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E.m.p attack- Can data & home computers survive?

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    Is it just the electronics devices like notebooks, PC's that are rendered useless or as well the actual storage mediums like flash memory & optical discs even when there stored away?

    Would data on usb external HDD, flash memory, & dvd optical storage be readable after the attack?

    What home methods can keep these storage devices safe?

    Do the devices (usb flash & say notebook) have to be connected to power in order to be affected by the emp?

    Would wrapping devices in alot of tin foil & storing them in a safe be enough?

    I'm not getting ready for ww3, but I'm pretty curious.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Certainly CDs would survive...but I'm curious about flash and hard drives too...
  4. Apr 29, 2010 #3


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    Gold Member

    Just construct a Faraday box for your flash drives, a Faraday cage for your computer room, and in conjunction with reinforced concrete that should provide enough EMP protection. I'd be worried about air filtration and water purification systems if I was you.

    Naturally an underground bunker addresses all these issues. If you consider the cost, the quality of life after a nuclear blast, and the overall damage to infrastructure, looting, and zombie Brooklynites, I'd just invest in a HAM rig, pactor modems, long lasting batteries and put them all in that Faraday cage.
  5. Apr 29, 2010 #4
    I would like to make a small one that shields a notebook, just for fun.

    How thick or heavy duty does the ground wire have to be? Would a long 10-12awg wire be enough? Couldn't I just use a copper pipe? And have it deep into the ground?

    As for brass mesh, wouldn't the emp still get through the holes in the mesh?

  6. May 2, 2010 #5
    I got more info from a few non science forums on how to build a FC

    But for a small box that you can hold easy, would it stll need a ground wire? Or does all the electricity just go away in the air?
  7. May 2, 2010 #6
    Dav333, you don't need to ground a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage is a conducting box.

    cronxeh, I'm not sure I know how this works. Blocking a pulse EMF requires a rapid rearrangement of charge in the cage. Resistance impedes charge rearrangement. Also, conduction alone doesn't block magnetic fields. Is this an issue?
  8. May 2, 2010 #7
    Would storing devices in a car & microwave work?
  9. May 2, 2010 #8
    I suggest wheels - to help you move it about during the day.
  10. May 3, 2010 #9
    Just curious, would a device housed in rubber block out the electricity? Or some of it?
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