This EMP-hardening list is prioritized by the number of civilian deaths that could be avoided nationwide within the first 1-48 hours of an EMP event -- if proper preparedness steps are taken.Assuming no preparation, within 48 hours, approximately 250,000 - 350,000 Americans would die nationwide in a sudden EMP event -- equivalent to all American deaths in 4 - 6 Vietnam "conflicts" in only two days.The prioritized hardening list is:
(1) Airplane avionics and air traffic control & communication systems
(2) Hospital ICU (intensive care unit) medical equipment and power sources, as well as implanted electronic medical devices in ambulatory patients
(3) The electrical grid in general, and especially nuclear power plant control systems (e.g., intense sparking of high-power lines would immediately cause hundreds of forest fires nationwide)
(4) Back-up generators and large-scale battery arrays for critical services
Thus, the Council encourages all national and international standards-setting organizations to immediately begin drafting and publishing guidelines for EMP-resistant consumer and industrial products.Such organizations include IEEE, Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International (SEMI), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Manufacture liability for products that are not EMP-resistant must be self-insured or insured, but cannot be excused away as an "Act of God" in the case of solar EMP or "Act of War or Terrorism" in the case of nuclear EMP.The conservatively estimated probability of an EMP event, combining solar and nuclear, is 50:50 over the next 15 - 25 years [Dr. Erland Wittkotter of EMP Preparedness 2013].Thus, the near-term and eventual occurrence of EMP is highly predictable by any rational actor, and planning for and insuring against EMP events is the fiduciary responsibility of all corporate board members.
"America has a long history of investing significant resources to prepare for high-impact, low-frequency (HILF) events.Examples include earthquake building codes, flame-resistant clothing standards, EMF (electro-magnetic field) warnings from utility companies, and automobile airbags.Likewise, in retrospect, adoption of universal standards for EMP-resistant durable goods, industrial machinery and electrical grid infrastructure will appear to be a logical precaution for any advanced civilization to take," observed David Palella.
Promulgation of EMP-resistant product standards by independent 3rd-parties, combined with novel legal theories of manufacturer liability for products unduly susceptible to EMP, will allow market forces to foster the more rapid introduction of EMP-resistant products -- thus greatly reducing America's vulnerability to any type of EMP event.
If done in the design phase, basic hardening of products against EMP adds only 3 - 5 % to manufacturing cost, according to published sources.Inexpensive hardening or product-damage minimization may be accomplished via increased use of fuses, insulators, Faraday caging (e.g., Mylar® shielding), multiple grounding strategies, and automatic disconnection of long conducting wires when a product is not in use.
In particular, companies, schools, residents and government entities in San Diego, California -- host to the world's largest U.S. military installation and therefore a prime terrorist target -- are encouraged to take an active role in preparing for EMP -- whether solar or nuclear.
Just as the September 11th, 2001, destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City should have been expected by most Americans, the bombing of Pearl Harbor should have been expected too, according to historians. So will a nuclear EMP attack by a rogue nation again catch Americans by "surprise" ?
An Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) may be caused by either a high-altitude nuclear blast or a solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), both of which have a high probability of occurring within the next 2-5 years.
Nuclear-blast EMP events can extend over a radius of 1,000+ miles and will severely damage or impair most of the conveniences of modern life including the electrical grid, medical devices, computer systems, the internet, all vehicles, consumer electronics, home appliances and satellites.
Solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) events during a sunspot-cycle maximum, such as will occur during 2011-2012, would affect the entire planet's electrical and electronic infrastructure. Economic recovery from either type of EMP could take from 2 - 9 years, depending on the severity of the radiation pulse and damage to the electrical grid -- the foundation of all modern commerce.
Moreover, all airborne planes, air-traffic control nationwide, nuclear power-plant control systems, acute-care medical equipment, implanted electronic medical devices, elevators, and heating & cooling systems would cease functioning immediately, leading to 100s of thousands of deaths nationwide in a few minutes or hours.
Back-up generators and emergency-response equipment, even those not in operation at the time of an EMP event, would also be severely damaged and become inoperable, thus causing more near-term casualties.
"Development of an EMP-resistant electrical grid, EMP-hardened capital and durable goods, land and airborne vehicles, medical equipment, and transportation systems offers industry and governments the opportunity to engage in tenable job creation and economic development programs that should include R&D tax credits and tax holidays, other investment incentives, and engineering training initiatives," observed David Palella.
In particular, due to hosting the largest concentration of American military hardware in the world, San Diego is a prime target for a terrorist EMP attack, rivaled only by the easily-addressed combined target of New York City, Washington, DC, and Norfolk, Virginia. Thus, San Diego should be exceptionally proactive in preparing for EMP and setting an example for the rest of America.
I recommend reading this report below written 5 years ago predicting that a nuclear EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) event might occur by 2010. The year has passed, luckily, but not the danger, which increases every day:
"Electromagnetic Pulse Threats in 2010"
Published November 2005
Written by Colin R. Miller, Major, USAF
Center for Strategy and Technology
Air War College
Maxwell AFB, Alabama