There is talk about apocolypse, collapse of the economy, nuclear attack and even a zombie takeover. What isn't covered by most people is the threat of an EMP attack. There are top level people in government who warn that the grid is not being prepared for such an attack or coronal mass ejection, which is basically a solar flare hitting the earth wiping out the entire planets power grid. There are whispers that opposing forces are experimenting with such technology to take out all of north americas electrical grid. Although it is possible it would appear to me unlikely, although more likely than a nuclear attack believe it or not and far more devistating.
This is my instructable for what we often overlook, an EMP attack on the power grid.
For this instructable you will need:
1 box (size is up to you, so long as it can be sealed)
1 roll of aluminum foil
1 roll of conductive tape (optional)
Step 1: STEP 1 Choose Box
STEP 1: Choose your box
You will need a box large enough to fit your electronic needs. I suggest a solar powered radio, walkie talkies, a solar powered charger for electronic devices and what ever you deem necessary. If you plan on using a solar panel for all your electrical needs I suggest you choose an appropriate sized box, once the pulse hits that solar panel will be fried. I also suggest an mp3 player, maybe an old ipod that isnt used anymore. Music feeds the soul and will keep your moral up, lets face it, your local radio station will most likely be off line after the pulse. I would reccomend that you not try to fit a laptop of computer into the box ,it will most likely be kept in storage over a long period of time, with no electrical grid to power the wifi or 3G services your devices will be obsolete and a waste of space. After you've chosen the proper size box that will fit the essentials you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: STEP 2 Wrap Box
STEP 2: Wrap your box
You will need: 1 Roll of aluminum foil
Take the alluminum foil and wrap the entire outside of the box. You will need to pay close attention that the seems overlap and that no signals can enter. Cover the lid with the same method. If you like you can line the insides though it is not necessary.
Step 3: STEP 3 Test Faraday Cage
STEP 3: Test the faraday cage
Once the box has been prepared take a radio and find a strong signal, the weather band is usually strong. If you don't have the weather band as an option on your radio I suggest you buy a small solar power capable radio that features one. For now assuming you don't have the weather band tune the radio to a strong frequincy. Turn up the radio and put it in the box and close the lid. Listen for the radio. Is the signal still strong or is there no noise? If there is no more noise coming from the station your faraday box works. If there is try to find any reason the signal is entering the box. Check all seams and breaks in the foil lining.
Step 4: STEP 4 Gather Electronics
STEP 4: Gather your electronics
You will need to have the essentials and to me that includes a solar powered radio or a crank radio. These usually feature a weather band for emergencies. There are bound to be some radio stations still operating, maybe not for a while or some DJ decided to beef up the protection of the stations power grid while listening to deep purple.
A handheld GPS would be another useful electronic device to have at hand. The satellites will be working and if you need to find your way around without a map a GPS would be a valuable tool. That is if the EMP attack originated as an act of war, if it happens to be a natural disaster due to a solar event you can count out the satellites being up and running.
A watch would be another useful thing to have, though not entirely necessary. If your wearing a wrist watch when the pulse hits you can count on it never working again. Have a backup wrist watch, or a few for family members. If you can try to find a little supply of them, bartering will be an important part of life as society collapses around you. You never know what you can get for something as simple as a wrist watch. Keep a supply of watch batteries on hand as well. These will be hard to come by in times of strife.
MP3 players should go into the box. I suggest this non essential comfort for just that reason, comfort.
Cell phones will not work after the pulse but it will be a matter of time before the cell towers are replaced and they will work again. You will need a cell phone to communicate with relatives as society rebuilds itself.
A solar charging station would be essential if you are going to recharge devices such as mp3 players and cell phones.
Two way radios (Walkie Talkie's) would be valuable in a situation of societal collapse. You will need then to communicate as the grid is down. You will be scavenging for food and water, shelter material and need to communicate with others if you make a find you cannot carry alone or if either one of you or your family runs into trouble. It will be dog eat dog and you will need an advantage over the cannibal gangs who prowl the wreckage of what once was....but I digest
Step 5: STEP 5 Seal the Box
STEP 5: Seal The Box
Take the conductive tape and seal the lid to the walls of the box. This step is unnecessary but it wouldn't hurt to be cautious.
Step 6: STEP 6 Storage / Thoughts
STEP 6: Store your box in an out of the way place.
You don't want people who have seen your faraday box remembering it when they find that they were un prepared.
If you decide to build a faraday box big enough for a large solar panel it would be best to be cautious about letting people know. In the event that an EM pulse occurs a large working solar panel would be an extremely valuable commodity. There would be anarchy on the streets and people would be scavenging for every morsel as food and water became scarce. This instructable is about protecting electronic devices. Preparedness is key in a catastrophic situation. You will need food and water more than anything. Tools such as axes and hand saws for fire wood would be needed. Snares for wild game and guns or other weapons would be essential. A hunting rifle or compound bow for game would be a necessary part of your kit, not to mention for protecting you and your family. A bug out plan would be essential. You will need to go to the country and wilderness as soon as the pulse hits. If society loses their power we in the 21st century would be thrown into the dark ages, there would be panic and looting on the streets and cities would be a dangerous place to be in those times.
There are survivalist books available which lay out plans to survive a societal collapse ranging from escape plans to basic hunting and foraging and living in the wilderness. I would suggest you buy these books or peruse the internet and take notes from websites such as:
I hope you enjoyed this instructable and are now better prepared for what, hopefully, will never happen.
Special thanks to pixabay.com for being a resource for the stock images used in this instructable.