Protecting the Grid is Not Enough

It would be comforting to believe that if the government began a program to harden our critical infrastructures, that would solve all our problems. Yet it would take years before such hardening was complete, and meanwhile, we would be vulnerable. Actually, even after that we would be vulnerable. An EMP attack would destroy all the computers and control systems that produce our food and allow our banks to function. Home appliances would not work, even if there was power available. Companies could not operate, and would close. Everyone would be out of work. Communications would be down, and there would be massive confusion.

For this reason, it is necessary to harden critical infrastructures AND to build up inventories of food and critical electrical components. Better yet, work towards communications and control technologies which are highly resistant to EMP. Fiber optics should be used for all critical communications and to power control equipment (via photovoltaic cells) which is enclosed in Faraday cages. If your washing machine stops working, you can wash by hand. If your well pump or your neighbor’s farm equipment stops working, that’s a serious problem.