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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – What should the United States do to protect against an electromagnetic pulse? An intentional attack or a space weather disturbance could do a lot of damage to the electrical grid, digital devices, water systems, and transportation. The Department of Homeland Security released a new study to help defend the national public warning system against an EMP.

The public warning system helps the President of the United States communicate with Americans during a national emergency. The government is using 77 private radio stations that cover more than 90 percent of U.S. population.

“These stations represent a key public-private sector partnership and serve as the primary sources for a national emergency broadcast during a catastrophic disaster,” states Antwane Johnson, FEMA IPAWS Program Director.

EMP-protected enclosures are being built for backup radio broadcasting systems. The special enclosures will help protect the communications equipment from a disruptive pulse.

The U.S. detonated a 1.4-megaton thermonuclear weapon 250 miles above Johnston Island in the mid-Pacific in 1962. The Starfish Prime test triggered burglar alarms tripped circuit breakers and caused 300 streetlights to fail 900 miles away in Honolulu. This is when research began on how to protect the US from an EMP attack.