In 2004 and 2008, a congressionally charted commission studied the threat of Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) to U.S. critical infrastructure. They concluded there were real and serious dangers to worry about. Their findings have been validated by least five other independent government commissions or reports.

With the help Richard Weitz at the Hudson Institute, we conducted what we think is the first ever survey of what Washington has done with the information. In “Before the Lights Go Out: A Survey of EMP Preparedness Reveals Significant Shortfalls,” we conclude–not much.

In particular, the Department of Homeland Security is singled out for doing next to nothing. The report notes, for example, that “DHS inactivity regarding the threat of EMP attack is surprising, given that many provisions within the EMP Commission report and proposed relevant congressional legislation are aimed at DHS in some capacity. Indeed, Washington State’s Department of Health Office of Radiation Protection offers more information to the public on EMP than does the DHS Web site, which merely contains a link to a 2004 Federal Emergency Management Agency preparedness manual.”

  • It’s interesting that James Carafano wrote a post on the dangers of EMP on the exact same day when a nuclear warhead was detonated underground in Virginia. You see, that was no earthquake on the 23rd of August, since the epicenter was too far to the east of the mountains and my battery-operated clock radio stopped exactly at 1:52 PM. The battery was totally drained, and before the 23rd my clock was not running slow, which is the indication that it is time to change the battery. That means that the nuclear blast in Virginia on the 23rd was an EMP test.

    • Tom Pardee, BSEE, EMP engineer

      Mr. Jackson,
      You need to study how EMP is generated from nuclear blasts.  Underground detonations would not create an EMP event.  When you hear of EMP & nuclear blasts, you need to understand those blasts have to happen at high altitude for a large EMP pulse to be generated.  If there had been an EMP event, why were no other electronic devices in you home effected?
      Please use some common sense, and ask more questions about the what caused what.  I appreciate good science, but that’s exactly my point.  If you will take the time to understand things for your self, and learn how to critically assess what you experience, you might not draw the same conclusions.  Be careful who you listen to.  I would suggest you read more technical books on the subjects that interest you.  You will be able to make more convencing arguements for what you believe.

      • Mr. Tom Pardee,

        yes, I knew that EMP is associated with high altitude nuclear explosions. My comment was off-the-cuff because I couldn’t think of anything else that created the seismic event of the 23rd.

        By the way, my mother tells me that one of her remote controls went partially inoperative after the earthquake, and a neighbor in my apartment building said his TV remote was also partially damaged when he used it after the earthquake (with new batteries, he now has to stand close to the TV to use the remote).

        In the link below, read the two comments at the bottom speaking of remote controls breaking throughout the NE on the 23rd and in the days before:

        Would HAARP explain the phenomenon of the 23rd, because the seismic event of the 23rd was too shallow in the ground to be a natural earthquake (especially here on the East coast). Also, the Washington and Lee University seismograph records seismic data that correlates to a detonation, not a natural earthquake (see link above).

        By the way, it was today that I found the article linked above.


        Dean Jackson 

      • Mr. Tom Pardee,

        I knew that EMP was mostly associated with high altitude nuclear blasts, so all I could think of for last Tuesday’s seismic event was an EMP surge from an underground nuclear detonation.

        Since last Tuesday I’ve learned that a tenant in the apartment building I live in also had a problem with his TV remote right after the seismic event (my mother’s TV remote also), and there are many reports from the NE of the same phenomena with remote controls. Does this provide a clue as to what caused the 23rd’s seismic event, because it was certainly not a natural earthquake.

      • Mr. Tom Pardee,

        some new observations:

        did you notice the spherically symmetric energy release in the Washington and Lee University seismic data in the link I provided? The energy radiates out evenly, which is proof that the seismic event at Mineral, Virginia last Tuesday was a man-made detonation. But that didn’t cause the EMP, as you corrected me earlier. Such EMP from an underground nuclear detonation is weak and travels several kilometers at most, which means that what we witnessed last Tuesday were two events: An underground nuclear detonation that produced the earthquake and another event that produced the EMP. What that other event was, I don’t know.


        Dean Jackson
        Washington, DC