Does an EMP Destroy Electronic Equipment: You Bet!


As the technology and ingenuity of humanity have advanced, so does our need for more powerful fuel sources. Let’s cut to the chase, does an emp destroy electronic equipment? The answer is yes, and the damage can affect an area the size of the United States. Imagine if all the electronic devices in your home suddenly broke.

You may have lost your electricity during a storm, but after a short time then everything returns to normal. There’s no doubt that if your home, was exposed to EMP, then the situation would be much worse than temporary. And that’s not to mention the reliance on electricity of every business, Government agency, hospital…etc. Since the effects of EMP have the possibility to be so dire to our everyday life, it’s good to consider exactly how much damage we could be facing. Luckily, we have options to protect ourselves.

Does an EMP Destroy Electronic Equipment?

Electricity is much like any other force in that it can easily become destructive if it’s not controlled. Surge protectors are used to limiting the flow of energy within a device so that there’s just enough electricity to perform functions; EMP would overload these limiters and end the ability of the device to perform any function, forever. An EMP will destroy nearly any electronic equipment because almost any device that uses electricity is inherently vulnerable to devastation. Furthermore, hiding or shutting down items that are at risk would do nothing to protect them. You may be able to replace certain parts, but for the most part, everything will have to be thrown out.

What Happens to Electronics in an EMP?

The process of an EMP event is not hard to explain. Inert wiring becomes supercharged and blows out surge protectors. What’s left is a device that can no longer conduct electricity because the wiring has melted. Whether the device is plugged into the wall or has energy in the batteries doesn’t matter, because the power originates from the EMP event itself. Take note that replacing damaged equipment shouldn’t be done with haste. The reason is, that EMP events caused by nuclear explosions and solar ejections can have an effect on the ionosphere.

The electrically charged particles in the ionosphere can then result in rapid atmospheric radiation waves. It’s possible for this storm to last days on end. A single EMP is very swift, but an EMP event includes constant pulses. The way that an EMP weapon works is slightly different, however, it would be difficult to tell the difference when all equipment is out of order.

EMP Shield makes various units that prevent homes, vehicles, generator, ham radio from being devastated by this potential danger. Click Here to find out more.


Can You Replace Parts?

Any parts that can be used to replace broken ones are helpful. Some parts of the devices may have been spared, so examine what you have to see if you can salvage or repair parts. Replacement parts should be sought after outside the affected zone or created after the EMP event is over.

Will it Get Everything?

There are a few types of electronics that are safe against EMP. The results of an EMP event are permanent, however, certain devices that don’t have conductors will be immune to damage. Vintage electronics and cars are not wired in the same way that new ones are. Solar panels also may be able to withstand an EMP event.

A Brief History of EMPs

An EMP event can be caused purely by natural phenomena. In the case of a coronal mass ejection, the Earth would experience strong EMP. Based on the size of the storm, entire houses to whole continents could be affected. While EMP events have been recorded throughout history, they haven’t ever been as relevant to our well-being as they are today. There were no electronics to be damaged back when people relied on burning wood for heat or dug deep into the earth to keep their food cold. Even looking back just a few generations reveals that an EMP event wasn’t as devastating than it is today. Also, the population density of most places was far less, which means more energy and resources for each person. Loss of power in the modern, highly populated world means that there’s less time to recover as the energy needs of people are immense.

The Carrington Event 1859

On September of 1859, the first recorded EMP event took place due to a coronal mass ejection. Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson were two British astronomers that were there to witness this event. Both wrote that they saw an enormous white light in the photosphere. This intense geomagnetic storm was not the worst part, as communication systems around the world were damaged. Telegraph systems were fried by the power surge and devastated the established wired network.

The Manhattan Project
One of the most infamous R&D projects of the WWII era was the Manhattan Project. It’s hard to argue that anybody shouldn’t be educated on the results and implications of this project. To put it simply, this was the project that led to the creation of nuclear weapons. When the Trinity Test was carried out, then the first human-made EMP was created.

Starfish Prime

In an effort to conduct a nuclear test within high altitudes, the Defense Atomic Support Agency and the Atomic Energy Commission teamed up, back in July of 1962. Launched from Johnston Island, a Thor rocket carried a W49 thermonuclear warhead to the high reaches above the atmosphere, approximately 900 miles south-west of Hawaii. This is still the largest single nuclear explosions in history.

Cold War Notions

George Orwell coined the label “The Cold War” in a 1945 essay. The title of this paper was aptly named You and the Atomic Bomb. It should be noted that Wikipedia claims the Cold war as between 1947 and 1991, depending on which writer you ask. No matter where you believe this tense time began, The Cold War was when nuclear weapons were contemplated as a means to cause a directed EMP event. The US military combined nuclear weapons in hopes that it would lead to a viable EMP weapon.

Modern Concerns

The US Government employs Boeing as a source for electromagnetic weaponry, though there are many contenders in this field. Some don’t see the usefulness in an EMP weapon compared to the effectiveness of a nuclear explosion. Why not just destroy hostile countries in one motion? This kind of attitude isn’t strategically sound. The lasting consequences of a nuclear blast make the nuclear option unfeasible. The financial and moral cost of repairing a fallout zone is extremely vast. Beyond that, why risk destroying perfectly usable land? The EMP weapon creates more options for controlling the affected area and garnering profit from it. There’s no point in wasting the natural resources of the Earth, which would surely become unavailable to humanity in any area affected by a nuclear explosion. A population devastated by an EMP event would be preferred by all parties than one crippled by a situation such as the Fukushima or Chernobyl meltdown.

CHAMP & Friends

CHAMP stands for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project. This is an endeavor by the United States to find a way to destroy electronics, without affecting life or infrastructure. Many leaders are considering a non-destructive strategy when planning warfare. The ability to remove offensive and defensive functionality while preserving valuable resources is a growing style of combat. This is economic, to say the least. Another accurate and dangerous weapon is Boeing’s Electromagnetic Pulse Weapon. These days, an enemy can be disabled without eliminating their surrounding resources. This has good implications for MAD, as fights can take place without wanton destruction. The new goal is to remove the enemy’s capability to fight.

What Would Happen To a Country if a Large EMP Attack Occurred

Depending on the country, you would have minor to grievous effects. A low-energy society such as Haiti or Ethiopia wouldn’t face the same troubles as a fuel-hungry country like America. An optimistic length of time for a country to recover from an EMP attack is around 60 days. Imagine what would happen if the power went out in your house or your entire country for 60 days. A full-scale EMP event in America would mean that 23.3 million people are stuck without power. No heat, light, food, or running water.

What About My House?

While protecting a country is impossible, protecting your home may be more realistic. Backup generators and simple radios are life-saving pieces of equipment. In fact, there are devices made by EMP Shield that can completely protect your house not only against devastating EMP but also from power surges and electrical anomalies.   To get more information about this protective device, Click Here.

Cars & Other Vehicles

There is a way to keep your vehicles from having their fuses blown. Vintage vehicles have a greater chance of surviving an EMP event, however, any gas station would be ruined. Fuel-efficient vehicles will give you more per gallon, perfect for low-resource times. However, there is a unit that is also made by EMP Shield that you can attach to your current model vehicle to protect it against EMP. Click Here to get more info.

Final Thoughts

While you may be anxious about the US electric grid shutting down forever, please keep in mind that the chances of any sort of directed EMP event happening are very slim. There are many more vital dangers that we face from foreign and domestic threats. Regardless, the prepared citizen will be able to survive any natural or synthetic attack on the electric grid.

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