Arizona Congressman Trent Franks recently reintroduced a bill intended to provide better security for critical infrastructure, with particular emphasis on the threat posed to the power grid by an EMP – which Rep. In reintroducing the bill this week, Franks said, “The Department of Homeland Security has the specific responsibility to secure the key resources and critical infrastructure in the United States, to include power production, generation and distribution systems.
The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) resulting from an extreme solar flare or a targeted nuclear blast has the power to single-handedly wipe out the electric grid, and permanently disable nearly everything hooked up to it, from computers to electronic devices and much more.
However, it is unclear whether or not Frank’s legislation would be practically effective in protecting the grid, nor is it clear whether or not it will become law. People are beginning to understand that they need their own onsite capabilities to island themselves from the grid. In the longer term, Wellinghoff hopes that distributed grids will become a major component of the solution – decentralizing power production at the local and regional level so that system-wide destruction of the main grid would not interrupt local power service. The key is that they are located within that particular sub-region and can run even if the there is some cascading failure throughout the main grid.
For the privileged few, the grid will be back up pretty quickly, if it even goes completely down to start with. ALL the military bases over the last few years have installed backup power systems to be able to run all the important parts of the base, most of these systems are solar systems, and the money came from the stimulus money!
An EMP from a coronal mass ejection from the sun would behave very differently from a man made EMP from a nuclear weapon.
If those electronics are protected by components that would offer a short circuit to the EMPs spectrum, there would be no reason for them to be damaged.
If the US national grid goes down in a big way, or even just the East Coast, it will undoubtedly result in a catastrophic loss of life. Next in increasing order of cost, complexity and difficulty, are solar panel installations on homes or retreats which are not connected to the grid. Shielding large spaces is most easily and least expensively accomplished in the design and building phases of the home and its solar power system as opposed to retrofitting an existing home and installing solar panels on it.
To shield against the maximum theoretical EMP field strength (50 thousand volts per meter) of known NHEMP detonations, we must shield our solar panels to 74dB over a frequency range below 64Mhz. To shield our grid-independent retreat, the entire outer skin of the structure must be shielded to our target 80dB. The outside skin of all walls must be shielded or the wiring within the walls will conduct the EMP into the electrical system. The most difficult and expensive solar installation is the protection of is a grid-connected home or building. The same principles apply to this project as applied to the simpler projects but since the home and its solar energy system is connected to the power grid, this one requires additional protective measures. This installation will be more vulnerable to the power charges induced by E3 because it is grid connected. The home’s connection to the power grid should have a mechanical, manual bypass circuit allowing the home to be physically disconnected from the grid. The home’s connection to the power grid must be fitted with the fast-clamping surge suppression previously mentioned. Fiber optic cabling can be substituted for copper data and voice cable runs since fiber optic cable is non-conductive and will not conduct surges caused by E3 EMP inside the shielding envelope.

With a little knowledge, insight and preparation, you can protect your solar panels from the effects of EMP.
Take this knowledge to prepare yourself or your family now so that you and yours are less vulnerable in the event of an EMP.
One practical solution I might offer is to hold off on your solar installation and stay on the grid until EMP takes it out.
I realize that the vast majority of Americans don't have much money to invest in an EMP-resistant off-grid home in this economy, but some do.
Unfortunately, power company lawyers, lobbyists, regulating bureaucrats on the take and crooked politicians on the take are doing everything they can to suppress non-military information and even freedom of information act requests on the threat of EMP. North Korea’s last round of tests, conducted in May 2009, appear to have included a “super-EMP” weapon, capable of emitting enough gamma rays to disable the electric power grid across most of the lower 48 states, says Dr.
Since EMP is a line-of-sight weapon, detonating one of these nukes about 300 miles above Nebraska could end life as we know it in America in about one second. Such a weapon — equal to a massive solar flare such as the “solar maxima” predicted by NASA to occur in 2012 — poses “substantial risk to equipment and operation of the nation’s power grid and under extreme conditions could result in major long term electrical outages,” said Joseph McClelland of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Senate testimony last month. As we’ve previously reported, such a weapon, or group of weapons strategically detonated at lower altitudes, would completely wipe out the entire US power grid, vehicles, computers, cell phones, and anything else with an electric circuit. Within a matter of days, once people realize the power might not be coming back on and grocery store shelves start emptying, the entire system will begin to delve into chaos.
Part of that estimate is that our research shows that a local or regional EMP attack is more likely than a coast-to-coast attack. 4) There is also the possibility of local attacks using non-nuclear EMPs, which are a growing threat. Even if someone was able to hit us with a single multi-megaton EMP blast, power systems would slowly come back. Our household appliances, food distribution systems, telephone and computer networks, communication devices, cars, airplanes, factories, power plants, bank ATMs, even water and sewage plants could potentially grind to a halt without it.
William Graham, who was the White House science adviser during the Reagan administration, an EMP attack over the continental United States could render 70-90 percent of our population unsustainable. Franks is urging legislation on the basis that Homeland Security is charged with protecting America, yet unable to do so.
Those of us across America live in a time when there still may be opportunity for the free world to address and mitigate the vulnerability that naturally occurring or weaponized EMP represents to the mechanisms of our civilization. That’s because the grid’s external vulnerabilities will continue to be a problem until we do have substantial amounts of distributed generation.
Likewise, targeted attacks on hundreds or thousands or distributed grids by an enemy could occur, but would be unlikely to derail all the power at once.
Grid-connected homes typically have more connections penetrating the shielded envelope in addition to power such as copper phone lines, cable TV, satellite TV, radio antennas, etc.. EMP trapping baffles could be constructed where non-conductive pipe penetrations occur to reduce the amount of EMP entering through these points. But the added cost would be recouped over time through savings on future electrical bills and it is hard to put a price tag on piece of mind and the ability to maintain your standard of living after an EMP. Keep in mind that the shielding of each component will have to bonded to the shielding of the component(s) it is connected to creating a shielded envelope or skin that will conduct EMP around the shielded components.

EMP a fairly complex topic sometimes I tend to include more detail than necessary for the engineers which is confusing to everybody else.
I would like to add something they may help some people who are struggling with the concept of EMP. Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA nuclear weapons analyst and president of EMPact America, a citizens lobbying group. In our site’s EMP simulator, we show how smaller bombs could be targeted at major population areas on the east coast.
Only the major powers have those, so that kind of attack would be most likely as part of a global thermonuclear war.
Instead of an even pattern that diminishes evenly away from the central point, the peak fields in an EMP have a horseshoe like shape. Moreover, while much of our critical military hardware is shielded against EMP, our military relies upon our largely unsecured civilian grid for more than 90 percent of its electricity needs in this country without which it cannot affect its military mission. If everyone had solar panels on their respective roofs then we could adequately disperse power generation in such a way that it makes nodes practically irrelevant.
EMPs can destroy electronic devices that easily survive lightning strikes, because lightning is strictly DC.
Also, you don’t ned to shield dozens of devices individually nor install surge protection and shielded wiring between them. It would be a shame to go to all the cost and trouble of this level of protection just to have an EMP occur when the door is open and compromise the contents of the structure. I think that most people who are using solar panels want to protect their investment, but I am guessing that in these times of Obamanomics, the money is tight, which makes elaborate and expensive protection a nonentity.
A single event could easily be enough to take down the power grid and render inoperable all the computers and electronic tools that individuals, businesses, banks and governments all rely upon.
It is easy to hack into a node and cause it to malfunction but it is basically impossible to hack 10 million solar power systems. They’ve spent a lot more money on THEIR grid than they allocated for the govt to spend on OURS. Calling a phone inside the cage or setting a radio inside the cage are good experiments to understand how the shielding works, but the phone signal will only be on one frequency so it wouldn't mean that E1 or E2 wouldn't penetrate since EMP's frequency range is so broad and will also be more powerful. AZ just passed legislation to make EMP shielding information available to the public and hopefully the rest of the nation will follow suit and get the Shield Act passed. It would be a good proof of concept, but if wouldn't guarantee shielding across the entire frequency range or as much power. It is shameful and abhorrent that this continues in spite of the fact that knowledge of the EMP threat has been in the public domain for so long. If you can connect power to this piece of metal and you would get shocked if you touch it then it is a current carrying conductor.

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