EMP / Geo-mag Storm Basics

If I hear one more time about an EMP pulse wiping out the whole of humanity, I think I’ll scream.
It may knock off our electrical supply and that might make a few Nuclear “Accidents” happen, but for everyone to just drop dead is a step too far.
Sometimes I really despair about what these doomsday lot predict. 
Here is my take on the phenomenons. 

An EMP pulse is an EXTREMELY POWERFULwide band burst of radio waves.

Usually generated by nuclear explosions it can also be caused by the sun.

There are some non nuclear devices that can generate similar results.

It hurts things by inducing high voltages WAY OVER the working limits of the equipment. 

An EMP pulse is VERY short duration.Seconds rather than minutes. 

EMP can “hurt things” if:- 

  • It’s an electrical or electronic design,
  • It’s switched on or off,
  • Connected to power or not,
  • Assembled or in it’s separate parts,
  • If it is outside a Faraday cage. 

A Faraday cage is a metal box, all parts are bonded together, no holes.

It doesn’t have to be “special metal”, heavy, or expensive.

A metal ammo box or metal biscuit tin is good enough. 
Some have even run tests on using a microwave oven. 
Problem for me there is my mobile phone still rings so something is getting in.

Line it with a non conductive material like polystyrene sheet.

Everything placed inside should be in it’s own conductive bag

i.e. Mylar bag, anti-static bag, or just wrapped in silver foil.

There is no need to bury or Earth this box. 

Geo-Magnetic storms ARE NOT THE SAME AS AN EMP.

These induce high voltages in LONG wires like pylons, telephone wires, and aerials.

This is what kills power distribution and long distance communications.

Simply disconnecting equipment from aerials and power outlets is enough to protect against Geo-magnetic Storms. 

These storms can last for hours if not days.

However as any large metal structures MAY become VERY electrically charged and start to arc and spark, prudence says to put your “home based gear” into a Faraday cage for the duration of the storm.

A Faraday cage will NOT protect sensitive equipment from strong magnetic forces. 

Some electronic compasses have VERY sensitive magnetic devices in them.

It will effect the Earths magnetic field, that could cause problems with navigation.

Long range radio communication including land line telephones can be affected by these storms. Remember even if an underground cable is fiber optic, it eventually connects to something on the end of a wire and the longer that wire is, the more potential there is for disruption.

You can use mobile radio equipment for communicating i.e. handhelds and car radios BUT they may be swamped with naturally generated noise i.e. static, whistling, low frequency “rumbles”.

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