This week Congress is set to unveil a plan to save the nation’s electric grid from Large Scale Solar Flares and EMP attacks. The bill, The Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act (SHEILD ACT), is aimed at protecting our nation’s transformers from both solar storms and EMP attacks.
As unlikely as it may sound, it’s among the top threats facing America. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) have enough power to literally fry our entire fragile electric grid. Just one EMP, or a direct hit from a large enough CME, could send 300 million Americans into the dark for months or even years.
And just like our electrical grid, our communications infrastructure is also incredibly vulnerable to CME and EMP attacks. In fact, either one of these disasters could bring down our cell towers, radios, telephones and internet systems in a flash.