Grid Down, Power Up

EXECUTIVE ORDER: Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Protection for the State of Florida

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a solar superstorm or nuclear or non-nuclear weapons poses an existential threat to the people of the United States and the citizens of Florida:

  • A rare but inevitable solar superstorm, like the 1859 Carrington Event, can blackout electric grids and life-sustaining critical infrastructures worldwide, putting at risk the lives of billions.  NASA estimates the likelihood of recurrence of another Carrington Event is 12% per decade.
  • Russia, China, and North Korea all have capability to make a nuclear EMP attack against the United States, and all have plans to do so as part of their military doctrine for Cyber Warfare.  Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of international terrorism, is nearing the capability to make nuclear weapons, according to some analysts already has nuclear weapons and the capability to make a nuclear EMP attack, which is also part of Iran’s military doctrine for Cyber Warfare.
  • Non-nuclear EMP weapons, also called Radio-Frequency Weapons, are readily available, can be made or purchased by terrorists, criminals, or unstable individuals, and used to blackout electric grids.
  • The White House Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses (March 26, 2019) requires the U.S. Government to make EMP protection of electric grids and other critical infrastructures a national high priority:  “An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) has the potential to disrupt, degrade, and damage technology and critical infrastructure systems.  Human-made or naturally occurring EMPs can affect large geographic areas, disrupting elements critical to the Nation’s security and economic prosperity, and could adversely affect global commerce and stability.  The federal government must foster sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective approaches to improving the Nation’s resilience to the effects of EMPs.”
  • During the April 2021 war scare over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, the director of Russian media giants RT and Sputnik, Margarita Simonyan, a friend of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and unofficial Kremlin spokesperson, warned that “a cyber war is inevitable” in which Russia would prevail, and warned that Russia could demonstrate its prowess by blacking-out the State of Florida.  EMP attack is part of Russian military doctrine for cyber warfare.
  • The Congressional EMP Commission found that protecting against the worst threat—nuclear EMP attack—will mitigate all lesser threats, including solar storms, non-nuclear EMP weapons, cyber-attacks, physical sabotage, and severe weather including hurricanes.  The EMP Commission recommended following an “all hazards” strategy, protecting electric grids from EMP and other threats whenever possible.  

Accordingly, by the power vested in me as Governor of the State of Florida, to protect the lives, property, and prosperity of the people of the State of Florida, I hereby direct:

  • The Florida Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to immediately incorporate EMP into homeland security planning scenarios for the State of Florida, including planning for response and recovery from a protracted statewide blackout inflicted by EMP, and report to the Governor a plan for recovery, including any additional resources needed to prepare for an EMP and facilitate recovery;
  • FEMA, the Florida Public Service Commission, and electric utilities in the State of Florida, working with the Governor’s office, to solicit any technical information, analysis, resources as may be available from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to protect the State of Florida’s electric grid, as U.S. DHS is lawfully required to provide under the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act.
  • FEMA, the Florida Public Service Commission, and electric utilities in the State of Florida, working with the Governor’s office, shall solicit proposals from reputable defense contractors, experienced in protecting Department of Defense systems from EMP, to develop plans for protecting the Florida electric grid from EMP, including estimated costs for different levels of EMP security, for the purpose of high priority implementation of the best plan or plans for the State of Florida.  


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