DHS releases electromagnetic incident strategy
On October 9, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the release of the Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland against Threats from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Geomagnetic Disturbance (GMD).
The strategy lays out a clear vision and an approach for DHS to take to protect critical infrastructure and prepare to respond and recover from potentially catastrophic electromagnetic incidents. The strategy also reflects a consensus Intelligence Community assessment of the EMP threat posed by our nation’s adversaries.
Electromagnetic incidents caused by an intentional EMP attack or naturally-occurring GMD events, while unlikely, could cause serious damage to the nation’s critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, communications equipment, and transportation capabilities.
While the strategy is primarily focused on departmental activities, it recognizes the importance of continued close collaboration with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial decision-makers, sector-specific agencies, and private sector critical infrastructure owner-operators. This partnership is essential to help critical infrastructure owners and operators to manage EMP and GMD risk.
The Department is currently developing an accompanying implementation plan, which will include measures that enable DHS to evaluate progress toward addressing identified capability gaps. Together, the strategy and its companion Implementation Plan will improve the Department’s management oversight and optimize resource utilization for our EMP/GMD protection, response, and recovery activities.
DHS intends to review and update the EMP/GMD strategy, as needed, and regularly assess the department’s progress on the implementation plan.