What’s A Faraday Cage? How Does It Fit Into Your Prep?

A Faraday cage isn’t always a cage like you might imagine. You can buy them pre-made or make them out of just about anything. I’ve made one out of a shoe box and a roll of aluminum foil. To answer what a Faraday cage is, I’ll start with how it works.

Satellite monitoring for events that could call for a faraday cage.

Faraday cages work by blocking electromagnetic fields. This includes things like wifi and phone signal, but also EMPs. This EMP blocking effect is the part we’re the most interested in for prepping. In my example from above, the aluminum foil formed a complete seal around the inside of the box. With the aluminum touching completely, it forms a shell. That shell absorbs and redirects these waves and pulses. So why might this be necessary?

Where Do EMPs Come From?

There are a couple things that could cause an EMP you’d need to worry about. The first is the most obvious: EMP weapons. EMPs were first discovered when the US government was testing nuclear weapons. They observed that detonating these nukes high in the air had an EMP effect felt on the ground. These EMPs fry electronics and bring down electrical systems. Everybody knows this now, and if a foreign power wanted to, they could use it.

The risk of another country using these kinds of weapons is high and it’s low. CIA agents and government officials always say that we’re much closer to global war than we know. While this is true, it’s also true that a global war is bad for everyone. Even the country starting it will be worse off for having done it. The world has enough nukes to blow itself up twenty times over, a global war could end life as we know it. For this reason, the risk is also low.

In this war scenario, it’s likely that the bombs would be a lot stronger than EMPs. If nukes start flying, we won’t have to worry about bugging out or prepping either way.

The other EMP risk is scarier because we can’t predict or control it. That’s solar flares. Massive solar flares could crop up at any time and knock down the grid. One happened 150 years ago that would have done this, but the grid wasn’t up yet. These flares aren’t even particularly rare. Our electric life as we know it just hasn’t been around long enough to see one.

What To Put In The Faraday Cage

So you see the risks here. The next question is, what do you put in a Faraday cage? There are lot’s of pre-built professional Faraday cages at a range of prices. You can get one to fit any need. The only limit is your budget. I recommend, at your entry level, getting an emergency crank radio and a flashlight.

Emergency radios are incredibly important. They’re a lifeline. It’s easy to forget how connected you are. If something big happens, you’ll be aware of it in hours, likely minutes. If cell phones, the internet, and TV all go down, you’re cut off. The blackout could be a small cyber attack or it could be the end of the grid as we know it. The first things to come back up, or possible the last to go down, are emergency radio broadcasts. If you’ve got a shielded emergency radio, it’ll keep you hooked in, even when everything is going down.

If I had a lot of disposable income, I’d go even bigger than that. I’d put together a Faraday shed with a full HAM Radio in it. It really is the truth that your budget is your limit. If you’ve got the money for it, you could Faraday harden your bedroom, your entire house! 

This is a tangent. The average person, you and me, should look at realistic solutions. The realistic solution is this: get a small Faraday box/bag and put a radio and a flashlight in it. If you’re including these items in your bug out bag, it’ll pay to protect them.

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