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  • Clear and Present Danger: Time for a National EMP Awareness Day

    In an instant, life as we know it could cease to exist. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) could permanently disable the nation’s critical infrastructure dependent on electrical systems. As panicked people run to the phones to dial 911, their calls are answered only by silence.

    Caused by either detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitude or unusually powerful solar activity, the results of an EMP event would be devastating. As Heritage’s James Carafano explains:

    Communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be nonexistent. Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine. Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Without the American economic engine, the world economy would quickly collapse. Much of the world’s intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the “new” Dark Ages.

    Yet, despite the fact that the EMP threat represents a clear and present danger for the United States, little has been done to protect the nation. While Congress and the Administration have the ability to help protect the United States from this grave threat, by funding comprehensive missile defense and developing a national recovery plan, they remain mired in inaction.

    This year on August 15, the eighth anniversary of the 2003 east coast blackout that left 55 million without power and provided a small taste of the potential effects of an EMP event, Congress should establish National EMP Awareness Day. If, just for one day, Congress simulated even a fraction of the impact such an attack would have, the scope of the danger would be clear.

    To learn more, join us at Heritage on August 15 for a keynote panel discussion on “National EMP Recognition Day: The Threat That Can’t Be Ignored.”

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Clear and Present Danger: Time for a National EMP Awareness Day

    1. Rob Waterson says:

      You should all read Forstchen's One Second After. Stark.

      • DEBBIE says:


    2. Barbara Ann says:

      Why aren't more paying attention to this?

    3. Julie A says:

      Why are we broadcasting this to our enemy's?

    4. George says:

      This is really scary since I think there's no "shield" we can use to block EMPs. I don't think any material we have can stop magnets (like gravity) from passing through that material, since two magnets will still attract each other, even if you put a foot of lead between them, or am I wrong? … Maybe we should start backing up our data on physical CDs and DVDs.

      • Steve S. says:

        Hardening against emp is possible (look up faraday cage) but difficult and expensive. That's why a combination of that and defense against emp weapon delivery systems is the best way to go. That's a fact lost on our weak and listless government policy makers, all the way to the top.
        BTW, the iranians tested the delivery system (hidden scud launcher on a freighter, erected said launcher, launched the missile, and command detonated the (non- nuclear) warhead at altitude. The simplicity and power of that system is not being ignored by them

    5. Joe Gord says:

      Pushing a missile defense is a great example of "preparing for the last war" syndrome as that is most likely not the way it might actually come down—think out of the box. A better defense is to begin to decentralize the grid by building less transmission and to employ more distributed generation. Instead of Forstchen's book see Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt book called "Dragon" from about 1990–better read overall without the right wing/left wing politics within the US thrown in.

      • Steve S. says:

        Your solution lacks one thing, timeliness.They already have proof of concept done (see my reply to George above), so can strike at will once warheads are available. A hardening process which will take years, and should be done, leaves us very vulnerable to demonstrated technique, for a long time. Unfortunately, your perception of the issue is as full of holes as our EMP protection policy and programs. The Iranians already have done the out of the box thinking, like it or not. Novels are not always best policy.

      • Steve S. says:

        Sorry, forgot to add that ABL (defunded) was a viable way to protect against that particular assymetrical tactic 9Frighter/missile combo), some other systems OTH.

      • Shelley says:

        I agree. And the book was a great read.

    6. James Carafano james carafano says:

      explain to me how this preparing for the last war when a) this has not happened before and b) our enemies are building missiles and nuclear weapons

    7. Micheal Duke says:

      Until the mainstream media makes a major issue of this, America will be blissfully unaware of the EMP problem and the dire consequences should an EMP attack occur. It is probably no coincidence that the powerbrokers in Washington DC are protected while America-at-large is not… hence the mainstream media complicity in keeping a lid on the story. Every American shoulld be made very aware of this catastrophe waiting to happen… much like the nuclear threat drills we had in schools in the 50's and 60's, we should educate our children so they can be prepared should the "lights go out".

    8. Llolyd Scallan says:

      Now tell us how much does Obama and the Dems want to cut from our defense budget? How many missile defense programs has Obama, and the Dems in Congress already cut without the media reporting the fact? Now can you tell us Obama, and his Dem ilk, has the best interest of the nation at heart?

    9. AmandaK says:

      Isn't this one of the scariest things you guys have heard about? And to think that our government isn't putting it high up on their priority lists' really is aggravating. I've been researching on this topic for a few months so I can become a little better prepared for when we get hit with this. I've found a lot of good blogs and articles. There’s one in particular though that I always go back to. It's a radio blog show; they have guests on their show every week so it's a ton of new information every week. The show is on Wednesdays, this week (tomorrow) a guy named James Zumwalt is going to be on it. It should be very informative. Here's the link if you guys want to listen in: http://empactradio.org/pvp/episode63-james-zumwal

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