Can EMPs Hurt Humans? Will You Survive The Apocalypse?


Invisible, instantaneous and without warning. The idea that death could be just around the corner and you not even know it is incredibly nerve-wracking. We have enough to be concerned about in this world without wondering is some other country or even our own son might be gearing up to take us out like cutting a puppet’s strings. Electromagnetic pulses involve electricity, so surely, they can zap us where we stand, or can they? The good news is under normal circumstances it should not affect you at all. Although it may be possible to take damage from an EMP the level of power involved at least double anything you would expect from a nuclear EMP event and he would likely recover in a few hours.

However, if you are holding a large metallic object it is possible to suffer from a bolt of lightning-like effect from the surge. Electricity can injure humans, but EMPs usually pass too quickly to do any damage. This is similar to touching a hot surface to briefly to get burnt or cause any damage.

How Does an EMP Zap Compare to an EMD Zap?

We have all felt some form of static discharge. Some of us have been electrocuted and some of us may have even been tasered at some point which we hope that this was during a class or demonstration but we’re not here to judge. Electric shocks are alarming, and they can be debilitating. It is natural that when you read ‘electromagnetic pulse’ you make the connection between a big countrywide, circuit frying, apocalypse, and a smaller more personal experience.

Relating things is a logical part of life but fortunately, things aren’t always as they seem. Electromagnetic disruptors, such as weapon tasers and stun guns are the most famous types of EMD’s. The EMD’s are designed to debilitate a human body. When someone gets hit with this kind of trauma it stops your muscle control completely. It might make you freeze, thrash like a fish out of water or sometimes even worse. Some people have lost bladder control, or their hearts have even Been affected by the jolt. They are intended as a non-lethal solution however too much electricity coursing through the body can cause an immense amount of damage.\

Shock collars like the one some people use to train their pets can cause burns. Electric fences can fry small animals’ squirrels and birds. At a high voltage, they can even kill a person too. A nuclear EMP strike would put your body through a spike measuring 100 VK/M and according to neuroscientist that’s a tolerable amount and it would not harm you. But to be fair 100KV /M is the maximum suggested for workers to get exposed to. Finding hard science on hitting people with Magnetic Pulses is rather difficult and some answers oppose each other so take the answers with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, most of the reasonably scientific data suggest that EMPs should not hurt people.

What Are EMP Waves?

The likelihood of being hit by an EM wave from a distant star is little to nothing. However, the chances of being hit again by our own star are almost certain. There are three types of waves that come from manmade EMP devices. Our sun is only known to produce the 3rd type although it is possible that other stars might be able to produce the first type.

The EM1 pulse is the fastest and is the most dangerous to electronics because it causes effects within microseconds of being expelled. It was the opposite for humans because we operate much differently than machines do, this passes through us too fast to be noticed and it should not even have an effect on you whatsoever. Oppose of an EM2 closely resembles a lightning strike because it moves slower and it is not as difficult to protect devices and systems against it.

Unfortunately, the protections against this type of wave required equipment that is typically destroyed by the EM1 pulses. It is essentially the combination of effects from an EMP that creates this problem. Each part alone would be less of a problem. The slow follow-up pulse is the EM3. Due to the speed, it can take a long time to disburse.

Hours or even days can go by before this dissipates. EM3s that are produced by coronal mass ejections from sol (our star) have narrowly missed us recently. These are the parts that interact with the ionosphere causing the extended electromagnetic storm. We rely on electronics so much that when we are dependent on something, we have a weakness.

To protect against this type of destructive force a company called EMP Shield has created devices for home, car and RV protection. It is highly rated and tested by the US Military. To find out more Click Here.

The Dangers of EMP’s, How They Can Effect You

While the damage that can be done by an EMP to a human outright, is negligible at best, and completely non-effecting at worst. The only issue that EMP’s can cause is the disruption and destruction of electrical devices. Everything from your computer, to the nation’s power grid.

This also means people with pacemakers or hearing aids could possibly be at risk in an EMP event. The unfortunate truth is that since they are electronic devices they can potentially be affected. In addition, people who have an attends unit in their spine for pain control could also be at risk. When you integrate electronics into your body the risks are much more than rejection an infection. What about pins in your hips or people with a plate in their head? Although it is not very likely you may need to be concerned about the EM2 lightning effect. There is unfortunately not enough data to corroborate or refute either way.

People with conductive metal piercings in their bodies may also have this same concern but without more study, there is no telling whether or not it is a risk. It is not scientifically sound or Humane to Pierce people and then shoots them with EMPS to find out. Some small wearable devices make short out in EMP fields such as cellular phones but meanwhile others are less affected like a Gameboy, for example, seems to only undergo a hard reset.

So, what does that mean for wearable devices such as CPAPS, headsets, fitness trackers, and anklets use for monitoring people under house arrest? Just like any other internal machinery none of these devices have been tested and it is unknown if the effects could be minor or very serious.

You want to have a backup or serious EMP shield if your devices are life-saving devices like that CPAP electronics. We ride inside electronics, power airplanes, trains, some boats, and most modern cars and trucks at least in part. Would an EMP drop every plane from the sky and kill all cars in place?

Well, not exactly. Solid-state electronics and essentially the more complex modern stuff would be affected. Planes would still glide and an EMP it doesn’t change the physics of anything so things in motion would still need brakes or friction to slow it down. Older vehicles such as coal trains, sailboats, and vehicles equipped with EMP shielding would survive. A modern example of this robust shielding is Air Force One. The president is not falling out of the sky at least not because of electromagnetic problems.

Although there is some concern, things would not all come crashing to a halt simultaneously and plenty of vehicles would still run. Electronic controls for essential devices such as a heater, air conditioner, and power to your house are most likely going to go out. Your phones will likely stop working no matter if it’s a landline or cellular, water and gas will not flow, anything run by a complicated circuit or wire is going to go out And although your car might still run you won’t be able to get gas.

A basic motor would be fine but without power, it is not going to work. The grid is a bit trickier. Utilities will likely cease functioning essential services such as the Internet, cell towers, radio towers would go down. However, all of them might not go down.

The EMP Commission has done fairly extensive studies on this topic. Some people don’t believe it would be that serious of an issue because of “existing resiliency built into the grid” But this is a theory that hasn’t been tested fully for obvious reasons. Don’t let the complexity of dealing with electrical grid disruptions imitating yourself and your stuff get you down. It has not happened yet, and this means you still have time to do something about it.

Yeah, electromagnetics is not the type of thing there are people just ‘get’ but any threat can be acted on. You can get ahead of this issue and make sure you, your loved ones and all your stuff survive by learning the basics. As far as protective clothing goes you could make a tinfoil faraday cage hat but most of us would prefer to look a little less insane on a daily basis.

Although it is some evidence that aluminum foil can be used to protect your brain from outside electrical signals. I understand this is likely not what you expected to hear but it is true. A thin layer a foil inside of a hat perhaps is not the worst idea in the universe. You can even use more than one sheet and maybe try not to make it obvious.

In addition, you can also look into EMP shielded clothing but the effectiveness of it is still a subject of debate. Since it is more likely that you would need to protect your equipment, generator, car, things inside your house, you might want to strongly consider using something bigger. Protect your entire home. That way at least when you’re inside your home you can hang up your hat. It is also possible to get what you need to shield a modern car. Technology is wonderful if you use it properly.

Final Thoughts

Will an EMP affect you? It definitely can and will, but the only question is how. For example, if the grid manages to bounce back. That is rather optimistic, but we will run with it for the moment. So, if the grid is fine your body is fine what about all the unshielded solid-state electronics everywhere else? If we are being realistic if only a small percent of the devices in the question were destroyed, you are still looking at a billion dollars of damage in a microsecond. I would say conservatively any EMP is bad news.

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