Protect your Data and Electronics from EMP Damage

It’s probably not necessary to conceal one’s cash in a container to block radio waves, but it’s likely that you may want to store other gear in a radio-resistant container to protect it from EMP damage – an invisible wave with the potential to destroy electronics. Such a container can be rather simple, but can safeguard your data and equipment from both man-made and natural threats.

It’s established that a high altitude nuclear burst creates an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) – although it’s not clear what the magnitude of such an effect would be since the most recent atmospheric atomic testing was back in 1962 – long predating the modern electronics in our homes and pockets. Non-nuclear methods of artificially generating an EMP have also been developed. Remember that heist movie where George Clooney shuts down Las Vegas with a EMP generator? That sort of apparatus isn’t quite science fiction – a gadget that can fit in the back of the van is used for testing how resistant crucial systems (like those on Air Force One) are to electromagnetic interference.
Screenshot 2015-11-25 18.28.27Scientists tell us that a powerful solar storm would have a similar effect to an electromagnetic pulse. The largest recorded coronal mass ejection from the sun hit the planet in 1859 and threw the telegraph system into chaos. Earth dodged the effects of a similar storm in 2012 and insurance giant Lloyd’s of London forecasts “the probability of an extreme storm occurring is relatively low at any given time, it is almost inevitable that one will occur eventually.”

Luckily, it’s fairly easy to block the electromagnetic waves in a Faraday cage – a couple layers of aluminum foil or a metal garbage can should do the trick. You can make a larger cage from panels of any metal. One way to tell if a container is effective is to put in a battery-powered FM radio tuned to a strong station. If you hear static when the container is closed, it’s blocking radio waves.Screenshot 2015-11-25 18.32.43
Good items to stash include:

-A USB thumb drive with crucial data, like scans of vital documents (like birth certificates, deeds, contracts or passports) and family pictures.

-Hand-cranked NOAA Weather Radio

-Solar or crank-powered chargers

-Portable HAM radios or walkie-talkies

eReader loaded with survival ebooks

An older GPS receiver – one that doesn’t require an internet connection (although a solar storm could damage the satellite constellation that GPS relies on)


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