A good friend of mine who is trying to be as prepared as possible called me the other day and asked me about his electronic safe and how it would handle a possible EMP.
So, from the terms ‘not EMP rated or tested’ I think we can assume the answer is that; their safe is not EMP-proof. The big problem with an EMP attack (or a localized EMP caused by a lightning strike) is there is virtually no warning; there is no time to get anything done.
So as we see from the video, arguably, with a near-coastal launch of an EMP weapon taking as little as 60 seconds, and with the speed of a ballistic missile, the military might have as much as 15 minutes warning! If you’re considering a safe, look at the old-school dial combination (mechanical) lock, as opposed to an electronically locked safe, which by the way, uses a battery.
The military and other well-financed public and private companies can afford to have consulting firms design and build buildings and structures that are ‘shielded’ from EMP. It’s important to keep anything that is stored in the container from touching the metal of the container, if you’re using it for EMP protection. And if you’re one of the people who unfortunately bought a safe with an electronic lock, then you can place the safe inside the container (of course it too must be insulated and must not touch the metal of the container anywhere). So as we see, there are EMP solutions at almost every level of affordability depending on the size of space required.
This entry was posted in DIY, Tips & Tricks, Emergency Power, Emergency Preparedness, Most Popular, Prepping, Recent Articles, Self Reliance and tagged shipping container, EMP solution, emp, emergency power on February 6, 2015 by Capt. That said, stand-alone devices (not attached to the grid) that contain solid-state components, transistors and integrated circuits such as those in your car and in your electronically locked safe would be unaffected by the magnetic field generated by a CME. According to a US Army report from 1994, one single high-altitude detonation has the potential to generate an electromagnetic pulse capable of covering the entire continental United States.


Another emergency protection you can take is unplug a microwave, place your electronic device inside the microwave, and close the door.  The microwave acts much like a Faraday Cage, so that microwaves do not escape while cooking food. A electrical engineer friend of mine made this comment to me when I asked about EMP’s. The operating voltages of integrated circuits is very low, and can range from just over one-volt to 5-volts D.C. Civilians would have much less than that, if any, before all the electronics over a very large area are toast. The metal can should be lined with an electrical insulator such as cardboard (you don’t want anything stored inside touching the metal can) and then packed with anything you want to protect. Note: Those owners of electronic safes might alternatively have a safe-tech come-out and retro-fit the safe with a mechanical lock (may cost a couple hundred dollars or more). Understanding what effects it will have on electronic devices on earth requires that we understand a bit of physics and electromagnetic theory; when a conductor moves relative to a magnetic field, electrons (current) flows in the conductor, which is known as ‘electromagnetic induction’. An upper atmospheric detonation of a nuclear device basically produces an EMP (actually 3 distinct pulses) that covers a huge range of the EM spectrum.
If you have one that no longer works, it can be used to store electronics that will fit inside.
If the lock were to fail electronically, a safe technician would still be able to open the lock by penetrating the door and lock casing to move the bolt. OK, so we see there is some potential vulnerability at least with the electronic safes at one major company. It’s not like you’ll have time to shove everything you want to keep functioning into a Faraday Cage, which is basically a metal box or ‘cage’ that attenuates the field strength of the EMP.


Depending on who made the safe, its model, where the safe is located, and the distance away from the EMP source, you may or may not be able to access the goodies that you have tucked away in that fancy electronic safe! If there is concern regarding the accessibility of safe contents following an EMP situation, it would be recommended that a mechanical lock be used in this case. And it’s probably reasonable to assume that may be the case with many other companies, and their safes may also be vulnerable to EMP, unless they will warrantee the safe as being EMP hardened.
Attenuation (the reduction of the EMP field strength) is an important concept here, since many people don’t have a perfect Faraday Cage that is large enough to protect all their gear.
The heavy cardboard from large appliance boxes is perfect as an electrical insulator for lining the inside of a shipping container as needed. Nonetheless, to prevent a device from being powered by the wrong type (AC current versus DC current) or amount of voltage, manufacturers use a specific plug on appliance cords that use 120-VAC, and totally a different plug on 240-VAC appliances; it prevents mistakes.
I currently have a spare CB, batt operated radio, 2m handheld & mobile units, FRS radios wrapped in mylar bags I got from the LDS storehouse, wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap, then placed into a large 20mm ammo can. The amount of current that is generated in the crust of the earth when a plasma cloud from a CME passes depends upon several factors, including but not limited to; the size of the magnetic field, the strength and polarity (orientation) of the magnetic field of the cloud relative to the earth's magnetic field and the localization of conductive minerals in the earth's crust (some geographic areas of the earth's crust contain more conductive minerals).



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