EXPERT: EMP attack could bring US to a screeching halt

In testimony delivered on September 12, Brandon Wales, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center, admitted that DHS remains unprepared for the possibility of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event or attack.

Wales testified that the nation’s power grid is more vulnerable now than it was a few years ago. Nevertheless, he could not provide Congress with an estimate for how much it would cost to combat such vulnerabilities.

An EMP attack could bring this country to a screeching halt by permanently disabling electronic devices. ATMs would stop dispensing money. Water and sewage systems would fail. Even planes and automobiles would stop working. Imagine living in the Dark Ages: This is what it would be like to live through an EMP attack.

More than seven years ago, DHS released its National Planning Scenarios. This document outlined plans to prepare for and respond to 15 different man-made and natural disasters. The list included the detonation of an improvised nuclear device and the use of a plague as a weapon. However, one potential threat was noticeably missing; an EMP event or attack.

READ MORE HERE

Witnesses

Panel I

Hon. Trent Franks
A Representative in Congress from the 2nd District of Arizona

Panel II

Mr. Joseph McClelland
Director
Office of Electric Reliability
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
[full text of testimony]

Mr. Brandon Wales
Director
Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
[full text of testimony]

Mr. Michael A. Aimone
Director
Business Enterprise Integration
Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Installations
Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
Department of Defense
[full text of testimony]

Panel III

Mr. Chris Beck
President
Electric Infrastructure Security Council
[full text of testimony]
[truth in testimony]

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