Letter Re: Shielding Electronics From EMP

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HJL,
Another point on electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and Faraday cages is even something simple can be protective. There are 30 Gallon galvanized steel trash cans with lids (made in the USA!) available at my local farm and ranch store for $22. This makes for affordable and easy storage, and you can wrap things in common aluminum foil. Or even something like a steel cabinet or vault, but generally try to avoid gaps or spaces. It doesn’t have to be zero signal, but reduce the field strength enough to prevent damage.

Vehicles have some protection for many years. In the early days of electronic ignition systems, truckers with CB linear amplifiers were causing police vehicles to stall. And driving near powerful radio towers also caused some glitches. The protection added since the early 1970s isn’t military grade, but realize if your vehicle doesn’t even hiccup when it is next to you or your neighbor’s Amateur Radio rig that is putting out a kilowatt of power, then it is likely to survive an EMP–at least where you aren’t close to ground zero. (And most of the American Redoubt isn’t likely to be a target of an EMP.) Also note that solar flares are usually detected early enough, so there will be time to
disconnect and shield most of your electronics. 

You might want to find a metal shed large enough for your vehicles (and get some plating for the floor and see if your radio doesn’t receive anything inside anywhere), but it is still all a matter of how many bucks you have versus the size and likelihood of the bang you are trying to shield yourself from. – T.Z.

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