politic.n: do you know what an EMP is? you should- it’s one of the most significant threats to the U.S..

What would you do if the lights went out? Like. Really went out. No, seriously.

No phone, computers, iPads, microwaves, automobiles, airplanes, pacemakers, ATM machines, etc.. How would you manage? No medicine because everything is computerized. The trucks/trains/planes aren’t running- so how do you eat? Feed your family? How would you protect your family (one word- Katrina) if an event like this occurred? Sounds like an episode of the show Revolution..

When most think of terrorism, they think cyber, bio (weaponized viruses) and bombs. Welp, I hate to break it to you, but I have to add the big Kahuna to your list- the pièce de résistance. It’s called an EMP strike and it is one of the BIGGEST threats to our way of life.

Back in 2009, I read a book that changed the game for me –One Second After by William R. Forstchen. Prior to reading OSA, I’d heard of an EMP, but it took a “fictional” account to really get me thinking about the possibility. Think about it. This type of strike would not affect the aggressor, it can be localized, no nuclear fallout and it’s not “messy” for them. They can destroy a nation, it’s people, technology and accomplishments…

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m a “quasi, almost prepper.” Which means I believe in being prepared for an emergency, but after reading the Commission Report, I plan to be a little more aggressive (no. you won’t see me on any of those TV shows..lol). It just makes good sense. Sans an event a’la dinosaurs, what would you do if you and your loved ones survive an “event?”  Sorry. I digress..

What’s an EMP?

An EMP is a blast of electromagnetic energy that can disrupt — if not destroy — electronic devices within an affected area. You can’t smell, taste or feel EMP radiation, which can be unleashed by nuclear explosions as well as by solar storms and devices.

Why Should You Care? First, Let’s Talk about the Money People + Former Director of the CIA..

In a recent letter to investors, billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Singer warned that an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is “the most significant threat” to the U.S. and our allies in the world. He’s right. Our food and water supplies, communications, banking, hospitals, law enforcement, etc., all depend on the electric grid. Yet until recently little attention has been paid to the ease of generating EMPs by detonating a nuclear weapon in orbit above the U.S., and thus bringing our civilization to a cold, dark halt..


What is lacking in Washington is a sense of urgency. Lawmakers and the administration need to move rapidly to build resilience into our electric grid and defend against an EMP attack that could deliver a devastating blow to the U.S. economy and the American people. Congress should pass and the president should sign into law the Shield Act and CIPA as soon as possible. Literally millions of American lives could depend on it.  via wsj.com  {The Growing Threat From an EMP Attack A nuclear device detonated above the U.S. could kill millions, and we’ve done almost nothing to prepare.}

Recently, the EMP Commission Report was made available (of course I read it).  And here’s an excerpt


The physical and social fabricof the United States is sustained by a system of systems; a complex and dynamic network of interlocking and interdependent infrastructures (“critical national infrastructures”) whose harmonious functioning enables the myriad actions, transactions, and information flow that undergird the orderly conduct of civil society in this country. The vulnerability of these infrastructures to threats — deliberate, accidental, and acts of nature —is the focus of greatly heightened concern in the current era, a process accelerated by the events of 9/11 and recent hurricanes, including Katrina

and Rita. This report presents the results of the Commission’s assessment of the effects of a high altitude electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on our critical national infrastructures and provides recommendations for their mitigation.
The assessment is informed by analytic and test activities executed under Commission sponsorship, which are discussed in this volume. An earlier executive report, Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) — Volume 1: Executive Report (2004), provided an overview of the subject.
The electromagnetic pulse generated by a high altitude nuclear explosion is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. The increasingly pervasive use of electronics of all forms represents the greatest source of vulnerability to attack by EMP. Electronics are used to control, communicate, compute, store, manage, and implement nearly every aspect of United States (U.S.) civilian systems. When a nuclear explosion occurs at high altitude, the EMP signal it produces will cover the wide geographic region within the line of sight of the detonation.
This broad band, high amplitude EMP, when coupled into sensitive electronics, has the capability to produce widespread and long lasting disruption and damage to the critical infrastructures that underpin
the fabric of U.S. society.
Because of the ubiquitous dependence of U.S. society on the electrical power system, its vulnerability to an EMP attack, coupled with the EMP’s particular damage mechanisms, creates the possibility of long-term, catastrophic consequences. The implicit invitation to take advantage of this vulnerability, when coupled with increasing proliferation of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, is a serious concern. A single EMP attack may seriously degrade or shut down a large part of the electric power grid in the geographic area of EMP exposure effectively instantaneously. There is also a possibility of functional collapse of grids beyond the exposed area, as electrical effects propagate from one region to another.
The time required for full recovery of service would depend on both the disruption and damage to the electrical power infrastructure and to other national infrastructures. Larger affected areas and stronger EMP field strengths will prolong the time to recover. Some critical electrical power infrastructure components are no longer manufactured in the United States, and their acquisition ordinarily requires up to a year of lead time in routine circumstances. Damage to or loss of these components could leave significant parts of the electrical infrastructure out of service for periods measured in months to a year or more. There is a point in time at which the shortage or exhaustion of sustaining backup systems, including emergency power supplies, batteries, standby fuel supplies, communications, and manpower resources that can be mobilized, coordinated, and dispatched, together lead to a continuing degradation of critical infrastructures for a prolonged period of time.
Electrical power is necessary to support other critical infrastructures, including supply and distribution of water, food, fuel, communications, transport, financial transactions, emergency services, government services, and all other infrastructures supporting the national economy and welfare. Should significant parts of the electrical power infra-structure be lost for any substantial period of time, the Commission believes that the con-sequences are likely to be catastrophic, and many people may ultimately die for lack of the basic elements necessary to sustain life in dense urban and suburban communities. In fact, the Commission is deeply concerned that such impacts are likely in the event of an EMP attack unless practical steps are taken to provide protection for critical elements of the electric system and for rapid restoration of electric power, particularly to essential services. The recovery plans for the individual infrastructures currently in place essentially assume, at worst, limited upsets to the other infrastructures that are important to their operation. Such plans may be of little or no value in the wake of an EMP attack because of its long-duration effects on all infrastructures that rely on electricity or electronics.
The ability to recover from this situation is an area of great concern. The use of automated control systems has allowed many companies and agencies to operate effectively with small work forces. Thus, while manual control of some systems may be possible, the number of people knowledgeable enough to support manual operations is limited. Repair of physical damage is also constrained by a small work force. Many maintenance crews are sized to perform routine and preventive maintenance of high-reliability equipment. When repair or replacement is required that exceeds routine levels, arrangements are typically in place to augment crews from outside the affected area. However, due to the
simultaneous, far-reaching effects from EMP, the anticipated augmenters likely will be occupied in their own areas. Thus, repairs normally requiring weeks of effort may require a much longer time than planned…
This is not about fear-mongering. I want my chicas to be informed! Prepared! Infrastructure is not “sexy,” so politicians don’t include that in their platforms. However, you know what they say about what happens to anything build on a bad foundation.

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