The University of Louisiana at Lafayette hosted members of a congressional task force today, in hopes of partnering with the Department of Homeland Security in safeguarding our nation from an EMP attack.
An EMP, short for electromagnetic pulse, can be caused by an event like a nuclear attack, which would destroy computers, electronics, and the power grid across the entire country.
The task force is traveling across the nation to look at universities and companies that could help protect the U.S. against an attack. UL Lafayette seems to be a good fit because it has access to fiber optics.
Members of the National and Homeland Security Task Force and representatives from UL Lafayette talked about the challenges and solutions our country would face in the event of an EMP attack.
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, the EMP Task Force’s Executive Director explains such an attack would shut down the nation’s electrical grid and impact critical infrastructure.
He says the task force stopped in Lafayette to speak with, “people who understand technology here and educate them and be educated ourselves on the capabilities that you have here in Louisiana to protect our nation as well as the state of Louisiana to what is probably the greatest threat of our civilization and yet its little understand by the average American and that’s EMP.”
The Congressional EMP Commission warns that if the U.S. suffered a national blackout for a year, nine out of ten Americans would die from causes like starvation and disease.
“It’s why North Korea has the bomb, Iran wants the bomb, Russia and China have plans for the bomb. Where you could use a single nuclear weapon to kill the entire country. Everything depends directly or indirectly on the electric grid all of the critical infrastructures that support life,” Dr. Vincent Pry told KLFY.
The good news is the Department of Defense knows how to protect against such attacks. But unfortunately, not enough people know about it because the information has been classified until now.
Professor Ramesh Kolluru of UL Lafayette says the partnership with the task force would not only benefit the university but could bring money and new businesses into the local economy.
“We see this as an opportunity to bring federal dollars into the economy all in terms of research funding. Also in terms of brining in the best and brightest companies into Acadiana from all over the globe,” Professor Kolluru told KLFY.