Warning that the electric grid is the “prime target” of terrorists, the Department of Homeland Security is urging Americans to prepare for the up to six months without electricity, transportation, fuel, money and health care, the Washington Examiner reports.
The report, issued to President Trump by the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council, concludes people “no longer keep enough essentials within their homes, reducing their ability to sustain themselves during an extended, prolonged outage.”
“We need to improve individual preparedness,” says the report, titled “Surviving a Catastrophic Power Outage.”
The Examiner notes it’s the second report in a month to warn of a “profound threat” to the electric grid from terrorism and naturally occurring events such as a solar storm or flare. The prior report was issued by federal agencies and the military. The new one, with a similar warning, was prepared by industry and governmental leaders.
The advisory council said the “profound risk” of an extended power outage “requires a new national focus.”
“Significant public and private action is needed to prepare for and recover from a catastrophic outage that could leave the large parts of the nation without power for weeks or months, and cause service failures in other sectors – including water and wastewater, communications, transportation, healthcare, and financial services – that are critical to public health and safety and our national and economic security.”
The report recommends a central clearinghouse or authority to guide the nation in a blackout. But it also emphasizes the need for individual and community preparedness.
William R. Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, has warned that a one-day blackout would cost 574 lives due to a lack of emergency medical equipment powered by electricity.
But such an attack could turn the lights out for a year, he said.
Graham said “326 million Americans cannot long survive bereft by EMP of the electronic civilization that sustains their lives.”
“A nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill millions, perhaps prove fatal to most Americans, by starvation, disease, and societal collapse.”
Graham’s warning opens a new book by EMP expert Peter Vincent Pry titled “EMP Manhattan Project: Organizing Survival Against An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe.”