantage this company offers you are the instructions and the construction and ease of application — more power to them

    Your automobile has certain advantages and disadvantages. Because the voltages on spark plugs are enormous also, automobiles have to be built with awful lot of ESD protection in the first place Furthermore the battery system is very low impedance and it’s not clear how much voltage would be impressed upon it by the E field of an E1. The big deal about E1 is it’s not just a DC voltage it’s a high frequency ramp that includes waveforms from 0 to 100 MHz at least So the length of wiring in your automobile provides transmission line and inductive effects good enough to merit a PhD if anyone could explain how it will respond

    Thanks to your metal body of your car you have at least some minimal faraday shielding!

    That may be why in the test that have been done most cars were able to be re-cranked, but of course these are just tests…… nobody was willing to set off a nuclear discharge for these, they are all simulations

    I would strongly recommend that if you aren’t willing to learn how to install gas discharge tubes etc., use products such as these.

    Protecting radio gear at Cetera, Has to be more than just faraday cages because when are you ever going to be willing to take them out? The Department of Homeland Security has a set of levels of protection for radio gear, it’s not very difficult at all to reach level two. I suspect that my stations reach that. Going beyond that is a bit of work, and so I have some spare gear set aside that could be used to replace anything that does get fried. But the other issues then are a lot more important, such as food production security etc.

    I have previously described ways to protect electronica locks on safes. I’ve come up with a way to test whether not my theory there actually works & sometime I will try it and then write an article.

  2. Thank you Pat for the tangible explanation to an invisible problem. We live in a time where almost everything we depend on is taken for granted. Believing our world will be as it was or continuously improving is a recipe for disaster.
    Shielding is too simple a solution to be without ~ again thank you.

  3. If you want real information on EMP protection you need to look up Dr. Arthur T. Bradley. This man has the real-world skills and credentials to evaluate all things EMP. His work is amazing and you can learn a lot from him.

  4. Has anyone else run across reports of a “super EMP” weapon being developed, one that generates an EMP in the 200kV/sq. meter range? Also, I would wonder if whether an EMP attack would come in more than one event, say an initial attach followed a week or two later by a second to destroy any devices that had been stored and brought into service after the initial attack? Supposedly the EMPshield device would protect against multiple lower powered weapons.
    All-in-all, there’s ample reasons to keep water filters in addition to your 3B’s.

  5. Here is what I have protecting my solar system from lightning strikes and emp


    Midnite solar surge protectors, currently I have 4 of them installed

    1 at the combiner box for the solar panels
    2 at the inverter on the dc input
    3 at the inverter on the generator input
    4 at the breaker box 220v into my house

    I currently have 1 more still in the box I intend to install for my grid power into my house. I enjoy my comforts too much to be off grid in the winter, summertime is easy to pull the plug.

  6. An EMP weapon is not a good choice [to use] against a nuclear power. It is in effect a nuclear attack and would warrant a nuclear response. It is an unlikely choice in an attack on the u.s.

    1. Agree with OneGuy. An EMP attack ensures annihilation in retaliatory strikes. It is also not useful from a terrorist or non-state actor, as it’s propaganda value is NIL. These organizations do not seek MASSCAL events just for the sake of MASSCAL. They seek them for the coverage and intimidation they generate for their cause. Knocking a society back 300 years is useless. They require mass media to achieve their goals. EMP destroys mass media.

    2. I must respectfully disagree with any analysis that claims that an EMP attack will never happen due to the risk of retaliation in kind.
      Nobody that has spent any time studying the history of the last 125 years would ever consider going to war with the United States without first crippling her industrial base.
      The issue of retaliation can be neatly sidestepped by using a proxy. North Korea or Iran comes to mind.

    3. I like the thought, but MAD only works if the recipient of said EMP detonation knows from which country the device came from. The nuclear powers don’t just randomly flip nukes at each other. To retaliate is to ensure your own doom.

      But if one had ambitions on uniting say Europe under a new soviet empire, eliminating the one true deterrent to such ambitions from the map makes sense. Or a new caliph deciding the middle east would be hers if the expected US response was eliminated before it could even consider action, the risk might be worth the reward.

      The US is not the center of the universe, as many think. Its just the singular worldwide peacekeeper.

      Even the biggest can be brought low. Roman Empire vs huns/goths/visigoths/picts, Goliath vs David, Drago vs Rocky. You get the idea.

      The remnants of the soviet empire did a great job losing nukes. Some left at the bottom of the ocean, some sold by unpaid troops. There has been no accountability for the lost nukes in the world, and to say a fringe (or not so fringe) element might use one so they can wage their war somewhere else is silly.

  7. Question for others:
    I have handheld ham radios etc. insulated and stored inside a large metal tin (the type popcorn might come in). My cell phone will NOT ring when inside this tin. Is this a reliable indicator that the tin is an effective Faraday cage?

    1. The most important part is to have proper non-conductive insulation between the outer shell in the items on the inside. An important additional step would be to have the items that are on the inside place inside of anti static mylar bags as a secondary line of defense. Any contact between the outer shell and the actual item stored inside negates the Faraday safety.

    2. I would say no. It does attenuate the signal some, hence why your cell phone doesn’t ring. But not enough to provide much protection. Watch Dr Bradleys videos on YouTube.

    3. I just a get a large cookie or popcorn tin from the thrift store and wrap the radio in plastic, or several wraps of paper towel to thicken the insulation, and place it in the tin. The items could be wrapped, or put into a single bag, or wrapped individually. Put the tight fitting lid on the tin. Here is the critical part. Using expensive aluminium tape from the hardware store. This kind is typically used for securing central heating/air duct work. Seal the seam that is between the lid and the rest of the can. Done.

      It is that easy. To protect small items, or items that you’d like to store in say a Get Home Bag, or in the truck, insulate with paper or plastic, and wrap with heavy duty aluminum foil, then use the tape to seal the seams. Then place it inside an appropriately sized box. For extra large items, such a Kenwood 830S hybrid with tubes for the finals, and no micro chips to fry, this was put into a box that acts as a an insulating material. Step 2, then it was wrapped like a Christmas present in a large sheet of reinforced mylar from a heating duct, the seams taped. And finally, It was then placed inside another box to protect the Mylar. A metal trash can, or a metal 55 gallon drum with a removable top would be better protection from possible physical damage, but the Mylar was cheaper, and I happen to have it. It is hard to find, yet a Mylar emergency blanket, or two taped together, might be large enough, and less expensive, or easier to find than either type of metal can, and more compact.

      I believe the threat from a CME is greater that from an EMP as we are far away from ground zero. A CME could also be much stronger and wide spread. EMP would likely take out parts of the grid, and leave the rest undamaged. An attacker would probably prefer an infrastructure intact if their goal was conquest, and it would be more advantageous to simply starve us into submission. Who would do such a thing? Who has the motive, means, and opportunity? China. They are the only country with the number of infantry in the millions needed to pull it off. And they are full of hubris. They believe they are the superior race, and deserve to rule the planet.

      I would only risk radio gear that was non essential. And this equipment is run off a 12vdc battery bank. The grid could deliver the EMP that occurred from a great distance, and is bigger threat than the antenna. I can’t have too much confidence in protective devices that can’t be tested, or where published test results are not available from several sources. However, it might be helpful. The rest is protected in Faraday cages…

      1. Tunnel Rabbit, the method you described in your first paragraph is exactly what I did. However, as I frequently opened/reclosed the tin the aluminum tape became a nuisance. I tried the cell phone/no signal test and it gave me the apparent false indication that the tape was not necessary. Like you say, the tape is cheap and it can be reused several times. I’m going back to using it.

        The tin is lined with foam insulation. BGF recommend anti static mylar bags as a secondary line of defense. Simple. Cheap. I like that idea. I ordered an assortment of them yesterday.

        Thanks guys for the help.

    1. No, only the ones who are dependent on electronic devices. You will notice that much of the material posted in SurvivalBlog pertains to methods for food, water and medicine self-sufficiency in the event of any kind of emergency. A FUBARed electrical grid is just one possible way that our modern way of life could go sideways.

  8. First off, thank you Pat for such an insightful article. I’ve personally spoken with the inventor of the EMP Shield products. He is an extremely humble, intelligent and helpful individual. I’ve purchased the home and vehicle models from EMP Shield and installed them myself. The peace of mind they provide is enormous, I’m very grateful that this company is working to protect us and our Nation from the threat of EMP/CME/Lightning and for Survival Blog for featuring them.

  9. Curious, does this assume that after an EMP event we would all just sit around twiddling our thumbs and wailing? From what I have seen locally in the power company storage yards, there are stored reels of wire, extra transformers, stored fuel etc, –we would begin again because that’s what we do..

    1. No incoming line power makes thise supplies useless,it is the long transmission lines and big transformers that are vulnerable and hard to replace(nuke plants are especially vulnerable).

    2. To: runs with scissors
      The problem that causes the long term outage nation wide is the lack of spares for the massive transformers that interconnect the electric grid. From my reading, there is only one spare for the entire grid nationwide. Another spare would cost several million dollars. The lead time for another would be 1 years + who knows how long. The current source for spare is China. Go figure!!!

  10. A 2004 comprehensive report by the Congressional EMP Commission tested 37 vehicles and found that 99% of vehicles will function after exposure to an EMP, with some requiring a restart, and some gauges malfunctioning. Vehicles electronic components are already well shielded, however homes and individual electronic devices are at risk unless shielded.

    1. But what concerns me is how much more sophisticated electronics are in vehicles now a days. There’s a huge difference in cars from 2004 and today so their test may not be valid now.

  11. Let me say that any protection is better than none. One of our computer customers had problems with power, such that we had installed commercial protection by licensed engineers of MOV, gas discharge, shielded wires, and additional grounding. The only thing that really worked was when they installed a power distribution system driven by an uninterruptible power source. They were right next door to a power substation and after all the work, a lightning strike five miles away would cause garble on the computer screens but the systems no longer crashed and burned. The MOV and gas discharge can be overwhelmed/broken by high level transients, but better they break than the system. It’s protection, but no guarantees. Plan for the worst, pray for the best.

  12. A few things. I hung out with several nuclear weaponeers for a decade and a half. One was the chairman of the EMP Commission, and one (Bronius Cikotas) did much of the EMP simulator testing, particularly on light vehicles, semi trucks, aircraft, computers, electric motors, water treatment plants and pumping stations. The latter was more of a detailed survey of their equipment rather than actual simulations.
    Bronius, over breakfast at a Las Vegas casino, said they expect to lose only 6% of the light vehicle fleet to E1 and E2. Your car is NOT connected to the grid, so that’s a huge advantage right there. As pointed out above, most cars are made of steel, and that since the 1980s, manufacturers have been including a lot of metal shielding and surge protection on computer systems that control drive train function.
    Bron would not reveal brands, model years, etc, but I did get the “wink” and hint,”Dodge products were the worst, but even they would recover and start again up to three times if the battery cables were removed for several minutes and reattached at the 50 kv/m2 threshold. [None of the vehicles that were not running at the time of insult were rendered inoperable. So, many cars will still run no matter what their make/model/year is] This allows the CPU to reboot after an upset event (if enough of the boards survived). He also revealed that Ford had its own simulator.

    All of the vehicles tested were far newer than the mythical 1974 standard often quoted. He would not talk further about brands or models after that. Note you can read up on the vehicle testing on Jerry Emanulson’s most excellent article about EMP found here: http://www.futurescience.com/emp.html Do read all the links highlighted in blue.
    Bron further said that the high-end surge protector strips found at the store have clamp times of less than a nano-second, plenty good enough for E1 protection for appliances down-stream from the strip. Like your computer. Note that “system-generated EMP, that which is collected on the computer’s wiring and circuitry may kill the system. Depends on model, year, etc. Your favorite blender should do fine on the strip.
    Very small electronic will be unaffected. Like key fobs, watches, hand-held radios, etc.

    Bron Cikotas and Edwin York (Chief Engineer, hardened facility certification and EMP hardening programs for two dozen strategic weapons systems such as B1, B52, BOMARC, SAFEGUARD ABM system, Minuteman, etc) warned that your house wiring at the weathered will pack about 45,000 amps at 3,000,000 volts at the E1 phase. Unprotected stuff will not like this at all. Three million volts seems to be the maximum voltage that can be carried on power lines (E1).
    I also employ Midnite Solar lightning surge protectors on my off-grid stuff, so Montana Rancher should take note that their suppressors have a clamp time of around 15 nanoseconds.(per Midnite factory rep I quizzed at a show)…unfortunately too late to deal with E1. It’s great with E2, though!
    ESD protection devices are not effective against E1. Like comparing a turtle to a jack rabbit. I worked in ESD environments in aircraft manufacturing for years, and got regular training. On some carpets in dry winters, you can work up a nice 60,000 volt charge. But it’s a lot slower in peak rise time than E1.
    The good news is that the further south you are, the less potent EMP will be. Arizona, good. Idaho, North Dakota, Montana, along these lats…..BAD. Also, the amount of rock beneath your location will have a profound effect on how E3 impacts your area.
    The water issue will kill millions more and in far less time than the lack of food ever will.
    There is plenty of excellent source material in the footnotes of Emanuelson’s essay.
    You will have to plan for your own power and water for likely, the rest of your lives. The grid isn’t coming back in your lifetime. When it comes to critical supplies and planning, there is no penalty for over-achievement.
    Let’s stay busy out there…..

  13. Something that I think has been talked around here, and not stated clearly, is that no device that I’m aware of, except a Faraday cage, can protect nonmilitary grade, unshielded microchip electronics from the E1 portion of the EMP that will accumulate directly into the circuitry.
    Near instantaneous acting surge protectors can protect things that are plugged in from surges coming in via long line transmission, especially E2 and E3, and also from just mundane lightning strikes, if you live in a part of the country where those are a frequent concern.
    Like most problems and dangers, there is no such thing as a panacea.

    1. My group site is lucky we have three Generators that are buried 20 feet under ground in a shielded bunker, and we currently have on hand likewise buried 25 under ground sufficient fuel to run the Generators for up to 10 years, and no we did not purchase any of this, the previous occupant of this site violated their lease by abandoning the site, and it all reverted to the original property owner who after going through Federal Court to have the lease voided and also being awarded all rights to any equipment that was not removed prior to their violating the lease became his. He sold it all to us for almost nothing. We also have a deep well water supply system with a purification filtration system. We added 5 acres of a solar setup but the panels and battery system are currently stored underground in a shielded bunker as well. In the event that we need them all we have to do is finish the installation and we have power from them as well as the Generators.

  14. I have these installed on my truck, my tractor, and my kids vehicles. Easy install and nice piece of mind.

    You will note on the website that they document testing at 50 kV per meter. This is the military standard and is consistent with the expected voltage associated with local EMP. I contacted the company because of my concern regarding “super EMP“ which could theoretically generate a 200-250 KV per meter discharge. The person acknowledged that the maximum voltage they could test was 90 KV/ meter, which was the limit of the testing equipment. The testing equipment was subjected to more than forty 90 KV / meter discharges within one second and was unharmed.

    However, they had numerous anecdotal cases which were reported to me where vehicles were struck by lightning and subsequently unaffected. Natural lightning demonstrates a discharge of 600 to 1000 KV per meter. In these instances, the device was sacrificed, but the vehicle was unhurt.

    Although I am not qualified to comment technically on the validity and quality of the independent testing of this equipment, it certainly made sense to me and gives me some peace of mind.

  15. A topic not brought up was the lack of infrastructure in gas production, not only for vehicles but home heating.

    It’s been a constant belief that after
    3-5 days without food deliveries, massive chaos will rule.

    And does anyone seriously think the US being in such a mortality wounded state a enemy like Russia or China would not invade?

    If one truly thought this is going to happen, money would be better spent on horses and barns full of food and supplies.

  16. One thing I see missing is reference to CME ?????? From the information I have and have seen I place this device close to snake oil ,i worked on nuclear testing programs back in the 70s,some noted people have had threats of law suites form the company above for critical Review,I won’t be using there equipment,and will not recommend it
    Would love to say more , but !!!!

    PHD nuclear engineering

  17. I’m not expert in EMP but I work around generators and had to take physics as part of the engineering degree. I offer the following thoughts.
    An EMP could be caused by a US adversary or a CME from the sun. Remember the Carrington event. Those long telegraph wires generated some high voltages.
    Most grid electricity is generated far from where its used, being transmitted hundreds of miles through high voltage wires. Back in the old days the US built its own high voltage transformers to step up or down the voltages. I even toured a repair facility back in the late 1970’s. I’ve read that most of the really high voltage transformers used for transmission are now made in China. This would be a big bottleneck to rebuilding the grid. They were described as built to order with a 1 year lead time. If someone other than China attacked or the CME didn’t affect China we could slowly rebuild the grid. If too much of the grid or the generators are destroyed here or around the world I see a multigenerational rebuild time if it can even be done. This could be a couple article to book discussion.
    Physics says the longer the wire the higher the voltage from passing through a magnetic field. The electrical grid has hundreds if not thousands of miles of wire though I’ve heard there are also breakers that trip to avoid overloads and overheating wires. Any device with coils of wire (longer wires) should be more susceptible to an EMP than just a wire. Transformers, generators, ignition coils all come to mind though many could be behind shielding, inside metal cases, etc.
    I’ve examined designs and schematics of hardened generators. Most employ layers of protection. Start with a good metal shell. The shell is always grounded to Ground with a deep ground rod. This reduces the strength of the magnetic field inside the shell and bleeds off energy to ground. Magnetic fields don’t appear to turn corners. Any cooling air entrances or exits should force the air to turn 180 degrees with metal ducting electrically connected to the shell. Inside the shell semiconductor devices are found at various places in the circuits, I think varistors, placed between normally hot conductors and ground. Varistors are a diode variation that blocks electricity until a threshold voltage is reached after which they conduct electricity. I don’t know if some types switch to conductors faster than other designs. These would bleed off any higher than normal voltages induced by the magnetic pulse inside the generator, or carried in by the output cables. I’m not sure what they do for control electronics, but its logical that steps would be taken to drain induced high voltages off to ground.
    Principals of protection. These could be applied to individual equipment or your house:
    1) Keep the energy of the magnetic field outside the equipment. Metal trash cans, EMP bags, faraday cages, metal generator enclosures.
    2) Drain any EMP induced voltages to ground.
    3) There could be more I’m not familiar with.

    My protection: I have a trash can that I store LED flashlights, inverters, and other electronic devises. I own a variety of generators. I don’t have evidence of how well this will work but when time and funds permit I plan to buy a bag of high capacity varistors and install them on my generators. Simple method, take an electrical plug and put varistors between the hot wire and ground, the N and ground, plug into generator output plugs and then ground the generator set to a separate ground rod outside. The gasoline engines probably have coils in them and one of my generators has a voltage regulator. I was going to buy an extra voltage regulator and extra coils for some of the engines. Like Pat, I worry that having a functional generator would make me a target after the grid goes down so I need to develop a metal enclosure to store one of my quiet inverter generators. Still working on how to do that on the cheap without a press brake. I might be able to build a faraday cage out of an old washing machine case and some extra sheet metal.

    I checked EMP’s website real quick. They describe their approach and list 3 mil specs. Mil-Std-188-125-1 & 2 seems most relevant to EMP. You can download them from DLA assist quicksearch if you are interested in reading them. https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsDocDetails.aspx?ident_number=205747 and https://quicksearch.dla.mil/qsDocDetails.aspx?ident_number=204459

  18. I was wondering if an old microwave oven could work as a Faraday cage for radios and other items, since they’re designed to shield microwaves, keeping them in. Would they also keep them out?

  19. One thing about a CME which I think makes it a little less of an issue is that a CME would not hit Earth for a minimum of 14 hours notice, but the average time is 3.5 days. We would know in advance before it hit. Not much time but enough to warn the public to unplug and to perhaps take a lot of major stuff off-line. An EMP would have zero warning if a missile was launched from close to shore.

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