Do you have a neighbor or friend that is a “prepper” and has gone the lengths of creating a Faraday cage in their garage or one room in their home to protect him and his family from an EMP attack? Well, such a scenario is looking more and more of a possibility as it could happen via drone technology and the U.S. Army just revealed their plans for such an attack on a potential enemy and there is little reason to believe adversaries could not easily do the same here in the United States.
So, let’s back up to what we are talking about as most people have never heard the terms “EMP attack” or “Faraday cage.” An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack can shut down any electronic device connected to an outlet or charging and permanently disable the device. This includes computers, cars, televisions, radios, etc. A Faraday cage can be as small as a shoe box or an entire room, which is protected by a mesh of conductible materials such as copper, for example. It would protect everything inside the mesh from an EMP so long as they do not connect it to an outside outlet. Amazon even sells Faraday cage style bags some use for their car keys or cell phones and also protects against RFID theft of your electronic information.
The U.S. Army has plans to use drones for various defensive and offensive Air-Launch Effects (ALE) which include acting as decoys for other attack helicopters, following individuals, jamming enemy signals, spoofing GPS location indicators, launching an EMP attack, and launching weapons. This technology is also available to our adversaries, and it is becoming more conceivable that have a formation of drones launched in a major U.S. city or other strategic areas, is becoming more probable as technology and drones become more sophisticated. Besides an EMP interrupting communications, such an attack could affect our energy grid which would shut down electricity for the attacked area for a very long time. Besides these local drone attacks, the U.S. military is concerned there could be a high altitude electromagnetic pulse attack which could affect a much wider area. In the worst case scenario, it would send the entire U.S. back to the dark ages, though such an attack is unlikely.
Last year, President Donald Trump issued the “Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses.” While our electric grid is somewhat protected from Solar storms there is concern of localized and wide-spread EMP attacks. Trump’s order will unshackle government and private organizations to perform more research and development to defend the nation from such an attack.