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I know that at present even the US doesn't have a pure EMP weapon so the only real way you would face threat of an EMP would be a nuclear blast from an enemy nation or group of stateless terrorists.

In that kind of situation unless you're a fair distance away, and in a shelter underground you're as good as gone.

I had a question though for those far enough away to be able to survive such a scenario, but not out of the range of an EMP effecting them.

Can anyone tell me whether an EMP wipes out "all" electronics, or just electronics that happen to be switched "on" at the time of the incident?

This would be very useful to know in this day and age when so many of our modern devices are all going electronic.

I believe EMP's are something that the US military is looking into for the future as a way to protect against them. Not quite sure how it would be possible though.

At the moment there doesn't seem to be much in the way of protection from this and an EMP could effectively wipe out our communications, financial systems, economies, transportation, you name it, even Western Civilisations completely.

I'd be very interested to know your thoughts on this especially anyone with a military background, and whether it would take out all electronics or just stuff that is switched on and in operation at the time of the incident?

If it would only effect electronics switched on, then this would give you options to backup and protect against that.
 

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An Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) is a side effect of a nuclear detonation. Some people might don’t understand exactly what is represents. When a nuclear bomb is detonated, it puts out a gigantic burst of electro-magnet energy in a pulse (think of it as a giant, extremely high energy radio signal pulse). This pulse is not harmful to humans or animals (now I’ve never seen any reports, but I suppose it could adversely affect heart pacemakers, etc.). An EMP will basically destroy most forms of today’s solid state electronics (computers, microwave ovens, DVD players, TV’s, radios, even the computer in a car, etc.) possibly your emergency radio. Only the military and government have electronics hardened against EMPs and some pundits even wonder if they are really all that well protected. Simple things like a regular flashlight, electric motors but not the solid state controls for the motor, older appliances and cars without computers, almost anything without solid state circuits should be ok unless you’re close. Old time, 1950’s “tube” radios and TV’s might survive, based on early military testing while “tube type” electronics were the norm in the 1950's aircraft and ships. An EMP could do more long term damage than the actual nuclear explosion. Supposedly a 100 megaton nuclear bomb detonated 300 miles above the U.S. could effectively put a large part of the country back to pre-electric days. Inside the area of the EMP, all modern electronic control systems could be destroyed. The only protection thought to work is to store susceptible electronics unplugged or without batteries and inside a Faraday cage.

I include info about Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) here because the “Solar Maxim” is supposed to be due any time now. The sun is a constant thermo-nuclear reaction (call it a giant hydrogen bomb of unbelievable power that never ceases). Besides its life sustaining light, it also likes to give us something similar to an “EMP” every so often. During sunspot activity, the sun can and does send out gigantic clouds of highly charged particles weighing billions of tons that travel through space. If it hits the earth, it gives us the beautiful Aurora Borealis. The radiation from a CME can damage satellites or even physically knock them out of orbit. If it is oriented correctly when it hits the earth’s magneto sphere it could be devastating. One CME in the late 1980's knocked out the power grid in most of eastern Canada and a small section of the north-eastern United State’s. This threw 6 million people into a blackout during winter. Most had power back on in a day or so, but some were without power for much longer. Some big transformers that distribute the power from generating plants were destroyed, when they were overloaded as the CME created electrical giant surges. Should that happen, I’m sure looters will be out; deliveries of food will quickly stop and so too a lot of services we take for granted like getting water to your house. If the grid is severely damaged by a giant, powerful CME similar to the one in 1859, it could take 10 years or longer to build enough transformers to get back to today’s life style.
 

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Google is your friend and I only say that cause I don't really "get it" when it comes to what an EMP fries and doesn't. My understanding is it would not matter if your electronics is in use or not but it would matter if its protected / hardened or not. You can google "faraday cage" and learn how to protect some electronics. My brother is the "expert" here so I have not learned the details but I understand he has placed in a faraday cage (under ground) three rather large solar panels, an inverter and battery charger - hope he knows what he's doing - cause I don't.

There is a whole "federal commission" on EMP' threats. They have a detailed report out there in google land I believe - its not hard to find searching for it. Their report, I do know, said he are at risk of an EMP attack by nations like Russia, China, even Pakistan, India would be capable and they fear North Korea is working on it. Conclusions from that report is that such an attack could destroy up to 90% of America's population inside one year. That might be extreme, but this was the basis for "One Second After" a fine piece of fiction worth reading.
 

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Whatever you want to protect must be protected before the EMP. There is no way to run around, gather the equipment and place it all in a Faraday cage. To the best of my recollection, supposedly a nuke set off deliberately to create an EMP would be aimed into an area above the southern US to utilize the magneto sphere to intensify the effect. In doing so, it would be very bad in some areas and not as bad in other areas. Here are a couple of sites about building a Faraday cage. The old thoughts about wrapping your stuff in aluminum foil isn't supposed to be all that reliable. If I had a few minutes notice, I put my stuff in a microwave oven, cut the plug off, and ground the green wire. Try it sometime. Put your cell phone your microwave and close the door, obviously don't turn the microwave on. Now call your phone. If you oven has a good seal, it will not ring.

How to Build a Faraday Cage | eHow.com

Faraday Cage
 

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To the best of my recollection, supposedly a nuke set off deliberately to create an EMP would be aimed into an area above the southern US to utilize the magneto sphere to intensify the effect. In doing so, it would be very bad in some areas and not as bad in other areas.
IMO, not scientific by any stretch of the imagination, is that the bad guys will most likely target the east and west coasts. There are several reasons for this.

1. The east coast target will take out DC and NYC. Two seats of power and control. NYC being the financial base.

2. They would effectively stop any opposition to an invading force.

3. They could begin to set up operations from either or both sides and work their way to the middle.

4. What is the point of wiping out the entire country? The purpose of invasion is control and wealth acquisition. It's hard to control the workforce if there is nowhere to work. Idle hands are more prone to resistance.
 

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EMP as I have stated several times is a myth. Back in electronics school we all talked about it, the instructors assured us that things are hit with electromagnetic surges all the time and sometimes they even generate them hundreds of times a minute. The small scale devices that universities experiment with are very expensive and very limited in range. Back in the day you had something to worry about with 80's electronics and temperamental wiring, nowdays anything worth half a crap including cars will be fine.

Even if I'm wrong, the event will not affect anything not left out in the open and will not happen everywhere at once. Not to mention the damage will be repairable.
 

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I've researched EMP on the net and everybody seems to have different opinions on the subject!
So all i've done for insurance is remove the batteries from my radio (below), wrap it in a plastic bag, and then wrap it in kitchen foil. (Apparently the bag is needed to stop the radio touching the foil). It now sits permanently on a cupboard shelf so it'll hopefully survive an EMP from a nuke bomb or a solar flare and i can then unwrap it and listen to the news.



Anyway although an EMP or flare might blow out our radios, TV's and toasters etc, it's not a threat to the military because all their sensitive stuff will be shielded, it's the heat from the nuclear fireball and the blast that are the real killers.
Incidentally the EMP from the USA's 1962 'Starfish Prime' nuke bomb test over the Pacific (below) hit Hawaii 900 miles away and did some electronics damage even though the fireball and blast weren't felt.
Here it is seen through clouds detonating 900 miles away at an altitude of 250 miles-


WIKI- "Starfish Prime caused an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale and caused electrical damage in Hawaii, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link"
 

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There seems to be an awful lot of people and history surrounding the earliest A-bomb tests ans well as Fermi's predictions of an EMP. The university papers I've read, seem to suggest that the more modern integrated circuits of today are even more susceptible to an EMP. Can give some links for research that might help me find the info you've learned?
 

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My Father was in the military, and he worked on the hydrogen bomb projects during the Korean War. For those members of this Forum who are ex-mil, he was stationed at the Presidio, and his work for the Government in his last assignment was planning and dealing with the aftermath of a global thermonuclear exchange. Most of his work is still classified, and I cannot discuss it.

However, I will say this - EMPs are very real, the weaponry does exist, and our government and military are actively planning and preparing for the utilization of weapons that have EMP capabilities being deployed against the U.S., and I am certain we have similar weapons, although that is something of which I have no first hand knowledge. There are vehicles, vessels, and aircraft specifically designed to withstand EMPs and still operate. There are electronic devices specifically built to survive EMPS as well. I have seen them with my own eyes. I grew up with some of the electronic communications devices in my house - I know for a fact they exist.

I will say no more on the subject, except to say this - we all need to pray that day never dawns.
 

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EMP is real! it can be caused by more than just nukes! A large enough meteor impact can cause the same EMP but on a much larger scale! The sun can also shoot off EMP! If I had more time I would explain! As far as the comment on knocking out communications, I know for a fact It is much easier than sending a nuke! Located in Charlotte NC is a central hub for the majority of the fiber optic com lines for the east coast. This hub has been in place for many years in an older building on trade street. The building is a two story building, the bottom of the building is a system of battery banks that switch on in the event of a power outage. There is only enough juice in those batteries to keep the system running for a few seconds and long enough for the diesel generators located on the out side of the building to kick on. The halon fire system is the only other real security in place to protect the network of cables from a fire danger. The Govt owns the bottom half of the building and I know the owner of the second floor! The bottom floor of that building is un-maned. IF someone were to walk into it with an ax and start severing the optic bundles it would take out the majority of the communications for the east coast and would take months or even a year to fix.........Yeah its that simple! There are other hubs like it else where but I have never been to those! When I was a master plumber I was responsible for maintaining the antiquated plumbing issues. I also maintained plumbing issues for Duke Powers reactor room where 2 armed guards followed me around while I performed my duties. I had to sign papers stating that if a meltdown were to take place I would be permanently sealed in the room for life if they hit the button to melt the lead in the walls to seal it off.

Take heed our systems are more fragile than most people believe! EMP is real I have seen the GOVT testing sight and have watched the test EMP effects on vehicles and many other devices. My advice is to shield your GPS, and ham radios when not in use! I use My MSR alpine stowaway cook set as a Faraday cage for my Yaesu handheld and gps.

Radio waves are electromagnetic, that is why you can light up a fluorescent light with them when you are close to the output source. It simply excites the mercury in the tube and as a result of excited mercury running into each other they produce photon energy. A strong electromagnetic energy can not fit down the limited electro energy transferer our current electronic devices use! Copper, gold, and other alloys or carbons that we use will only allow 30,000,000 meters per second of electron travel. However electromagnetics travel at 300,000,000 meters per second, which is the speed of light! The only way to produce a true EMP proof electronic device that can not be harmed during the event of an EMP while you use it is to make all of the electromagnetic conductors in the device out of graphene so that the electrons can flow at a fast enough pace as to not cause an eddi current to induct heat because of the energy density issues. But Graphene is to expensive to produce at this point in our civilized world!

Einstein was wrong when he said nothing is faster than light! You can force Electromagnetic waves to move faster than light and this Phenomenon happens all the time out in space! We have recently started reproducing it in labs. If someone tells you that EMP can not happen they lack education on the subject.

Big Bug Out Trucks bobbed deuce military surplus
 

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EMP induced power grid outages have already occurred in 1962 on the islands of Hawaii during the now-banned practice of above-ground atmospheric nuclear detonation testing. The incident is quickly mentioned on this video, as are the anticipated number of deaths that could occur on the U.S. mainland. Listen to the discussion on Iran carefully. You may have read about Iranian warships entering international waters off the shores of the U.S.

You should also pay heed to the warning about these modern EMP devices (.mil guys = theater nuclear weapons) that can fit in a briefcase, backpack, or luggage.

Now, imagine more than one being triggered. This threat is very real. Learn how to primitive camp, if you don't know how. And buy batteries. I am not joking.

Look closely at my avatar. It is there for a reason. Check out this link:

Preparing for Electromagnetic Pulse Attack | Military.com
 

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Here is another link for you. This new version of the EMP is weaponized as a missile. When this was announced, our nation of sheeple hardly glanced up from its junk food and handheld entertainment electronics.

Those that face nuclear threats daily, and those that knew what this development actually means, paid rapt attention. Trust me.

As the Bible teaches us, he who has ears to hear, let him hear. I'm not here to preach; but you might want to listen up....

What the world was warned now exists, which largely went unnoticed by the grazing flocks, was the new arms race, as you will read.

Here is how the Israelis (a nuclear power) reported on this new Boeing missile:

Video: Doomsday for Iran? US Tests EMP Bomb - Israel National News
 

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Here is the video embedded in the Israeli news article. Welcome to the new era of microwave burst beam weaponry....

 

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Whatever you want to protect must be protected before the EMP. There is no way to run around, gather the equipment and place it all in a Faraday cage. To the best of my recollection, supposedly a nuke set off deliberately to create an EMP would be aimed into an area above the southern US to utilize the magneto sphere to intensify the effect. In doing so, it would be very bad in some areas and not as bad in other areas. Here are a couple of sites about building a Faraday cage. The old thoughts about wrapping your stuff in aluminum foil isn't supposed to be all that reliable. If I had a few minutes notice, I put my stuff in a microwave oven, cut the plug off, and ground the green wire. Try it sometime. Put your cell phone your microwave and close the door, obviously don't turn the microwave on. Now call your phone. If you oven has a good seal, it will not ring.

How to Build a Faraday Cage | eHow.com

Faraday Cage
I have to address this myth head on here. The myth is due to being dated.

First off. For the microwave thing.

Older phones you can apply this type of logic but 1. unplug the microwave, (if you can remove the cable entirely, or better yet ground it, but no do not plug it into the electrical system and expect it to protect against an EMP, the elctrical system will not only act as a giant antenna but it will also probably cause your microwave to arc.

Here is the problem. Microwaves generally emit at 2.450 Ghz approx, they are sheilded for that size and less... not above that.

4G phones operate at higher frequencies than 2.450Ghz so the phone signal will still get through on 4G phones.. older phones often operate at lower frequneces such as 2.1 1.8 and 0.9 Ghz and should be sheilded. Note microwaves are not "perfect" faraday cages, they only offer sheilding, and will dampen the effects of EMP.

But yes they do help, but wrap your devices you want to survive in aluminum foil, between the foil and object wrap it in an insulating material to avoid direct contact between the aluminum and the sheilded object. As you can see if you turn your microwave on with metal inside, the radiowaves are repelled, causing arcs. That is why you don't put metal in the microwave because metal reflects the waves. Powerlines are a bit like this.. but they emit radiowaves, that is why you hear them oscillate with a hum, that is electricity radiating from the lines. It is just the intensity of the pulse that is the issue because it will cause a bottleneck.

BUT the key here is 4G phones operate at higher frequencies than microwaves.... and so the waves are smaller and can travel through the wire mesh..

but note that most nuclear EMP pulses are at the low UHF/VHF range, meaning they are at 1ghz or less and these are the powerful pulses you need to worry about, for electronics. (as opposed to higher frequencies, which are the ones you really need to worry about, but generally only if you see the blast or it snows after the blast or rains. Bear in mind light, and vision operate at a higher frequency that UHF/VHF radiowaves, and xrays at even higher frequencies. Sustained pulses at 30-300mhz are harmful to human health, at sufficient power levels, other frequencies effect other things like insects)Generally speaking these are the guys you need to worry about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_ray for health, while UHF/VHF level radiation is a major concern for electornics, although even lower frequencies do some stuff too... if you suspect a nuclear strike at a given location move away from the location and do not look in that direction, it is that whole sodom and gommorah all over again, seek cover at the lowest point possible with thick walls, imo avoid any large structures with multiple stores unless it is a very very very strong structure that will not collapse in a stronger than hurricane force winds.

Also some radio frequencies DO effect human health, and all radiowaves at high enough intensities can cause biological reactions. We have our own magnetic fields also. Generally though EMP's are brief, and not long lasting, hence P. Ionized radiation is what is seen as dangerous to humans, lots of radiowaves are non ionizing. There are safety protocots for exposure times to specific frequencies, most of them arn't pertinent to EMP's, the radiation does kill from nuclear weapons, however this is at much higher frequencies the EMP is the "lower" frequencies, while the lethal radiation is at the higher frequencies.

The lower frequencies travel further at the same power, and can also bounce around more, and travel along the groun, and penetrate into the earth. Different frequencies act differently at different power levels in relation to the environment in which they act.

Most civillian electronics, aside from medicla and industrial devices are just luxury junk anyway. In event of nuclear attack communications devices may not function anyway, however having a good backup device is good, something is better than nothing but you want multiple levels of sheilding. As far as I can tell the aluminum foil with an insultating layer, due to being bonded at the molecular level will offer the most sheilding. That is because the cage is the latice structure of the metal, very very small cage so it sheilds from higher level frequences.

There are equivolents of protection based on thickness of specific material types.

The main point I meant to raise though was that 4G phones operate at a higher frequency level than microwaves so they very well are probably not going to work under the dial yourself test.
 

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As I said, if I only had a few minutes notice, I try the microwave oven to try and save some radios, etc. Got nothing to loose if it doesn't work, because I haven't taken the time to build a Faraday cage yet. I don't know if the microwave would protect anything or not, can only hope. Thanks for the idea of adding aluminum foil to the mix.
But since an EMP is basically instantaneous with the detonation of the nuke, warning would probably be wishful thinking. Maybe I better get to work on that Faraday cage soon. Especially with N Korea's saber rattling.
 

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As I said, if I only had a few minutes notice, I try the microwave oven to try and save some radios, etc. Got nothing to loose if it doesn't work, because I haven't taken the time to build a Faraday cage yet. I don't know if the microwave would protect anything or not, can only hope. Thanks for the idea of adding aluminum foil to the mix.
But since an EMP is basically instantaneous with the detonation of the nuke, warning would probably be wishful thinking. Maybe I better get to work on that Faraday cage soon. Especially with N Korea's saber rattling.
microwaves do sheild EM energy but generally only at lower levels than their own. They have power ratings so they handle so much power and specific frequnecies and lower,

here is a bit of what i've encountered


The second part explains grounding


Ok, it is a bit like the garbage can farraday cage... none the less
 

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Fascinating guys thanks for the replies!

Interesting on Wiki that it says a Microwave oven is like an inside out Faraday cage.

The point on grounding the Microwave, here in the UK were I am we have three pin plugs. If I got a cheap Microwave oven or picked up a broken one from a scrap yard, all I would need to do would be to remove the neutral and live pins, and just stick it in the plug socket with the top earth pin to ground it. It may not work but it at least gives me some place to stick important backup devices for such a scenario.
 

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Fascinating guys thanks for the replies!

Interesting on Wiki that it says a Microwave oven is like an inside out Faraday cage.

The point on grounding the Microwave, here in the UK were I am we have three pin plugs. If I got a cheap Microwave oven or picked up a broken one from a scrap yard, all I would need to do would be to remove the neutral and live pins, and just stick it in the plug socket with the top earth pin to ground it. It may not work but it at least gives me some place to stick important backup devices for such a scenario.
I'd check your socket to make sure it was actually grounded, I know in some wiring situations, you will have a three pronger, but it won't actually be grounded via an actual ground wire. (North America also uses three prong plugs, for anything from the past 20-30 years atleast older plugins can be two prong netural and live. The older the house and wiring the less likely it will actually be grounded, if you have aluminum wiring chances are it isn't really grounded... lots of hookups will just ground to the metal plate socket, and there will be no actual grounding. Check your house wiring and plugs to be certain you are grounded to ground and not just the wall or not at all)

Also I'd be very wary of having it connected anywhere near a live wiring in event of an emp. As stated in the videos though there are more holes.
The metal and wire work both ways. But yes the point of the microwave sheilding is to keep the magnetron energy from getting out of the microwave. The thing works in reverse too though.

It is shielding it is not a perfect farraday cage.

Also it is much better to ground direct to your chasis, and remove all the elctronic compontents. as if you wire it normally in an unsheilded wire it will act as an antenna. The power cord is meant to bring power in.. not keep power out... that is why rewiring it to the chasis is needed, as opposed to the electronic parts inside... remember its not all just sheilding there are electrronics and wiring inside. You should gut it, and ground the inner chasis as shown in the video to get the most benefit out of a microwave.

Also if painted metal you might want to take the paint off the sheild so that it is metal on metal contact.
 

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EMP means a nuclear weapon was set off. I have so very few electronic devices when it comes to prepping an EMP would not make a difference. The blast and fallout would be a far greater concern for me. Not to mention there are going to be millions of people dead, so who are you going to be talking to on your radio or phone? No one.

I stock up on food, water, medical supplies and weapons for defense/hunting. I do not need anything in my house that runs off electricity to live. Electronics are not high on my list when it comes to prepping. I have two small transistor radios that cost me $10. If an EMP knocks them out, oh well.

If someone set off an EMP device and it knocked out the Washington DC area, once again I would be more concerned about a lot of other things - not my electronics.
 

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Makes sense for someone from DC, however some people arn't in New York Los Angeles, or DC, etc.. but a high alitutude nuke can be used to knock out power over much of the Us and cause very few direct casualities.

Some people have ham radios so they can still talk when the communication system is down, even though the air may not be suitable for communication directly after a blast.
Amateur radio, tuning into any surviving radiostations or US emergency broadcast system.. which would kick in, I would suspect it is hardened for EMP and nuclear attack.

Overall though being able to run tools is great for reconstruction, there are actually a lot of uses, none is survival required unless you need something like a back up ventalator system for an illness etc.. the power system would be down but if you have off grid capabilities and you store it in a safe area, you can still run your electricity for many uses.

Being in DC though you'd have a high probability of being dead and you'd want to get out of DC anyway but having a ham radio might help you , especially if it has am/fm capability a flash light if it happened at night etc..


Also a solar flare can do the same thing.... and is due within the next 50 years, it can happen really at any time... say you want your data safe, if you are in graphic design, or a musician who makes electronic music, or your banking or other records, or business information, that isn't in hardcopy.

Electronics can be useful. While highly unlikely to happen really soon, it can happen at anytime... what don't you want destroyed you can always get into the habbit of putting in a cage at night or when not in use.

Does your bank sheild its data, if not, how are you going to protect your account?
IMO its not about being prepared, its about living a life in which these things you actually use in your daily life, and you can rely on what you have, be it your water filter, you HT, your solar system etc.. if you don't use and train with it today then will you be ready when SHTF. Buy what you will use imo, unless you have a whole bunch of extra money and everything you want.
 
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