DoE and states hold EMP response exercise
There was an interesting article in Front Page magazine last week that I wanted to draw your attention to:
For most of this week, the Department of Energy and the states of Maryland and Florida will be holding emergency response exercises to determine their readiness in the event of a major failure of the national electric power grid.
The scenarios to be tested vary from a low-level event that would take out a handful of the transformers that control the grid that conceivably could be repaired within a matter of days, to a “worst case” scenario to simulate a total take-down of the grid, an event many experts believe could take four to six years to recover from.
If there is a book or movie about some sort of "End of the World" scenario, there's a good chance I have read it. But EMP is about the scariest of all of them. Sure, folks like how sexy Zombies or asteroid hits are, but an EMP is a bit more likely, and a heck of a lot scarier to me. Here's a video (that appears to have time-warped from the 80's) that lays out the basic premise:
The article goes on to mention a book by William Forstchen, but somewhat inexplicably gives the wrong name for the book. Although the article says it is entitled "The Minute After" the actual title is "One Second After." It really is phenomenal, and I encourage everyone to read it if they can work it into their schedule.
To give you an idea of what we might face, the article lays that out fairly well:
No cell phones, no personal or business computers. No gas stations, no natural gas or water service. Cold storage, down; food processing plants, off-line. No trucking, no railroads, no airplanes, no ATMs, no inter-bank transfers. Americans would revert to eating whatever food they could hunt, fish or forage within walking distance of their homes. City-dwellers would flee en masse, or face starvation.
A report issued in 2004 from the EMP Commission looked at:
(1) the nature and magnitude of potential high-altitude EMP threats to the United States from all potentially hostile states or non-state actors that have or could acquire nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles enabling them to perform a high-altitude EMP attack against the United States within the next 15 years;
(2) the vulnerability of United States military and especially civilian systems to an EMP attack, giving special attention to vulnerability of the civilian infrastructure as a matter of emergency preparedness;
(3) the capability of the United States to repair and recover from damage inflicted on United States military and civilian systems by an EMP attack; and
(4) the feasibility and cost of hardening select military and civilian systems against EMP attack.
(b) Recommendation. The Commission shall recommend any steps it believes should be taken by the United States to better protect its military and civilian systems from EMP attack.
Anyway, it is good to see the DoE atleast looking at what will happen. I'm looking forward to seeing how the exercise goes.