A faraday cage, also commonly referred to as a EMP proof box or simply just an EMP box, is an enclosure that has been shielded and encases your electronics to protect them from any EMP blasts. EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses, are abrupt bursts of radiation that bring with them very powerful energy that could damage electronics and render them useless. Examples of this include blasts from nuclear weapons, solar activity or even a manmade EMP weapon that is specifically used to target and disable systems.
EMPs can absolutely ruin a power grid and cause spikes and surges that could fry any electronics. With a faraday cage, you have a place to keep electronics stored in the event of a sudden EMP in order to prevent any damage from the blasts, and it is an important structure that anyone anticipating a survival situation should know how to build or at least use.
A faraday cage works as an electronic isolation chamber that stops the waves of the pulse from getting in by diverting the waves around it instead by enclosing the cage in conductive material like galvanized metal from garbage cans, tightly sealed metal filing cabinets or even the humble popcorn tin. No matter the case, the metal of the container is then lined with some sort of insulating material that stops the items in the box from coming into contact with the metal and getting damaged. Commonly, these materials include Styrofoam, cardboard and sometimes even scraps of carpet.
As you'll note, the materials for a homemade faraday cage are easy to come across and just as simple to work with. Making one of your own doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, and often, they can be constructed in just a day if not a few hours. All you will need in order to create the cage is a metal of your choice, insulating material and some tools. The steps are as follows:
- Measure and then cut out a rectangle from your choice of metal measuring 8 inches by 16 inches
- Cut five eight-inch strips of wood or other insulating material
- Put your metal rectangle flat on the ground
- Staple the insulating material to the metal; this is the strongest and most secure method of securing the insulation, but you could use others in a pinch
- Staple the first strip at the end of the metal; the second strip at 5.5 inches from the first strip; the third strip 2.5 inches from the second strip; the fourth strip 5.5 inches from the third strip; and finally the fifth strip at the end of the metal
- Fold seal the ends together to create the box
It is recommended that you test the box and make sure that it works by placing a cell phone inside of it and calling it from another phone. If it rings, then the box is not secure enough and will need to be remade. You can also do so by placing an FM radio in the box and listening. If you can hear it, again, it is not strong enough.
In a survival situation, a faraday box may be what keeps you connected to the outside world after the initial pulse. Create your own as you hope for the best but prepare for the worst.