Hello, my friend and welcome to Lessons From The Sun, part 2. With so many near misses of Carrington Event sized Coronal Mass Ejections(CME) in the past years, it only makes sense to prepare for them as well as other natural disasters. Today we are going to discuss what you can do to protect yourself from such an event. Now grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.
When a CME strikes the earth’s magnetic field or Ionosphere, it induces millions of volts into the atmosphere, and this voltage is going to look for the shortest way to ground. Much like in an electrical transformer, it can actually induce voltage into wires that have a ground of any type connected to them. Even battery-operated items like radios, etc. can be subjected to many thousands if not millions of volts of electricity. Computer and cell phone chips are especially susceptible to this type of charge and would be fried instantly.
So how do you prepare for such an event? There are a few ways it can be done depending on the size of the item you are trying to protect. For small items such as radios, pocket drives and thumb drives, they can be placed inside mylar bags. Because Mylar is basically one layer of plastic, one layer of foil, and another layer of plastic, it forces the electrical field to go around the object while insulating it from the electrical charge. I also recommend that you place filled Mylar bags inside a metal filing cabinet for extra protection.
This is very handy for small items, but what about larger items? This is where a Faraday cage comes in really handy. A faraday cage is a cage that is completely surrounded by a metal of some type such as metal. The idea is to force the charge in the air to go around the cage while protecting items inside from damage.
You can make your own Faraday cages using some common items. One of the simplest is to use a common everyday metal trash can with a lid. Once you have the trash can, you will want to line the inside with some type of insulation such as some type of Rubber, or cardboard. I when to Harbor Freight and purchased a pack of squares used for standing mats. They are about a half-inch thick and work great as an insulator. I think the pack cost me about $7 at the time so they are very inexpensive. All you would need is one pack for one or two trash cans.
I purchased several sizes of Mylar bags, some large enough to place my Ham Radio base station in and smaller ones for other electronic items I wanted to protect. I then placed them inside one of the homemade Faraday cages and sealed the lid with foil tape. I keep spares of all my electronic equipment stored this way. I even purchased a cheap refurbished computer from Amazon and loaded it with software and data that I felt would be essential in a post-CME world.
I know one person who recently built a new home and had a special room built completely lined with a fine metal wire mesh. He even had a special door made for the room, to be sure that its contents were completely protected. In each corner of the room, he had 10-foot copper rods driven into the ground below the room and the metal mesh attached to it to channel any electrical charge straight to ground.
I only wish I had the means to build such a room, but I don’t, so I use the trash can type of Faraday cages. There are many great articles on the internet dedicated to building Faraday cages, so look them up if you need to make one. Don’t forget to add plenty of batteries and a way to charge electronics as well.
I’m sorry to say that there is no way that I am aware of protecting newer models of cars and trucks. Let me say that if you are looking to get a newer model, you may want to consider getting one that runs on Deisel as they tend to have fewer computer parts in them. By keeping a spare computer for your vehicle in a Faraday cage, you may be able to get it to work again, but there is no guarantee. Items such as electrical fuel pumps could still be destroyed as well.
The next part of preparing is to be prepared for the chaos that is sure to follow, being sure you have a way to hide away in a secluded area with the food, water, and other items you will need to survive. Our earth sits in the middle of a shooting gallery with many different ways for life on earth to be destroyed. All we can do is prepare and pray that when it happens, whatever “it” is that we have done everything we can to survive it.
Well, that’s it for today and I hope you have found this post informative. Until next time, stay safe, stay strong, and stay prepared. God Bless America!