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Using a Shipping Container Faraday Cage to Survive an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Blast

13.08.2017 - Posted by Updated On 13.08.2017    

There's been a lot of talk in the news about wars and possible attacks on US soil, and while we've covered building shipping container shelters in the past, one thing that we've never covered in any great detail is using a shipping container as a Faraday Cage to survive an EMP blast.

What is an Electromagnetic Pulse?

First off, an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, blast, is a blast, or short pulse, of electromagnetic energy that causes some form of disruption or disturbance. A very low grade pulse could cause a radio or television set to crackle, while a very large EMP, such as lightening, could cause fires and render any electronic devices to be permanently damaged.

What is a Faraday Cage?

A Faraday Cage is a way to protect anything with an electronic component from being "fried" during an EMP. A Faraday Cage is a protective cage, or hollow transmitter, that transfers all external electrical activity directly into the ground and away from the items protected inside of the cage. A good example of a Faraday cage is a car. If people are sitting inside of a car and it's struck by lightning, the car will transfer all of the energy directly through to the ground.

Using a Shipping Container for a Faraday Cage

Let us start by saying this is not an exhaustive guide or manual on how to build a Faraday Cage from a shipping container, it's merely a starting point for a discussion on the subject. The core problem with building a Faraday Cage from a shipping container is testing it – you man never know if you have it right until the actual event takes place.

The most important part of the container cage would be conducting the energy into the ground, so lightning rods on all four corners, at least 8-10' deep connected to the container with copper wire is vital for success. All four may be overkill, but better to be safe than pay for it later with the loss of equipment.

The next area to address would be the door. The EMP will be looking for the fastest way to pass through the container into the ground, and while the door will likely have a tight seal with the steel floor it's not a continuous connection like the sides. Any time of mesh that can transfer the pulse and be quickly broken down or rolled up would be idea, but it must be connected to the top rail and bottom rail of the shipping container.

shipping container faraday cage

You also want to make sure that none of the items stored come into contact with the walls, ceiling, or any metal surface of the container. Covering the inside of the container with any type of insulation, be it spray foam or fiberglass, would be ideal. Don't forget to pay attention to the flooring. While it is wood, there may be sections along the walls that are steel.

Build a shipping container Faraday cage at your own risk, assumes no liability for design issues or problems that arrise if your stored items are damaged. is an online marketplace for new and used shipping containers. The sellers on the site can assist you in finding a 20' or 40' container to convert for your project, but can provide no technical assistance in the conversion. Please consult with a local professional for full details. If you have questions regarding a specific shipping container for sale please contact the seller directly. If you have general questions on where to get started please contact to help you get started.

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