Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) are associated with intentional attacks that use high-altitude nuclear detonations, specialized conventional munitions, or directed non-nuclear energy devices. An EMP is a powerful force that can attack solid-state electronics, causing items that work with an electronic circuit to stop functioning. The power grid is particularly vulnerable to EMPs and could take months to repair and return to normal. As the world has become increasingly reliant on technology, from Internet searches to power grids, it has also become more vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks. EMPs are like lightning, but their size and reach depend on the weapon used, from portable devices to missiles.
In the wrong hands, they can be powerful enough to wipe out everything from mobile phones to computers to transformers, putting companies and governments at all levels at risk. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking steps to prepare for potential threats against the United States homeland. DHS recently highlighted its efforts to combat an attack with electromagnetic pulses that could interrupt the power grid and potentially damage electronic devices. The department has released a report on the status of the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) program as part of an update on ongoing initiatives in support of Executive Order.