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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been bored at work and thinking about ways to nullify Electro Magnetic Pulse in a newly built house using both old and new construction methods. An older home I once lived in had plaster walls that were built up on top of a metal mesh. I believe this was called a lath. At one time stucco homes were finished in the same manner. In commercial applications I've seen walls in which the studs were metal instead of 2x4s. There's a new generation of metal roofing available now that's guaranteed against rusting for life.

If one were to build a home with all these elements and made sure it was all grounded to earth, would you effectively be building a Faraday Cage Home? Of course other things would have to be done in order to make sure EMP wouldn't affect anything inside such as making sure you had a breaker box with high quality breakers and isolating all vital equipment with good surge protectors.

I'd have a generator in the basement NOT hooked up to the wiring unless needed with as much fuel for it as I could possibly store in an outbuilding. Make sure it was ventilated properly so all the exhaust would exit the house and have it set up with some sort of quick connect device so it could be hooked into the wiring with minimal effort. Maybe similar to the connectors used on charging stations for forklift batteries?

As far as water and sewage are concerned, if you were in a rural area you'd be on well water and septic tank. The EMP would fry your well pump, but as long as you had a replacement unit stored you'd be ok on that.

Communications with the outside world...I think a 10 meter ham radio and a CB would be your best bets. Have an omnidirectional antenna on a grounded tower NOT connected to the radios till needed. Since the CB band is very close to the 10 meter ham band I think one antenna would suffice. (Hams chime in here if I'm wrong).

You'd want a way to cook without using electricity in order to conserve fuel and use LED or flourescent lighting for the same reasons. Also, air conditioning, forget about it unless it was medically necessary. For heat I'd want a wood burning stove.

I know I'm talking about a lot of stuff here and spending a lot of $ I don't have, but are my ideas viable so that one could keep home life going in almost a normal fashion if there was an EMP event?
 

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In order for the Faraday Cage concept to be of any use, you would need a continuous mesh between the beams, the roof etc. Also the 'holes' in the cage, if too large, wouldn't function as desired either. The hole size in a true Faraday Cage are regulated to be smaller than the type of electromagnetic radiation that is expected. If the holes are larger than the wavelength of the radiation frequency, they do nothing to stop it's passage. The simple fact is that there would be enough 'gaps' in your shielding in a normal home due to water piping, electrical conduits etc, to negate any beneficial effect it may have had. Simple beams as normally used in home construction would help, maybe, but is not a true Faraday Cage and would not do what you want.

In any case, a typical homes construction would do little or nothing to shield it's interior from the effects of an airburst EMP, or a low orbit Nuclear detonation,... in case you didn't know, a nuclear device detonated at high altitude functions much like an EMP due to no air pressure being present to absorb the radiation and create the shockwave. Therefor most of it's energy gets distributed as electromagnetic radiation.

Constructing your home of metal beams and grounding it well will do more to protect you from rogue lighting more than anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The EMP I'm thinking of is the pulse caused by a high level nuclear detonation. You could also consider the possibility of it being caused by an extreme solar flare. The metal laths that were used for the base in plaster inner walls and stucco outer walls were meshes with holes maybe 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch wide....diamond shaped. Using these in 2 different layers of the construction along with the metal roof and metal studs would have no effect for shielding?
 

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Trying to make the entire house a faraday cage would be tough. All of the doors and windows would have to be meshed, along with the roof and walls. It might be easier and cheaper just to build a metal outbuilding on your lot, place it on a non-conductive flooring, and make sure it is grounded to an external rod. Your generator, spare pump, electronics, etc., could be stored safely inside, and removed after the EMP has wreaked its havoc.
 

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Unfortunately for your purpose its all theory, no one has set off a 50M nuke 200 miles up to see what it would take to protect certain devices. I do know the idea drives the military nuts and policy changes when one theory gains favor. The foil suggestion has merit but again how do you test it. I say go cheap and sparingly concentrating only on devices you have for SHTF like radio and make sure you ground the home well.
 

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I think this is a relevant topic. When Newt Gingrich on TV brings this topic up as a bigger problem that having a beer with a cop and a professor it may be time to take notice.

I was thinking the same thing about stucco houses and found this thread.

I am not an expert but from what I have read, some people are claiming wire mesh the size of chicken wire works. Chicken wire mesh is one of the methods of putting stucco on the outside of houses. If you put real wire screens of all window pains, not just the part that opens would that not work in taking care of that problem. And in my neighborhood, there is a company selling and installing a High Tech (??) laminated aluminum foil in attics as a thermal barrier for saving on heating and air conditioning costs. Would this not cover most of the house.
 

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This would be problematic for day-to-day life though - a Faraday caged home would block all incoming or outgoing cell phone signals, radio stations, TV stations, etc. Your home would be "dark" except for connections that were wired in. Those connections themselves would also be points of entry for EMP, though.
 
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