How to Make a Faraday Cage to Survive an EMP

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This guide will show you exactly how to make a Faraday cage to survive an EMP and do much more.

When we think about prepping, we generally think of the imagined scenes that are shown in films. Consider a huge disaster, a military attack, or even a zombie apocalypse. 

However, I’m assuming you don’t think of a solar flare or an electro-magnetic pulse too much. It’s strange that preppers don’t normally accept such scenarios because they’re both plausible and risky. 

Worse, they can follow the imagined scenarios that we all want to fantasize about. This makes a tough situation much more difficult to overcome. 

That is why I want you to understand how to make a Faraday cage. They’re not difficult to use, and they can come in handy if you ever find yourself in a position where electromagnetic fields are a problem.

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Let’s dive right in.

Why You Need a Faraday Cage

1. Solar Flares

A solar flare is an outburst on the Sun’s surface. Huge explosions occasionally trigger a flash of electromagnetic radiation, including X-rays. Solar flares are classified into three types based on their X-ray intensity, according to scientists. 

X-class flares are the most intense. There are major incidents that have the potential to trigger radio blackouts around the world. Medium-sized flares are classified as M-class flares. They are capable of causing brief radio blackouts that threaten the Earth’s polar regions. 

C-class flares are weak and have little visible effects on Earth. It is not a question of whether or not the Planet will be hit by another powerful X-class flare; it is a question of when. 

A Faraday Cage will assist you in preparing for the next large X-class solar flare occurrence. Safeguarding any of the backup mobile equipment.

2. EMP

The global growth of nuclear powers is accelerating. As well as the global political unpredictability. As a result, there is growing anxiety about the real likelihood of a potential nuclear strike. 

EMP blasts are generated by all nuclear explosions. However, certain designs may have a greater EMP impact than immediate death. These are referred to as (EMP) weapons. They detonate in the stratosphere. They can use the Earth’s magnetic field to reflect and intensify the effects of EMP.

3. Phone Tracking

I know it sounds like a plot from a spy film, but almost all current mobile phones have a GPS chip. From the most advanced mobile to the most rudimentary flip phone. 

This feature allows you to use your phone as a GPS navigator. However, it also provides cell service providers with details about your location (past and current). During police cases, authorities also exchange this location information. Furthermore, during search and rescue operations. 

This data is only meant to be kept for a short period of time. However, it is unknown how long businesses hold these position logs. 

Furthermore, it is unknown who will seek access to these documents. However, if you block mobile signals to your phone, the GPS will be unable to trace your phone. 

A Faraday pack, such as my highly recommended Mission Darkness Non-Window Faraday Bag(on Amazon), will conceal your position and activity from prying eyes.

What is a Faraday Cage

what is a faraday cage

Faraday cages (also known as Faraday shields) are secured enclosures with an electrically conductive outer coat. It may be shaped like a box, cube, sphere, or some other closed form. 

The enclosure can be conductive in and of itself, or it can be made of a non-conductive material (such as cardboard or wood) and then covered in a conductive material (such as aluminum foil).

What it does

A Faraday cage operates on three levels:

1. The conductive layer reflects incoming fields

2. The conductor consumes incoming energy

3. The cage creates opposite fields.

All of these work together to protect the material from unreasonable field levels. A Faraday cage is particularly useful for shielding from an electromagnetic pulse caused by a high-altitude nuclear detonation in the atmosphere (a.k.a. EMP attacks).

Contrary to popular belief, a Faraday cage is not needed to protect against solar coronal mass ejections because the frequency content of such disruptions is much lower—they do not couple energy efficiently into small-scale electronics except conducted routes (e.g., wires coming into the system). 

Unplugging electronics and using quality surge suppressors is a safer way to protect from solar events.

What Materials You Need

To get going on your own Faraday cage/container, you’ll need the following materials:

  1. Galvanized bucket
  2. Aluminum tape that is heavy-duty. You’ll be using a lot of this, so keep an eye out for coupons!
  3. For each electronic object, you want to protect, use either plastic wrap (Saran or something similar) or plastic bags.
  4. A rubber bucket.
  5. Boxes of various sizes made of cardboard.
  6. Small, necessary electronic things, such as a clock radio, a hand-cranked weather radio, walkie-talkies, ebook/Kindle, mp3 player, and so on. Check to see if there is stuff you’ll like or need in the near future. Create a list of what you want to put in your Faraday bin if you don’t already have duplicates and only search for cheap duplicates at the garage and estate sales.

How to Make a Faraday Cage

The easiest method to make a faraday cage is the following:

It is very simple, requiring only the materials discussed above. 

All you have to do to make it is use aluminum tape to tape over all of the seams inside the bucket. 

Insert the rubber bucket and close the lid. Wrap 2 layers of aluminum on top of that for even more insulation. Additionally, put some cardboard around there if possible to ensure that even the strongest EMPs cannot penetrate your Faraday cage.

It takes less than five minutes to complete and performs very well. However, you must ensure that you tape over all of the seams. This covers the points where the handles attach to the bucket.

This is a good video showing almost the same thing:

What to Put in It

As stated above, some small, necessary electronic things. But, here are our recommendations.

Communication Devices

Contact devices are the most important electronics to use in a Faraday Cage. 

Will radio communications continue after an EMP attack? Will the EMP explosion destroy the communication lines and towers? 

Maybe, maybe not. It’s difficult to anticipate, and as you’ll see below, no one blast will bring down all electronics because each one is tuned to a different frequency. So, in my opinion, the following devices are a fine place to start for your home Faraday Cage.

These are my suggestions:

  1. One pair of local contact devices (also known as walkie-talkies)
  2. One over-the-air radio.
  3. An extra phone.

Lighting Equipment

If the power goes out, torches or flashlights will be your primary source of lighting at night. Candles will last for a few days, but unless you stock up, you will soon run out. 

Furthermore, good luck wandering about at night while holding candles. As a result, you must supplement your Faraday Cage with some lighting equipment. 

This includes:

  1. One headlamp per person
  2. A tactical flashlight (300-1000 lumens)

Rechargeable Batteries/Battery Charger/Solar Charger

To help your battery-powered computers, you add batteries. You’ll still need a way to replace batteries without relying on grid power.

Purchase rechargeable batteries(on Amazon), a battery charger(on Amazon), and a small solar charger panel(on Amazon). In an ideal world, both of the computers will use the same size battery.

The AA battery is the most popular. So, if you can fit all of your mobile gadgets into AA, you can make your life a little simpler. If not, you’ll need extra batteries for each kind of cell.

To replace your batteries, you’ll also need a portable solar charger. Then, using your batteries, fuel your gadgets such as your pocket radio, tactical flashlight, headlamp, and so on.

You will avoid the need for a battery charger by pairing a solar power bank with a few AA USB Batteries.

To recharge these new rechargeable batteries, plug them into your Anytime Charge Power Bank. Simple and effective. So, if space in your Faraday Cage is small, you may delete them.

However, I still keep spare batteries for my equipment with my gear. That way, I can be certain that I have everything I need in my gear stash.

Tactical Watch

Most people I know have several survival watches. 

Why is this so? They are amazing. So don’t be afraid to throw one of your extra tactical watches into your faraday cage. That way, even though there is an EMP, you would not disable your watch’s compass and sensor functions.

FAQ

How Thick Should the Conducting Layer Be?

Because of what known as the skin effect, the conductive layer may be very thin. The propensity of current to flow primarily on the skin of a conductor is defined by this definition. 

Since the absorption loss is high, as long as the conducting layer is greater than the skin depth, it can have excellent shielding. The surface depth is determined by the frequency of the wave and the material of the conductor. 

The surface depth of aluminum is just around 21 microns at a frequency of 200 MHz. EMP pulses may have frequency material ranging from 100 to 1,000 MHz.

Wrapping a container in two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil (typically around 24 microns thick) provides the required conductor thickness to shield against high-frequency radiated fields. Additionally, with a galvanized bucket, it should be extra secure.

Does it Have to be Aluminum?

Almost every metal’s conductivity is high enough to cause carriers to quickly realign in order to cancel out external fields. 

For example, using silver (the better conductor) instead of aluminum reduces the skin depth at 200 MHz to around 4.5 microns. Of course, the high price of silver will preclude its use for such a reason. Thus, aluminum is one of the best conductors in my opinion.
 

Can a Faraday Cage have Holes?

Yes, as long as the gaps are small in comparison to the incident electromagnetic wave’s wavelength. In free space, a 1 GHz wave has a wavelength of 0.3 meters. 

As long as the holes are slightly smaller than that dimension (i.e., a few millimeters), they would not allow any of the incident waves to pass through. 

Most leakage is normally caused by the cage’s lid or door. This leakage can be reduced by taping the seam with conductive tape as described above.

 

Does the Faraday Cage Have to Be Grounded?

There is a lot of misunderstanding around grounding a Faraday enclosure. Grounding the cage (connecting it to an Earth-referenced charge source) has no impact on the field levels seen within the box.

Grounding primarily prevents the cage from being charged and possibly re-radiating. The simple truth is that an ungrounded cage, like a grounded one, preserves its contents from dangerous electromagnetic fields. There is almost no difference.

Closing Thoughts

In this article, you learned exactly how to make a Faraday cage the easiest way.

Here are some helpful resources that may help you more:

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Have a nice day, and keep prepping!

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