What You Can Do to Protect Against the EMP Threat

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order on March 26th to protect the United States against electromagnetic pulses (EMPs). In today’s episode, we explore why EMPs are a real threat, what is in President Trump’s executive order, and what Americans can do personally to help protect against EMPs.

Today’s Guest:

The EMP Commission calculated that, if we had a nationwide blackout that lasted one year, we could lose 90 percent of our population. It’s the greatest threat that our civilization faces. — Dr. Peter Pry

Why the EMP Threat is Real

What exactly is an EMP?

Dr. Peter Pry: An electromagnetic pulse can be caused by nature or man. It’s basically a super energetic radio wave that can be caused by a solar super storm from the sun, which causes geomagnetic storms. Geomagnetic storms are actually quite commonplace, and they happen every year. They’re usually confined to countries at high northern latitudes.

NASA Solar Flare -- America DailyWhat we’re concerned about on the commission, and what the president is concerned about in his recent EMP executive order that he signed not long ago, is the rare, once-in-a-hundred-years geomagnetic super storm, like the 1859 Carrington Event. Back in 1859 we weren’t an electronic civilization, those were the horse and buggy days, but telegraph systems existed everywhere on every continent except Antarctica. And when the Carrington Event hit, it destroyed the telegraph systems all over the world. The pulse was so powerful it reached miles deep into the Atlantic Ocean and burned out the transatlantic telegraph cable that had just been laid in 1859. That didn’t end civilization because we weren’t an electronic civilization yet. We didn’t depend for everything on electronics. But today, if something like that happened, it would be catastrophic, not just for the United States, but for the entire world.

If there was an EMP attack, how difficult would it be to get our infrastructure up again?

Dr. Peter Pry: Right now it would be impossible because we’re not protected against any of these EMP threats.

Pres. Trump’s EMP Executive Order

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

According to Dr. Pry, these are some of the most important features of President Trump’s EMP executive order:

  • The White House coordinates all the different departments, agencies, and the private sector to work together for a solution.
  • The executive order has goals and specific timelines to achieve those goals.
  • The solutions have to be verified by actual EMP testing, not computer models.



It seems like the EMP threat has been a national security issue for decades. Why haven’t previous administrations done more to protect the country against it?

Dr. Peter Pry:  Our policy makers really haven’t been educated about and known about EMP until 2008 and after, when the reports were unclassified. Next, we’ve got a powerful power industry in Washington that owns half of K Street and lobbies against doing anything to protect the electric grid against EMP, cyber, physical threats, or anything. And then there are ideological reasons that mostly have to do with the left side of the political spectrum, having to do with whether a world without nuclear weapons is feasible and the Iran Nuclear Deal. The fact of an EMP threat doesn’t fit into their narrative. And last, I guess I have to mention climate change under Obama. A lot of people may not like this, but the Obama administration and the Democratic Party today want to tell the American people that climate change is the biggest existential threat to America, and that it’s the biggest threat we face. And EMP challenges that.

If they were to give as much attention to EMP as they did to climate change, it would hurt their big government agenda. Because all the solutions to climate change basically lead us to socialism, in terms of the way they want to go. Compared to climate change, EMP is an easy problem to solve. You don’t have to transform our society.

What Can People Do to Protect Themselves?

How can Americans prepare for the EMP threat?

Dr. Peter Pry: First thing, I would call and email and write your senators and members of congress and tell them to join the congressional EMP Caucus. There’s a bipartisan caucus on Capitol Hill–it only takes a phone call–and then the congressman and senators from your state can become informed and become part of the solution to protecting our country. People might want to get my book “Blackout Wars.” It’s basically a handbook to explain how you as a citizen can be an EMP activist in your state. Or even without the book, call and write your governor and your state legislator and tell them that you want your state protected against EMP.

You can protect individual states. If the transformers and generators within that state, and the control systems within that state are protected against EMP, you can keep the lights on in your state even if the rest of the country is unprotected and goes down.

Dr. Peter Pry: In terms of personal preparedness, one can do things to prepare yourself and your family for EMP. Same thing that you would do for any kind of disaster, except that you just have to do more of it because a protracted blackout is likely to result in a very prolonged disaster if you’re living in a state–and right now the whole country is not prepared for an EMP.


Press play to listen to Dr. Pry’s entire interview.