Joe Colangelo, a former U.S. Navy officer and the executive director of Consumers’ Research, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, 13 June 2016, titled EMPs: A Threat We’re Not Ready For.
The piece cited a recent congressional hearing to show that federal agencies have done little to prepare for the threat.
An EMP produced by solar activity could cause extended blackouts for 40 million Americans and cost as much as $2.6 trillion, according to a 2013 study by Lloyd’s of London. In 2014 the executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security told Congress that EMPs pose “existential threats that could kill 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse.”
The executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security referenced in the quote above is Dr. Peter Pry, who wrote an endorsement for my novel Patriarch Run. I posted Pry's testimony to Congress here.
Colangelo also made the case that bureaucratic dysfunction has kept the Federal Government from carrying out the nearly 100 recommendations made by the 2008 Congressional EMP Commission.
In April the Government Accountability Office released an alarming account of the bureaucratic dysfunction obstructing EMP mitigation. The GAO determined that although divisions within Homeland Security have been assigned specific tasks, departmental leaders have failed to ensure that this work is carried out.
Colangelo suggested that the probability of a major solar storm in the next 10 years was 12%.
Disruption of the electrical grid could have, as the GAO says, “cascading impacts on fuel distribution, transportation systems, food and water supplies, and communications and equipment for emergency services.”