How To Reinforce a Shipping Container To Bury It (EMP proof)

EMPs are potentially one of the most destructive weapons that could be used against today’s society. Just a single nuclear bomb detonated at high altitude over a major city could wipe out all electronics for potentially thousands of miles around.

If you find yourself the victim of an EMP attack, you’re likely going to be living in the dark ages for quite a while. All the skills that came so naturally to our ancestors like hunting, fishing, trapping, and growing food will have to be sharpened, if not re-learned completely.

We often lose track of just how many machines and services run on electricity nowadays. Almost every aspect of modern life is influenced or controlled by electronics, and they’re all vulnerable – so life after an electromagnetic pulse attack would be a lot different from what we’re used to.

Long distance communication would be difficult, if not impossible. Similar to life in an Amish community, we would have to start over from scratch and make do with only mechanical tools.

That is of course unless you’re able to store a disassembled, complete electrical power generation system for your home inside something like a Faraday cage.

What does it take to defend against an EMP?

A Faraday cage is an enclosed space that is completely shielded from the effects of an EMP – whether that be a small box covered with aluminum foil, or an entire shipping container fortified to withstand an EMP attack.

Obviously, if you want to fit something as big as a home electrical generation system inside of your Faraday cage, you need a big space to do it in.

You could store electronics you don’t want to be compromised in it as well, but without the ability to generate your own electricity these devices won’t do you much good.

Thus, you need a buried shipping container big enough to accommodate such a system, and the right reinforcements to keep everything inside protected from an EMP.

How Exactly Should I Reinforce My Shipping Container?

The fact that your shipping container is already a few inches in the ground already means that it’s grounded. It needs to be grounded so the EMP will flow through the soil with the least resistance, the same way a lightning strike would. Being grounded will also help remove potential stray fields that could be present.

Depending on what the shipping container is made out of, you won’t need to do a whole lot of sealing up. You’ll likely want to flip it upside down though. The roof is thicker than the floor, and you want a thicker floor to prevent warping of the container when it settles in the ground.

Once it’s in the ground you can fill it up with the electronics that you want to protect. The shipping container itself should work as long as it’s sealed up, but if you want to you can nest some containers inside.

Nesting is similar to Russian nesting dolls, except with Faraday cages. It’s putting cages inside of cages inside of cages. Ammunition boxes work for this, as well as microwaves and metal trashcans with sealed lids.

For sealing up the doors, some people choose to simply create a stainless steel or copper mesh wall over the door. This can then be easily broken down once you need to get back into the container.

You could also choose to solder the door shut completely which would be the safest option, but likely unnecessary. Door seals made of copper braiding will also do the trick.

One thing to remember about storing stuff inside your shipping container is that all the items need to be kept away from the metal walls. The walls of a Faraday cage exposed to EMP will carry a pretty substantial current while the pulse lasts, and anything in contact with them is probably going to get damaged. The floor counts as well, so you’ll want to lay down some thick carpet or rugs.

Buying a shipping container with a wooden floor would also work, as long as nothing inside is touching the metal of your container.

Things to Remember

It’s not necessary to use a full shipping container as a Faraday cage unless you intend to use all of that space. As stated before, using it to store a full disassembled power generation system is your best bet if you want to have electricity after an EMP attack.

It’s also a good idea to store something like a motorcycle or a four-wheeler in one of these. You could even store a full truck or car in yours, but a motorcycle or similar sized vehicle will take up much less space.

If you intend to solder your doors shut, make sure you have the right tools to get it open in case of an EMP attack.

There’s a quick and easy test to see if your container is completely EMP proof. Simply place a cell phone inside the container, and close it up. Then as you’re standing outside the container, call your cell phone from another phone. Place your ear to the container and see if you can hear it ringing.

If you CAN hear it ringing, your container will NOT protect your electronics from an EMP. If you can’t hear it working, there’s a good chance your container is EMP proof.

This isn’t completely foolproof but it’s the only way to test your container without setting off an actual EMP.

EMP attacks can be destructive and downright deadly if used on a wide enoughscale. In order to protect your electronics from an attack, you’ll need a Faraday cage.

Placing a shipping container in the ground and sealing it up completely works as an excellent Faraday cage. It’s naturally grounded, and large enough to store very important items like vehicles or self-generating power equipment.

In event of an attack, you will likely be the only one around for miles with any working electrical equipment, which puts you and your family at a huge advantage in an area that’s been plunged back into the dark ages.

An EMP Strike On Our Nation Will be An Absolutely Catastrophic Event- 7 Actions to Take Immediately Following an EMP Strike

A huge EMP is like opening a Pandora Box:

1 – At a community level because we haven’t experienced one yet and we don’t really know how bad it can get. Frank Gaffney – president of the Center for Security Policy predicted that:

“Within a year of an EMP attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can’t support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity. And that is exactly what I believe the Iranians are working towards.”

Experts also agree that the next nuclear war will start with at least an EMP. If one of the nuclear powers blasts a nuclear weapon 275 miles above the US it will produce an EMP that will basically send us, the Canadian and the Mexicans back to the Dark Ages. Can we fight back (after an EMP) or we will be nothing more than sitting ducks for Russian’ nukes? I have something you need to watch. It’s much better than I am at explaining the threat.

2 – At an individual scale because you don’t really know where you’ll be when it happens. There won’t be any kind of transportation or telecommunication. You’ll have to walk your way home. If you work 40 miles away from home, you better have a plan. If your car gets stuck with your family on the highway on a cold winter – you got to have a back-up plan. If your child is at school you got to get him… and so on.

Of course it’s imperative to have (at the back of your mind) a list of things to do immediately after an EMP. But just like in an economic collapse, you won’t be able to do a lot of things after the crisis begins. The information you’ll find bellow it’s good to know and should be considered as a plan. But it’s not 100% prepping. If you want to prepare for an EMP you need to have some things ready in advance.


So what actions should you take immediately following an EMP strike? Remember that time will be critical, the first few hours (days at most) will enable you to get a jump on everyone else and set the stage for your success. You will immediately know that an EMP, be it from a nuclear weapon or massive solar flare, will have struck your area. Your car will no longer work, your cell phone won’t work, the power will be out everywhere, planes will have fallen from the sky. You will know it was an EMP but the vast majority of the public will not, they will be quite literally sitting around waiting for someone to tell them what to do.  You won’t know how large the scope of the strike is but you will have to assume the worst, which would be a nationwide outage.

First things first, if you are at work, get home.  Your boss no longer has authority over you, your co-workers no longer are a priority. They will be trying to restart a computer that will never again work, trying to restart their smartphone, sitting in the break room trying to call 911 and saying things like: “This is ridiculous, I’m going to miss my 3pm sales call!” You on the other hand will go to you car and change into the extra set of clothes and shoes you keep in the trunk. You will don your “get home bag” and start walking, hopefully your walk will not take more than a day.

Once home it is time to start implementing your plan. Remember time is absolutely critical and you only have a small window of it in order to set yourself up for success.  During these initial hours and days people will still have faith that some sort of government agency will come in to make everything better.  They will expect to see the power come back on any minute because someone will surely do something. They will tell each other to sit tight, just hold on for a day or so because eventually the HMMWV’s will roll in loaded with supplies and some military officer or government official will explain that this is merely a temporary problem, nothing to worry about, sorry for the inconvenience. You know better because you realize just how devastating an EMP strike is and the reality is that it could be months before systems start to come back online. It will only take a week or two (at most) before things start getting really ugly because people start going hungry.  With all of that that in mind you take these 7 actions because you were prepared for this to happen.

1 – Use your cash. In the first few days after an EMP strike cash will still have value.  Take all of your cash and that radio flyer wagon your kids have and walk down to the corner store.  Avoid the big retail stores, I suggest finding the corner gas station or local drug store.  The owner of the store will no doubt be there, concerned that the items in the store are unprotected during a power outage.  Explain to the owner that you are in need of some supplies, can pay cash and do not require change.  Tell him/her that you will give them an extra $100 to allow you to “shop” for a few minutes.  Load up your wagon with anything you can find to include medication, candy bars, water bottles, pop tarts, lighters, hand sanitizer etc etc.  Of course you should be well stocked at home but you might as well get rid of your worthless paper money in exchange for any amount of extra supplies you can get your hands on.  In a week (maybe less) most stores will be completely looted so you need to take advantage of this moment.

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2 – Fill up the tub(s) with water. Hopefully you have a water bob for each bath tub in your home in addition to several other water storage devices and water purification/filtration devices.  Remember a down grid means that fresh water will stop flowing to your home very quickly. Fill up your tub as soon as you can, that extra hundred or so gallons could prove invaluable. If you are concerned about the quality of the water remember you can add 8 drops of regular Clorox bleach per gallon to help purify what you have in the tub.

3 – Talk to your neighbors. This step is absolutely critical, you have to get out and talk to your close neighbors and explain to them what is going on.  They will be in denial for the most part, hopefully you have copies of the EMP report printed off which you can distribute as you go door to door.  Explain to them what is going on and that time is critical, let them know a worst case scenario means that there will be no help coming for quite a long time.  Additionally mention the following to them.

a. Discuss a neighborhood watch.  Tell them that in a few days or weeks things will get dangerous with hungry people roaming the streets.  It is essential that you define your neighborhood’s boundaries and set up a neighborhood watch of sorts, assigning people to different shifts.

b. Offer to hold a meeting.  Set a time that you will have a meeting at your home, say every day after sunrise in your garage.  Tell them they are invited and that every day you will be there passing out information.  At first you might not have anyone attend these meetings, in a few days there will be a handful and in a week you might have 50 or more hungry, scared, tired people demanding answers.  If you are going to assume the role of a leader, be prepared to do just that.

c. Tell them to use their cash.  Much like you should have already done, tell them that their cash will soon be worthless and that they need to get down to the market to spend it.  Most people have no cash on hand, so this probably won’t be a real issue.

d. Tell them to inventory their supplies. Most people have 3 to 5 days food on hand in their home. You should mention that they need to start rationing what they have, and taking inventory of everything else.

e. Start identifying those with skills. I wrote about how to organize a survival community as well as what skills will be valuable after T-SHTF in a few recent articles. While making the rounds in your neighborhood you should start identifying who has special skills and make note of it. Cops or military personnel could help with security, doctors have obvious value, and so on and so forth.

4 – Start rationing food. Hopefully you have at least a 1 year supply of food for your family, if not more. Start rationing immediately because more than likely you will have to share some of your food with your neighbors. It will be unavoidable, you will need their help to survive as a community and there is absolutely no way that they will starve while watching you and your family live high on the hog. This doesn’t mean that you cannot oversee how some rations are distributed, or seek out other sources of food, but just remember nobody gets through SHTF alone.

5 – Hygiene preparations. Consider where you are going to dispose of your human waste, it might be a good time to start digging that pit. Also consider where you will dispose of your trash and if you will bury it or burn it. Remember the trash man won’t be around next Sunday and your toilets will stop flushing very quickly.

6 – Listen to your weather radio. Prior to the EMP strike you had a small solar/hand crank weather radio secured in an old microwave in the basement, it still works. You should monitor NOAA Weather Radio frequencies throughout the day in case there is information being published which you can use to stay informed. Maybe the strike only covered 500 square miles and help will be on the way in a week, or maybe there is nothing but static…not a good sign.

7 – Consider your own security plan. Despite all of the actions you are taking, trying to help those within your community by reaching out to organize them, realize that not everything goes to plan. There could be dissenters within your neighborhood or those outside of your community who might choose to take advantage of the situation. Looting will become prevalent very quickly and no neighborhood will be immune. Consider your security plan, this is no time to rely on the charity and goodness of mankind.  Remain suspicious of all activity and never walk around unarmed. Never allow your family members to venture out alone and remember to stay in after dark. All of that said I would caution against using deadly force unless absolutely necessary. Protect yourself and your family but remember that there will come a time when the power does come back on and people will be held accountable for their actions.

An EMP strike on our nation will be an absolutely catastrophic event and while I’m sure all of us hope that something like this never happens, hope is never a course of action.   Despite our best efforts to prepare for such an event there is a good chance that many will not survive.  Some have predicted that within a year of a strike, 9 out of 10 Americans would be dead. In sports success or failure on the field of play is determined months before the actual game by how much dedication the athletes displayed during practice. In much the same way success or failure following an EMP strike will have been determined by how seriously we took our prep strategy in the months or years prior, as well as actions which we take immediately after. Life isn’t fair, plan accordingly.