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Dear Editor,

I’m wondering if a metal building will protect electronics and vehicle circuitry in the event of a nuclear EMP.

Thank you,


Dear R—

If you’re speaking about your standard metal building, no, not without modifications. The basic components of a successful Faraday cage are:

  • a continuous circuit of heavy metal
  • no antenna to wick charges in
  • good grounding

It can be difficult to do this on a large-scale basis. If you have a place that is high and dry, you can build an underground shelter, with at least 2 feet of ground cover all the way around, all sides, and set up a bug out location there, storing those items you’d need (except for the car). For the vehicle, you would do well to find yourself a pre-electronic anything vehicle and keep it in running condition. Not only is there some useful information in this previous article on Off the Grid News, Protecting Your Circuits, the suggestions in the comments section can be helpful as well.

Good luck!

The Editor



Dear Editor,

In regards to EMPs and the effect on electronic components—would you recommend protecting solar panels, inverters and charge controllers and/or batteries from an EMP-type threat? Is the technology in solar panels, inverters, and charge controllers considered to be vulnerable to the E1 and E2 effects that an EMP can emit?

My concern is that part of my plan for dealing with long term power outages caused by an EMP would be the solar panel and charging system used to power some of the items in my preparedness toolbox. If a solar panel and/or components need to be protected, then I am willing to take what measures necessary to do so. I’m just not finding a lot of information regarding this to help with my decision making on this.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

T—in Minnesota

Dear T—in Minnesota,

Yes, you will need to shield your charging system and components from an E1 and E2 EMP burst. The E1 and E2 events are from nuclear detonation, and this scrambles everything. You would do well to shield your solar panels as well. While we can only speculate as to the extent of damage (since we have never been subjected to a full nuclear EMP onslaught), I am of the opinion I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. If you have the means to protect all your equipment, then do so.

Thanks for writing!

The Editor

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