Woefully Unprepared for EMP Attack


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Whenever the left-wing media wants to conjure up an image of Republican failure and incompetence, they point to Hurricane Katrina and the days it took the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to respond in any effective manner.

Forget for the moment the fact that President Bush and his team were hampered in their efforts to provide emergency assistance by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Bianco (both Democrats), and the fact that New Orleans actually had plans to evacuate the city in the event of a major hurricane that Nagin failed to implement.

Katrina was an afternoon thunderstorm compared to what could hit the United States in the near future.

After three days of table-top exercises last week in and around Washington, DC to simulate the impact of a major solar event or a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, officials and experts concluded that our nation is woefully unprepared to handle the aftermath of such an event. And unlike a major hurricane, our nation’s leaders would have just minutes of warning before it occurred, making evacuation of vulnerable populations impossible.

As I explained in last week’s column, experts have been warning for some time that a major geomagnetic event or a nuclear EMP attack would mean “TEOTWAWKI” – The End Of The World As We Know It.

But the table-top exercises conducted last week under the auspices of National Defense University and the state of Maryland’s Emergency Management Agency, provided dramatic new evidence of our nation’s woeful lack of awareness and preparedness for handling the aftermath of such an event.

“This is the potential catastrophic incident,” said Michael Fisher, the head of Maryland’s Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). “It’s not a snow storm, it’s not a rain event, it’s not a building that had some bricks fall off when the earth shook. This is a potential catastrophic event that will change life as we know it.”

Fisher cited the panic that gripped the city of Baltimore over the summer during the mild earthquake that hit Virginia, several hundred miles to the south. To counter the hysteria, MEMA used Twitter, Facebook, radio, and television to calm the population, and things gradually returned to normal.

But in the event of a major geomagnetic event or an EMP attack that takes down the power grid, none of those means of communicating with the public will be available.

“After a few days, not only are folks going to begin to take matters into their own hands, but the depth and breadth of our first responders – that system is going to fail, also,” he said.

In other words, there will be no going back to the way things were before. The snow will not melt, the sun won’t come out, the flood waters won’t recede, and help will not be on the way. Americans will be on their own, just as during the days of the Wild West.

One of the most dramatic impacts of a major geomagnetic event or a nuclear EMP will be on law and order. “Police officers have told us they would just go home to take care of their own families,” said Dr. Richard Andres, an analyst with the National Defense University.

MEMA’s Mike Fisher said his agency needs to start planning today to identify emergency supplies, back-up generators, and to organize staging areas for police and fire fighters who will have no means of communicating with each other beyond the human voice.

Even if first responders manage to locate food supplies and make them available at select locations thanks to back-up generators after a week or two of no power, citizens won’t be able to use their credit cards because the banking system will still be down. “So keep some money in the sock drawer,” Fisher advised.

One of the table top exercises gathered experts who gamed what would happen if the 300 large generators that form the backbone of the national power grid went down, an event many analysts believe is possible. This is the “catastrophic” scenario that the power industry and those lobbying on behalf of expensive cyber security programs don’t want you to imagine.

David P. Hunt, an analyst with CRA, Inc., a Beltway security consulting firm, described the inability of the utilities and national command authorities to recover after such an event.

Industry representatives who participated in the simulations acknowledged the difficulties of “cold starting” power plants and the need for continuous power at nuclear power plants to maintain cooling of spent fuel ponds, Hunt said. Further complicating their efforts would be the lack of communications, since telephone and even radio networks would go down along with the grid, making it nearly impossible to localize back-up generators and the fuel needed to run them. This would lead to multiple “Fukushima” style events, with spent nuclear fuel irradiating large portions of the nation.

But if multiple nuclear meltdowns weren’t bad enough, the “cascading effects” of a prolonged shut down of the national power grid might prove irreparable to society as a whole.

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  • Anonymous Coward

    Is Dr. Alenka Brown an idiot? She reminds me of many idiots I've seen in sci-fi movies who are high up in the government and whose ignorance lets things quickly spiral out of control. I guess she could just be a radical leftist secretly hoping that the EMP attack does happen to stop imperialist USA from polluting gaia.

    • byte me

      twerp.

  • David

    Perhaps. For the globalists to have their way, and a Global Governance established, America has to be taken down several notches. They are playing a longer game than most people think about. Repent, America, while there is time.

    • Asher

      The EMP going off over the country could be a real reality, taking us back to the 20th century inconveniences and hardships… We haven't seen the worst yet of this admnistration. This country is NOT prepared for an event like this. I hope people will stock up on water, perishables, medical supplies, and yes a Bible for sure!

  • StephenD

    We have nothing to fear. On all fronts, this Administration is taking the necessary action. Why, it is well known that the President has dispatched the State Department with apologies to all those that our "Imperialistic" nature has infuriated. He has speeches ready for the teleprompter. I can see it now, the Justice Department with plans drawn up for Martial Law in order to keep us "unruly" folks from trying to get food. Maybe even plans to first confiscate as many privately owned weapons as possible. It would be comforting to know they may have camps set up to "keep us safe" while this crisis goes on. Of course, with a poor economy, they'll have work for us in these camps and "work will make us free." Yep, it's all under control. We have a great benefactor in place whose only concern is what is in our best interest.

    • Chezwick_mac

      Our resident Sultan of Sarcasm strikes again!

      As for the above mentioned propensity of our Prez to apologize around the world for our perceived sins, have you all seen the latest?……
      http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/

      • StephenD

        Your linked article is exactly what I'm talking about. Good job my brother!

  • wiley cayote

    That comment from Franks is probably the most intelligent that I have ever heard him make. Care to take that to the White House and see that something is done about it?

  • dan

    Unless we see some sort of significant global (and miraculous) change, it would seem an EMP attack against the U.S. is inevitable. While there is an optimal altitude and location over the center of the U.S. to achieve maximum effect, a limited and cheaper attack more along the scope of 911 would probably be more achievable by a growing list of nuclear miscreants. As on 911, such a limited attack would be aimed at the triad of the economy, political governance, and our military: New York and Washington D.C. where two of the triad were hit on 911, the third thwarted by the heroic on Flight 93.

    On the web there are several hands on videos about building personal Farrady boxes or cages to protect personal electronic devices. Also info on EMP proofing vehicles. The problem is, while you might be able to protect your emergency radios, a small TV, and phones, who are you going to be able to communicate with? And what about personal generators that may have vulnerable electronic (as opposed to mechanical) controls? As far as 'the grid', who, where, and how long is it going to take to build/repair/rebuild huge components that are damaged? General Electric in plants in China? With our high tech and electricity dependent society, imagine oneself being propelled back to the 1860s in, literally, a flash — for months! Catastrophic is such an insufficient word.

  • Dispozadaburka

    Hurricane Katrina… who could forget.
    Citizens being warned 5 days ahead of time to evacuate just wasn't good enough.
    The Mayor of New Orleans,
    didn't even call for the buses waiting outside of the city ,
    to evacuate the residents.
    The news couldn't make enough noise about it.

    But the way Obama and his team have handled all the disasters!!!
    Oh brother,
    the media can't say enough good things about how he and his team have handled things.
    No one even listens to major news stations anymore.
    People realize that the script they are reading is just Orwellian propaganda.
    Doublespeak.

  • jmc610

    I went to a press conference about this a few weeks ago.
    There site is http://www.empactamerica.org.
    I know they don't want to panic the public but they should have more about this in the media. People should know what's going on so they can prepare.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    For less than $1 billion, we can harden the national power grid and prevent this type of disaster from shutting down our society. What are Congress and the Obama administration waiting for?

    For less than a billion dollars, it's a no brainer. Why wasn't it done as part of stimulus spending? Indeed, it's a shovel ready job waiting to happen.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    For less than a billion dollars I could sprout wings and fly circles around the earth. A billion dollars is a lot of money. I could hit Ahmedinejad in the head with a sock full of magnets for about 3 bucks.

  • tagalog

    The science is settled, there seems to be a consensus on the impact that EMP damage would cause, so why isn't the Left pushing for steps to be taken to harden our infrastructure against this kind of attack? The Right should be on this like flies on honey. Surely Iran and other nations are considering how to carry such an attack out.

    I trust this scenario, among many others, is being considered at the War College and the Command and General Staff School.

    There's a book, One Second After, that's actually being made into a movie, by Bill Fortschen, that gives an idea of what an EMP attack would do to the United States.

    • displaced2

      I really liked the book Preppers Road March by Ron Foster, it tells the story of surviving after a solar storm has taken out the electrical grid and has some great survival tips in it also.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Classic ending to stupid is stupid, America's last message "The teleprompter is down".
    William

    • byte me

      Well, at least now we have a President who can read and actually does!

      • WilliamJamesWard

        Yes he can…..and I hope he will be reading his eviction notice…………W

  • maturin20

    I'll file this next to "zombie uprising" on my list of things to worry about.

  • Robert

    One must consider that a successful EMP attack on the domestic US would leave a fairly certain signature of origin. Hence, would the perpetrator really want to trade placing the US into an 1860's tech level and the associated problems of such, for about a year, vs. their country being vaporized with up to 95% population loss?

  • Dennis

    It is really too bad that many people believe so deeply in what Hollywood Stars say about anything and what Al Gore promotes, but refuses to debate with Lord Monckton, and when something technical / scientific and historically documented, like the SOLAR FLARE that burned telegraph wires back in the 1800s – yes, an EMP event – is discussed, well, these people always forget what should have been learned in SCOUTING…..BE PREPARED!

  • JMV

    It's too bad Dr. Brown had to remind you pusillanimous twits that the purpose of the meeting was about a SOLAR event having nothing to do with Iran or nukes. It's nitwits like you (Timmerman and whoever the pea brained "Anonymous Coward – yeah, you got THAT one right) who try to push your own agenda into the wrong venue and then cry when you are called to task for it. To another idiot an idiot seems like a genius. My assessment is that neither of you are in the genius category.

  • GEORGE WASH

    urgent.. disregard this at you and your family's Peril! URGENT THIS IS MARTIAL LAW DURING PEACETIME.. obama is going to take down America if it's the last thing he does. And fast!
    New executive order signed this Friday gives the gov't full power to take anything and everything we have in our food storage including potable water(Sec 801e), gives the department heads the authority to procure and make loans without congressional approval(Sec 302), permits them to seize you and force you to work for the gov't without compensation (Sec. 502) and puts all gov't employees above the rule of law(Sec 804c). Says this can be done during peacetime(Sec 102). He's basically declared martial law without making an announcement

    BARACK OBAMA
    THE WHITE HOUSE,
    March 16, 2012.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/​the-press-office/201

  • http://empprotection.org/ Emp Protection

    It really is in the hands of the government.. and be sure that they have secured military assets from EMP either solar or man made. The problem is that they do NOT prioritize the civilian infrastucture which means that millions would die from famine, lack of medical supplies and from riots, anarchy etc. However the country will remain as the military power is intact and so it will be rebuild. Yet the human cost is too high if you ask me.. Or any physicist.