If you want to protect your electronics from an EMP attack or occurrence, there are a few actions you need to take.
There are other ways of shielding units and mobile devices from an EMP, by encasing them in a Faraday Cage. The shielding bags are very nice, because they come in many sizes that can be stored in your BOB, a desk drawer, your vehicle, or anywhere else you can think of where you may need one for quick use to protect your electronics from an EMP.
The energy from an EMP is a extremely fast moving and powerful energy, but also a temporarily existing energy of sorts. It's a commonly used device in sci-fi, including the upcoming show Revolution, which features an EMP-like device shutting off all the world's electronic devices. EMPs are most commonly known to come from nuclear blasts, though they are possible to generate independently. Ever since the 50s, when nuclear war panic and doomsday fantasizing and preparing began, the effects of an EMP on our modern electronic technology has been studied, with varied results. The common wisdom is that in the case of an EMP, most cars since, say the 80s and up that rely heavily on engine management computers will be severely disabled, likely permanently. We tested a sample of 37 cars in an EMP simulation laboratory, with automobile vintages ranging from 1986 through 2002. Automobiles were subjected to EMP environments under both engine turned off and engine turned on conditions. Just to make things more confusing, there's been EMP devices made specifically for car-disabling purposes, like this one covered by our pals at Gizmodo. For your regular car, the easiest protection is to park inside a giant Faraday cage, like a metal garage. Nowadays, even NASA admits that EMP is one of those events we could not recover from: it would stop all infrastructures that sustain modern society which rely so much on electronics. So if you are one of those readers who wish to consider EMP-resistance as a factor in selecting a bug-out vehicle, then you should not miss this article. Considering this, I will take a poke at answering some questions about EMP and how it would affect automobiles, which were asked by our readers after our recent article that described some top picks for ideal bugout vehicles. A large and strong enough EMP could stop the extraction, refinement, distribution and sale of fossil fuels.
By the time you pile in what will surely be everything you own in this world, your spouse, your 2.4 kids, grandma and the golden retriever, you may be looking for ways to increase your vehicle’s carrying capacity. Features such as 4-wheel drive, a full size spare, plenty of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, lockers, extraction or trail gear, towing points, winch and off road lighting will come in handy post-EMP because roads will no longer be maintained, disabled vehicles and vehicles that have run out of fuel will litter the roadway. An expensive custom vehicle might look cool online or be fun to daydream about, but after a HEMP, the first time it needs a part, you might wish you bought something a little more pedestrian (no pun intended). Some newer vehicles have in excess of 100 processors that run on miniscule amounts of power. For the best EMP-resistance, choose a vehicle with conductive metal body enclosing the engine and passenger compartment or cab over a vehicle with body panels made of fiberglass, plastic or any other non-conductive material.
If your vehicle already has these features or you are already doing these things, then you are already part of the way there. No matter which automobile you choose, there is always more that can be done to minimize the effect of HEMP on the vehicle. Park in an EMP-protected garage: I described how to build such a structure in the article How To Turn Your Q-Hut Into an EMP-shielded Home.
Protect cable entry and exit points with surge suppression: This will need to be fast-clamping surge protection faster than one millisecond that will handle high voltages. Keep spares of vulnerable parts you cannot replace in a Faraday cage: You may have a vehicle that is mostly good to go, but it still parts like a starter, alternator and voltage regulator that do not contain microelectronics, but could still conceivably be affected.


Manual transmission: Some will surely disagree with me on this one, but they are easier to repair and make it possible to push start vehicles even if the battery is shot or missing. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, these older US-made trucks are very common and are great candidates for a low profile bug out vehicles that double as daily drivers.
I have been grateful for them on trips that I have used them and it is plain to see why they figured so prominently into life until the advent of the automobile and how they will again if we lose are large electrical transformers due to EMP or any other reason. In truth, there are many vehicles that would serve the function of bug out vehicle admirably, but in the end, your choice will likely be determined largely by availability, opportunity and economics. Similar to the prepper who is all guns and no groceries, every so often, I see someone who owns a car that is worth more than their home or someone who has invested a substantial portion of their net worth in a vehicle while living in an apartment. Find a vehicle that will get you from point A to point B and make sure you have your food storage and other survival priorities in place. I would imagine it would provide substantial protection as long as it was made of all metal, but it could have leaks.
I'm aware that EFI was introduced in 1974-1975, but there are plenty of carbureted vehicles.
As far as Conex containers as, I spent some time managing an ATF-approved explosives magazine built from one and some of my other EMP articles and comments detail the drawbacks and utility of shipping containers as protection from a HEMP. The are some vehicles that you can buy as kits to build, but can have them delivered already built. Unfortunately, surplus vehicles scream "Survivalist!" but a CUCV could be made to look like you fixed up a pickup or Blazer.
Batteries will normally not be affected by an EMP if they are separate or disconnected from a circuit pathway, but I store mine in the same place as that of my protected electronics for organizational reasons.
Early nuclear testing anticipated the EMP, and shielded electronics accordingly, since the main effect of an EMP is that electronic equipment can be disabled or permanently damaged.
I've tended to believe this myself, and the concept has been the foundation of a recurring frustration-daydream I have when stuck in traffic: A nuke detonates in the sky, sending a massive EMP propagating throughout the city.
The biggest evidence to suggest that most cars will probably be just fine without any modification comes from a study done by the EMP Commission specifically to evaluate the effect on national infrastructure in the event of an EMP burst.
No effects were subsequently observed in those automobiles that were not turned on during EMP exposure. Approximately 10 percent or more of the automobiles exposed to higher field levels may experience serious EMP effects, including engine stall, that require driver intervention to correct.
The Discovery Channel show Future Weapons drove a Taurus right under an EMP device, and it seemed to kill the ignition system, though ancillaries like dash lights and power windows remained working. If you're really, really paranoid, then an ideal EMP-proof vehicle actually isn't too far off from what our Craigslist guy who started this whole thing is selling: some sort of older diesel. And I am not a mechanic or car salesman by trade, but I do have a solid background in technology and understanding of EMP as well what most people would term as vast experience as a self-reliant consumer.
Without computers, there is only so much to “do it yourself” on newer vehicles so older vehicles have greater appeal. Better still would be 2 or 3 less-expensive vehicles as opposed to a single vehicle that strains your financial resources.
He would take multiple beat-up vehicles and turn them into fewer good ones … and have a bunch of spare parts left over.
They sense and control virtually every function of the vehicle and are very sensitive to EMP. Sure, car manufacturers take reasonable precautions to shield them, but not against such great field strengths or over the entire frequency range EMP covers.
There are many features to look for and modifications to make to both your vehicle and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) regarding that vehicle.


This will help the body conduct energy through the vehicle skin like the skin of a Faraday cage. I do not believe that any other vehicle on this list has the volume of accessories and options available to customize it. You do not have to be a prepper to appreciate not having to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles and being able to park in the bike rack.
The DMV is so full of them that back in California, I referred to them as the Motor Vehicle Dept. Current thinking is that a geomagnetic EMP (CME or solar event) would not affect most vehicles as long as they are not connected to he grid or other long conductors, but it would affect the extraction, refinement and distribution of fossil fuels.
My friend had to drive from San Fernando to Wallace Island (Northern Philippines) right past a Voice of America station that was transmitting stuff across the South China Sea. In tiny little no-budget sliver of EMP testing done on vehicles that is not classified, many minor glitches were reported. It’s called the Silent Pocket, which is designed to stop signals from entering an electronic device for the purpose of leaving the device on, but not transferring information or ringing when in important meetings.
Also, I do not know how severe an EMP that occurs might be or how close the source that generated it is. The testing was conducted by exposing running and nonrunning automobiles to sequentially increasing EMP field intensities. Since diesels have no ignition system at all, they don't really have to worry about any sort of electromagnetic frippery, and a diesel can be made to burn almost any kind of oil, so it'd be useful for the likely troubled times to follow an EMP event. Just do not allow yourself to be fooled into thinking that the vehicle skin is without holes that compromise its integrity. As previously stated, there is no one standard followed by manufacturers even for EMP shielding. They are not so great for keeping a low profile, but they are the go to choice for many preppers looking for a vehicle with plenty of cargo space and can be had starting at under $10K.
Invest in function as opposed to form when it comes to rolling stock, including bug out vehicles.
Cache is a volunteer emergency responder in a small town without any paid services and holds numerous instructor and student certifications in everything from emergency management to less-lethal munitions and high explosive breaching. This will help to prevent the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) from entering the unit and harming the circuits inside the device.
In an actual EMP exposure, these vehicles would glide to a stop and require the driver to restart them. Lurking on survivalist forums, I did learn that a microwave oven can make an excellent Faraday cage, so that's where you want to jam your laptop and iPhone if you think an EMP attack is coming. But the take away from this is to be sure to try to restart and fix you vehicle after an EMP and diagnose it if circumstances allow as opposed to assuming it's toast. You could also have a rail or other vehicle built to specs or have a shop recondition a surplus CUCV or Deuce and a half (Reagan-era or pre-Reagan-era) that was built with the cold war in mind.
Think of the metallic outer shell as if it were an atmosphere, protecting your electronic world.
The ultimate result of automobile EMP exposure could be triggered crashes that damage many more vehicles than are damaged by the EMP, the consequent loss of life, and multiple injuries.



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