Trump Signs Executive Order to Protect Nation’s Infrastructure from Electromagnetic Pulses

President Trump issued an executive order on March 26 directing federal agencies to assess and plan against the risks of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, implementing the core recommendations of the decommissioned Congressional EMP Commission on an accelerated basis.

  • An electromagnetic pulse is a high-intensity surge of energy that can disrupt or destroy sensitive electronics and electrical infrastructure by overloading them. The burst of electromagnetic energy can be caused by natural sources, such as geomagnetic storms, or by man-made nuclear explosions at high altitude.
  • The order, the first ever to establish a comprehensive policy to improve resilience to EMP and protect the U.S. electrical grid, directs action in five areas: 1) identify national critical functions and associated priority critical infrastructure at greatest risk from EMPs; 2) improve understanding of EMP effects; 3) evaluate approaches to mitigate the effects of EMPs; 4) strengthen critical infrastructure to withstand the effects of EMPs; and 5) improve national response to EMP events.