PHOENIX — A nuclear weapon detonates hundreds of miles above America’s heartland, sending an electromagnetic pulse at the speed of light that fries circuits across the U.S. The power grid, communication technologies and transportation systems collapse.
No, this isn’t the leaked plot to an upcoming Hollywood blockbuster. It’s the driving force behind legislation in which a state lawmaker seeks to require the Arizona Division of Emergency Management to tell Arizonans how to prepare for an electronic apocalypse.
“In our lifetimes the emergencies we’ve seen have been local emergencies, and really all we have to do is be prepared enough to hang on until help arrives,” said Sen. David Farnsworth, R-Mesa, author of SB 1476. “With an EMP … there’s no help coming.”
The bill would require the Arizona Division of Emergency Management to post on its website recommendations such as the type and amount of supplies residents should stockpile to be prepared for an EMP attack.
The Senate Public Safety Committee endorsed the bill unanimously Feb. 12, amending it to require the agency to update its recommendations every five years. It was headed to the full Senate by way of the Rules Committee.
However unlikely the threat, Farnsworth said that an EMP triggered high enough above the U.S. could cripple the economy, disrupt food and water supplies and take down other essentials of civilization.
“My hope is that by bringing this out, we’ll start discussions and come to the realization that as a government we can’t feed all these people, but as responsible citizens we need to do our part and make individual preparations,” he said.
Sen. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, who sits on the Senate Public Safety Committee and co-sponsored SB 1476, said the U.S. government hasn’t attempted a similar public education program before because of its price tag.
“It’s too expensive for the government to prepare on a national scale,” Shooter said. “This time around, it’s the people who can do the most to prepare. It’s even possible to EMP-proof your electronics. It just takes time.”
In the end, Shooter said, there’s only so much he and other legislators can do.
“I’ll agree that an EMP attack is a relatively small threat, but if it ever does happen, most people won’t be prepared,” Shooter said. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and warn them now. God puts a watchman on the tower for times like these.”
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon