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DHS Releases Report on Protecting Public Alert System From Electromagnetic Pulses

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A group of agencies from the Department of Homeland Security has released a report providing information on operational approaches and best practices to protect the National Public Warning System from electromagnetic pulse attacks to prevent the disruption of national emergency information dissemination.

The Electromagnetic Pulse Shielding Mitigations report also outlines several actions that critical infrastructure owners and operators could take to safeguard their equipment against electromagnetic pulse attacks, DHS said Tuesday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Program partners with the private sector to equip radio broadcast stations with EMP-protected backup transmitters and power generations to ensure the continuity of NPWS communications during an emergency.

“Electromagnetic pulses, whether caused by an intentional EMP attack or a naturally occurring geomagnetic disturbance from severe space weather, could disrupt critical infrastructure such as the electrical grid, communications equipment, water and wastewater systems, and transportation modes,” said Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, senior DHS official performing the duties of the undersecretary for science and technology.

The report was developed by DHS Science and Technology Directorate, FEMA IPAWS and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.