Possibility of EMP or Cyber Attack


Twinkle Me, LORD
Brass Subscriber
Very Informative.

Good Term: "Black Start Teams" - having been part of one in a small emergency situation (Dead Ship, offshore San Francisco), I know how different and difficult they are to conduct.

We (U.S. Mil, AND Civ) had best get our Schtuff in Order, Yesterday!
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Florida Groupie
Brass Subscriber
Thought it would be good to bring this thread back to the fore as I couldn't locate a central EMP thread. There is a related topic, Grounding vehicle to help with EMP started by @Back40, but I couldn't find a specific EMP thread, so I guess this is it!

I thought it would be good to track government action, collect open resources about EMPs, and also discuss best means and ways to prepare. I think this is our most serious threat at the moment. I don't think China would want to totally nuke the country as they want our resources and money. I DO think a "temporary" EMP is possible. Things go offline just long enough to bring us to our knees and welcome in our Chinese overlords.

With that, I spent the last couple of hours gathering current resources. I've also included a wee bit on space weather, but that is @Back40 's expertise.


Summary on current government regulations:

On October 13, 2016, President Obama signed EO 13744: Coordinating Efforts To Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events. You can find that report here.

On November 28, 2018, the Defense Department released the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force 2018 Report which @Bud started this thread. You can find that here.

On March 26, 2019, President Trump signed EO 13865: Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses. As of this posting, you can find the text of that EO here.

On August 17, 2020, an updated status report on EO 138865 was released. As of this posting, you can find that here.

The August 2020 report essentially states that DHS was identifying critical structures, developing "initial planning guidance to assess operational plans to ensure that federal mission essential functions and service will continue during a disruptive event and in a post-EMP environment." Further, FEMA was developing "an interagency EMP exercise to be conducted in fiscal year 2021." Also in this report: The DHS, DOE (Dept of Energy) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have partnered to ensure continuation of operations of "key safety features of nuclear power plants in a post-EMP environment. This effort started in March of 2020 and will be completed in late 2021."

On May 1, 2020, President Trump signed EO 13920: Securing the United States Bulk-Power System. As of this posting, you can find the text of that EO here.

As we have already discussed within the forum, this EO sought to protect the grid from foreign adversaries and ensure that said foreign adversaries are not manufacturing equipment that has been tampered with. It sought to identify current foreign manufactured equipment and replace it as soon as possible. It called for a coordinated effort to protect against hacking of the grid as well.

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed EO 13990: Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis. It can be found here.

As we have already discussed, this order suspended EO 13920. The exact language is: Executive Order 13920 of May 1, 2020 (Securing the United States Bulk-Power System), is hereby suspended for 90 days. The Secretary of Energy and the Director of OMB shall jointly consider whether to recommend that a replacement order be issued.

We will have to wait and see what the conclusion is, but I think we are all fairly certain that that means China will continue to produce the equipment for the grid.

Section 2 of Biden's EO 13990 states the following: The heads of all agencies shall immediately review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (agency actions) promulgated, issued, or adopted between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021, that are or may be inconsistent with, or present obstacles to, the policy set forth in section 1 of this order. For any such actions identified by the agencies, the heads of agencies shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, consider suspending, revising, or rescinding the agency actions. In addition, for the agency actions in the 4 categories set forth in subsections (i) through (iv) of this section, the head of the relevant agency, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, shall consider publishing for notice and comment a proposed rule suspending, revising, or rescinding the agency action within the time frame specified.

In other words, every EO issued by President Trump is undergoing review. (SERIOUSLY, NO POLITICAL DISCUSSION HERE. PLEASE.)

While President Trump's EO 138865 is not specifically identified and EO 13920 is, we can assume that it too is undergoing review.

I will post updates as they come.

Other resources:

Website for the Commission to Assess the Threat to the US from an EMP Attack (2008): http://www.empcommission.org/

Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency webpage: https://www.cisa.gov/emp-gmd

One Second After author William R. Forstchen has a site specifically dedicated to the series and beginner prepping for EMP: https://www.onesecondafter.com/

If you have other resources, then please share them here.


Florida Groupie
Brass Subscriber
I think so too. The speed with which the EOs have come raise my eyebrow a bit. It seems that since that main report in 2018 .gov has been kicking things into gear. It could be nothing, it could be something. No way to tell.

One of the questions I have always had is how to differentiate between a major power outage and an EMP. The obvious things indicate power outage: cell phone still works, newer model cars still start, street lights a few blocks away working, are there natural phenomenon, etc. Does the laptop still fire up?

However, is it possible for there to be a limited EMP where it initially simulates a power outage? Maybe all the lights and traffic lights are out, but the cell phone and car still starts? What are other subtle indicators that it is something more than a normal power outage?

It may be a situation where we can't say for certain until it happens (knocks on wood), but what signs would you acknowledge as go time when the neighbors are still playing camp out in the den and backyard?

The Branch Manager

Winter is coming. Forever.
Having a vast selection of fresh food on hand is really really nice, but I'll be keeping my guns. The convenience of electronic banking is nice, but I still remember how to buy money orders at the gas station and mail them to a vendor.

I don't live in the electronic world, at least not complete immersion like those who were born after the internet was mainstream. Outside of air conditioning and food storage, I don't think going without grid power is that big of a deal.

The Branch Manager

Winter is coming. Forever.
what signs would you acknowledge as go time
I've posted this before, and chinavirus has not changed these protocols.

1. 4+ hour mark of widespread outages is level 1 of the plan -OR-

2. Cell service is kaput, should be verified with neighbors with an idea of finding several network carriers that are down.

Those two items are the "canary in the coal mine" actions that lead to secondary checks-

3. Does your vehicle start? If so, proceed directly to FOB Couch Fort according to your distance protocols. Those within 20/50 miles begin and no vehicle, start walking. The folks beyond 2 days walk have different instructions. There will be no search parties for the walking folks if you don't get here.

This is just a quick summary, we've established several other "time markers" for action such as 48 hour mark, week mark, month mark.


Florida Groupie
Brass Subscriber
You are lucky and smart, Branch!

For me, it would be a huge deal. Although a plan is in place and I'm moving toward that goal, I have yet to get out of the city and/or buy a house. Therefore, recognizing early warnings is extremely important for my survival until I could achieve that goal.

The Branch Manager

Winter is coming. Forever.
If the entire power grid is toast, how would anyone know if it's an isolated event or a total meltdown?
You won't be getting any news broadcast from outside of your local area.
Figure out where you are on the grid, then find the next couple grids around area on your map. Most of us, a quick bicycle ride will suffice to gather this Intel, obviously easier if cars run. Not a fool proof plan, but it's what I've got. Plus I have transmission lines on the back of the property, I've never "heard" them down, even after a storm where my power was out for a week. I'm also close enough to the interstate to hear traffic, another of my indicators. We're all gonna have different "tells" for our AO.