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Since the 1950s, when doomsday panic and fears of nuclear war really started to take hold, studies have been carried out on the impact of electromagnetic pulses (EMP) on modern electronics. If you are currently prepping a bug out van or truck that will house a multitude of electronic devices, EMP is a feature you can’t ignore. Simply put, implementing a survival vehicle EMP protection mechanism is a must-have for Preppers.
Any bug out vehicle with electronics on board and without EMP protection could be severely compromised in the event of an EMP attack. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at survival vehicle EMP protection, the risks, and how to prevent your essential onboard technology from becoming toast.
What Is an EMP?
EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse, and it is used to describe a massive burst of electromagnetic energy on a scale that has the potential to interrupt and even permanently damage any electronics that it comes into contact with. When you are in the midst of a doomsday scenario, your electronic devices could be the difference between life and death. You’ll want to protect them any way that you can.
The most common types of EMP include:
- Lightning pulse
- Electrostatic discharge
- Meteoric EMP
- Coronal Mass Ejection
- Nuclear (NEMP), or nuclear explosion.
- Non-nuclear E. pulse (NNEMP) weapons.
When people talk about EMPs, or more specifically, an EMP attack, they are usually talking about the big one — a nuclear detonation. During a nuclear explosion, a tremendous amount of electromagnetic energy is released. This energy has the power to knock out entire power grids and damage any unshielded electronics. Weapons have also been developed that can disable vehicles using an intense electromagnetic pulse.
How Does EMP Affect Vehicles? Would Yours Survive?
In 2004, a study was released by the EMP Commission that subjected 37 different vehicles to simulated EMP attacks. These vehicles were from vintages ranging from 1986 to 2002.
With the engines off, not one of the vehicles suffered any lasting effects during the attack. With the engines on, however, it was a different story. As soon as the EMP attack was initiated, the on-board electronics went crazy, with flashing dash lights and other anomalies. While there was no lasting damage to the vehicles, if these malfunctions occurred while the vehicle was on the road, the result could be injuries or loss of life.
How to Protect Survival Vehicles From EMP
Option 1 – Stock Up on Spares
One of the most simple EMP protection solutions to implement is to have a backup of electronic supplies, including a spare computer for your vehicle. You would need to store these parts in a Faraday Cage, but once the threat is over, you can simply replace any electronics that have been affected.
Option 2 – Store Your Vehicle Inside a Faraday Cage
Many tests over the years have proven that a Faraday Cage is highly effective at protecting electronics from EMP. For the cage to work, it must fully enclose and surround all electronics in the vehicle. One of the easiest ways to do this is to store your vehicle inside a metal building composed of pulse blocking materials, such as a garage. As long as the garage is entirely inside the garage and not touching the metal walls, it will be protected. The rubber tires will insulate the vehicle from any energy on the floor or ground.
Option 3 – Turn Your Survival Vehicle into a Faraday Cage
Of course, a static Faraday Cage is all well and good, but what about when you need to get on the road quickly and can no longer store your vehicle in such a structure? The good news is that once again, science will play a big part in your escape and survival. The problem is that you can’t cover your windows with EMP protecting metal plates and still maintain enough visibility to drive.
The solution is a wire mesh, Faraday Cage. Even though wire mesh has holes, EMP isn’t looking for those. It’s looking for conductive material that it can travel across. By covering your windows with wire mesh and ensuring the wire connects to the metal of your car, you are effectively completing the circuit that will prevent any energy from getting into your vehicle.
A fully prepped and functioning vehicle will increase your chance of survival. Whether you will be using your vehicle as a temporary shelter or just a means to get to a safer place, it’s essential that you cover all bases and possible scenarios. When you are out on the open road, and an EMP attack takes place, the last thing you want is for your instruments to fail or to lose power suddenly.
With the right approach and materials, you’ll have a vehicle that is locked and loaded to survive an EMP attack. Now all you need to work out is how to get around all of the stalled vehicles that weren’t prepped!