by Charles L. Manto and Stephanie Lokmer
The InfraGard National Electromagnetic Pulse Special Interest Group (EMP SIG) was formed in July 2011 for the purpose of sharing information about catastrophic threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure. Those threats include extreme space weather, manmade EMP, cyber attacks, coordinated physical attacks and pandemics.
The ultimate goal of the EMP SIG is to assist local communities to enhance their own sustainability with a special emphasis on developing protected local infrastructure ranging from local power generation and energy storage to water and food production.
On October 3-6, 2011, the EMP SIG instigated and cohosted workshops and exercises at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C. and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD examining scenarios of national level power grid failures due to extreme space weather. On December 4, 2014, the EMP SIG led a workshop and table top exercise at the National Guard Association of the US to look at grid collapse scenarios due either to space weather, EMP or cyber attacks and developed a Triple Threat Power Grid Exercise. On December 5, 2014 the EMP SIG led public sessions at the Dupont Summit that examined these issues in light of recent developments. Beginning December 2015, the EMP SIG will develop a planning framework for organizations to use to enhance their own continuity of operations and disaster plans in light of the new National Space Weather Strategy.
Information on these planning materials and upcoming activities can be acquired by contacting the EMP SIG at firstname.lastname@example.org. To join InfraGard and the EMP SIG, begin the application procedure on the home page of InfraGard.org