While the danger of nuclear weapons gets all the headlines, one of the greatest potential threats we face is the possibility of a weaponized EMP attack or naturally occurring solar flare hitting our power system.
In either case, the entire power grid could be shut down. You may not think that the power grid is that vital compared to the threat of natural disasters or missile attack…but it has been predicted that a full scale grid shutdown could take three years to repair.
With the loss of our power grid, cell towers and power plants could well be out of commission for a long time.
That’s why savvy survivalists make preparations for such an event by purchasing stand-along devices like solar chargers, walkie-talkies, ham radios and other communications gear.
Just having a few inexpensive pieces of tech can give you a massive advantage when everybody else is without technology.
But they won’t be any good to you if they get fried by the initial EMP or solar flare.
It’s vital that you protect your critical stand-alone devices so you can use once the danger has passed. So how do you go about protecting your important gear?
In many cases the answer is a Faraday Bag. These are inexpensive solutions that can protect all of your personal devices from outside threats.
What is a Faraday Bag?
Faraday Bags have been developed based on the principles found in the development of the faraday cage. This invention was created by Michael Faraday in 1836 and was designed to disperse electromagnetic pulses or fields.
A Faraday Cage can be created by constructing an enclosure built with sheets of conductive materials, or by creating a continuous cage of conductive materials. When an electromagnetic pulse hits the cage, it is easier for the pulse to travel through the conductive materials than it is to pass into the interior of the cage.
The nature of the cage protects devices and people inside from radio waves or even from lightning bolts. It also prevents devices inside from transmitting outside of the cage.
A Faraday Bag is simply a smaller, more portable version of a Faraday Cage. It works in exactly the same way.
It can block an EMP blast from frying your electronics, or can protect them from a lightning strike. It can also protect against hackers or thieves trying to access the information on your devices or cards.
There are medium sized bags that are ideal for tablets or laptops…and smaller bags for cell phones and wallets.
Cell phones in particular have GSM, 2G, 3G, 4G, CMDA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and NFC radio devices all built into one phone.
Each of these radios sends and receives sensitive information by way of radio emissions through the air on differing frequencies. Your phone itself will not stop its normal operations in a Faraday Bag.
But when it listens for transmissions it will not receive any, and when it sends transmissions they will never leave the bag.
This gives you complete protection on all of your portable devices.
How Should I Choose One?
First and foremost, choose one that is large enough to fit your devices. These bags come in all different shapes and sizes, so you should either take some measurements or test the bag out before you buy it.
The second point to make on these bags is that each one is designed for a certain range of frequencies. Not all of them block the same types of radio and electrical waves. Depending on the frequency and power of an EMP blast or a solar flare, the bag may or may not work.
In addition, each one of your devices transmits on a specific frequency. You have to be sure that the bag you choose will block your particular device.
To test your bag simply put your phone inside and try to call it from another phone. If the bag is working, it should go straight to voicemail.
Next, try to message your phone on Facebook or another platform that relies on internet data. Again, if the message does not go through then the bag is working.
How Can I Use It?
In addition to containing sensitive texts, emails, and other documents, your portable electronic devices can be hacked to spy on you in several different ways.
It is vital that you have control over the way your cell phone communicates.
To really understand how a Faraday Bag accomplishes this, let’s look at a sample scenario.
Imagine that you have been targeted to be robbed, kidnapped, or even killed. I know this may seem outlandish, but bear with me.
An hostile actor has hacked your phone and learned your account balances, your personal contacts, business you are in, where you live, where you work, and any other pertinent information.
Based on this, they have determined that you should be a target for them. The criminal can then use all of your phone’s radios and sensors to get additional information from third parties, such as your cellular carrier.
This will give them a constant read on your location and allow them to listen in to your conversations live.
A cellular phone is one of the most useful devices that law abiding citizens have in our modern society. It is lousy to think that we have to limit our usage just to prevent a criminal from using it against us.
This is where a Faraday Bag can provide some solutions.
If you are on a business trip or on vacation, this is a prime opportunity for you to be targeted. From the point where your plane lands, to the Uber ride you take, to the hotel you check into, a hostile actor can know your every move.
As you hit the town for dinner, drinks, or dancing, they will know exactly where you are.
Instead of leaving your phone in your hotel to prevent being tracked, you can put your devices in a small Faraday Bag to carry it with you. No data will be transmitted and nobody will have access to third party services, so your phone or other devices will be completely off the grid until you remove it from the bag.
It would be as if your phone did not even exist.
If you need to use your phone in an emergency, you’ll have it with you. But it won’t be able to be used against you while you travel.
We’ve already discussed how an EMP event could radically change our country in one fell swoop.
As part of your prepping, you may want to have a large bag set aside with items specifically for this possibility. In the event of a grid shutdown, cell towers and power plants would be fried. This means you need stand-alone electrical devices in your bag.
Some good devices to consider instead of a cell phone would be a solar charger or a battery pack. A set of walkie-talkies would still work fine if they were in your bag.
For entertainment you may want an IPod, a laptop, or a kindle that can be used without internet or any kind of a signal. A solar calculator might even be a good idea since you will not have your phone. Consider adding these items to a Faraday Bag as part of your prepping.
It is scary to think about all the ways that things can go wrong in a society that relies on technology. I have personally done everything I can to prepare to live without technology, and I am very careful with the tech I currently use. We have to be realistic about the threats we face today and the threats we will face in the future.
You cannot be cautious enough with the portable devices you own that can transmit sensitive information. These devices such as your cell phone know everything about you.
When somebody wants to track you down or steal what is yours, your cell phone is the best tool they have. If you are going to use these devices, you have to use additional precautions to ensure you are protected.
In addition, we never know when an event will occur that wipes out any unprotected technology. There are several ways this could happen, so it is vital that we have a way to protect our stand alone devices to be used after these events.
Just having a few inexpensive devices in a protected area could make all the difference when everybody else is completely without technology.
A Faraday Bag is the answer for all of these concerns. It can limit the risks you have when using a cell phone or laptop, and it can also protect stand-alone devices from outside threats.
These inexpensive bags come in a variety of sizes, so you can find the one that perfectly fits your needs. Take the time to do some research, read some reviews, and make sure you are prepared.
In the end, I can assure you that you will not regret your decision to make an investment in a Faraday Bag.