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Despite many claims to the contrary, there's a very real possibility that the United States could face an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack in the near future. Those who doubt this should refer to our recent article, National Advisory: Surviving a Catastrophic Power Outage. It clearly explains the U.S. government's belief that “electromagnetic events” are one of several increasing threats which could lead to a long-term interruption of our country's power grid. General Lloyd Austin, head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, reportedly said a grid-down situation is not a question of “if, but of when.”
Knowing that infrastructure reinforcements are often beyond our control, what can we as individuals do to prepare for an EMP? Many preppers have taken steps to ready themselves and their families for a world without electronic devices, but that's not necessarily the only option.
A company called EMP Shield has developed a product it calls “the only patented and commercially available product capable of protecting your home's electrical systems and equipment within your home from multiple attacks of the world's most advanced EMP weapons.” That's a bold claim, but one that EMP Shield's founders are willing to back up with evidence.
The company's web site prominently features the results of independent third-party testing conducted by Keystone Compliance, a federally-approved test facility in Pennsylvania. The documents show how the EMP Shield copes with “pulsed current injection,” the type that might be produced by an EMP, lightning strike, or major power surge. The device is compliant with MIL-STD-188-125-1, the Department of Defense Interface Standard for High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) Protection for Ground-Based Facilities Performing Critical, Time-Urgent Missions (yeah, that's a mouthful). Not only that, but it was able to withstand 44 EMP-level strikes without degradation.
An EMP produces a power surge that travels fast — incredibly fast. And if it reaches a circuit that lacks adequate diversion capabilities, it'll take the path of least resistance and short out that circuit. So, the EMP Shield is designed to divert (or shunt) such a power surge with a near-instantaneous response time. The previously-mentioned DOD standard requires overvoltage to be shunted within 20 nanoseconds; EMP Shield says all of its existing products can do this in less than 10 nanoseconds, and some models can do it less than 1 nanosecond.
EMP Shield devices are available for homes, small businesses, vehicles, generators, and even in a portable travel and camping model. They can be hard-wired into a home's circuit breaker, or used in a plug-and-play manner. Installation is said to be simple: “if you can wire up a light switch in your home, you can install your very own EMP Shield.” Refer to the installation guide for more info on the steps required.
In case you're wondering what value home EMP protection would have if the rest of the local power grid is damaged, there are many potential applications. This could preserve your ability to switch wired devices to a generator or solar panel system and continue operating your home's electronics off-the-grid in a standalone manner. It could also keep your bug-out vehicle running, where the onboard electronics might otherwise be damaged by the pulse. And if the grid is eventually repaired, you'd be able to return to normal without scrapping all your electronics.
Pricing ranges from $349 to $539 for most EMP Shield models. For more information on the devices, go to MyEMPShield.com.