EMP Shielding

Learning some basic EMP shielding techniques could be the difference between life and death for you and your family in the case of an EMP strike against America. An electro magnetic pulse would be created by the detonation of a nuclear bomb several miles above the Earth.


It will knock out anything that uses electricity to function so anything from cars to cell phones to automatic firearms will suddenly become useless. The circuitry in all these devices will be fried, meaning that they won’t operate after the attack: no newer cars, no cell phones, no computers, no television, no power, no cash registers and no ATMs, just to name a few.

How an EMP Happens

An electro magnetic pulse happens when the radioactive gamma rays from the nuclear reaction interact with the ionosphere which strips all the electrons from the gamma rays. These rays then take electrons from anywhere they can find it, namely all of your unshielded electrical devices.

The common misconception that an EMP will affect your brain or your body is false even though you do carry a small electrical charge. The EMP strike will disrupt the metallic circuitry and while your body does carry lots of electrons, there is no metal to fry.

Protecting Yourself

Fortunately, it is possible to provide some shielding to the most essential household objects. Before discussing these shielding techniques, it’s important to note that an EMP will not hit the ground in a concentrated strike like a lightning bolt so any attempts to build massive metal rods to earth the pulse will prove futile and ineffective. However, some shielding techniques that will work include:

  • Induction shielding – induction shielding is the term used for wrapping an object that is heavily reliant on electricity in positively charged metal such as copper. When the massive number of electrons strike, they bond with the positrons and negate themselves without causing any damage to the equipment.
  • Individual grounding – while a large metal rod stuck in the ground won’t ground an EMP because it will have such a massive surface area, you can ground each individual bit of electrical equipment. This simply involves running a copper wire from the earth to the electrical components of the device. Don’t worry about height as an EMP will happen so quickly that the electrons will be all around you in seconds.
  • Tree formation circuits – nearly every piece of electronic equipment you own will be wired in a loop formation meaning that the electricity travels around the whole object. In an EMP scenario, this will overload the whole circuit board. A tree formation funnels the electricity out of the device as quickly as possible. It may be difficult to perform this rewiring but a professional electrician may be able to undertake the work for you.

Faraday Boxes

While the above techniques will help to protect most day to day equipment, you should look into building or buying Faraday boxes for better security. Faraday boxes are the most common type of shielding for highly sensitive electronic equipment such as ham radios, antennas and other communications equipment.

It is simply a box for the electronic device with two metallic layers that don’t touch. The inside layer protects the item against any stray electrons while the outside layer should be grounded to deflect the worst of the attack. You will also need to insulate the device against the metallic inside of the box with cardboard, sawdust or plastic.

When you’re starting to think about EMP shielding, you should start with those devices that will help you the most in the case of an EMP attack. This will include things that will help you to survive, such as: laptop computer or other device, or radio.

Start by building Faraday boxes for those items you can afford to keep locked away and then move onto insulating or rewiring the other devices.

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