The Scariest (Disaster) Book I Have Ever Read, Part III
- Critical Systems Support Life as We Know It
- Critical Systems Depend on Solid State Controls (SCADA Systems)
- Damage to SCADA Systems Has Far-Reaching Consequences
- Everything BreaksEventually
- Critical Systems Are Interdependent
- Modeling and Planning Tools Lag the Threat
- We Can Refer to Past Practices, To an Extent
- Worried Enough Yet? Consider Solar Storms
In Parts I and II of this series, we discussed how a single device exploded over the U.S. Midwest could generate an electromagnetic pulse that would destroy the whole U.S. power grid and virtually everything connected to it. Unlike other disasters, an EMP would affect almost the entire nation simultaneously, and flash us almost instantly back into a 19th-century economy. An EMP attack would wipe out computers and the Internet. There would be no electricity, perhaps for years. Emergency services would stop, and hospital operating rooms would close. In the ensuing chaos, most Americans would die from starvation in months.
Exactly which systems would be affected, how, and to what degree is the subject of this third and final article.
Critical Systems Support Life as We Know It
The physical fabric of the United States is sustained by an organization of systems operating in a complex network of interdependent infrastructures. The inter-relation of these systems enables the millions of actions, transactions, and information flows that enable the conduct of society. Recent disasters including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Japan earthquake of 2011 have underscored the vulnerability of these systems and infrastructures.