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Will the Department of Defense EMP drill shut down power grid? No

A video that falsely claims that a Department of Defense (DoD) communications drill will cause the national power grid to go out for several days in early November is causing panic on social media.  The video warns that the Department of Defense will be using an electromagnetic pulse to shutdown the power grid November 4-6 – and that everyone needs to prepare now.  While a training exercise is happening during that time period, the outcome has been exaggerated by false reports being shared on social media.  The official DoD announcement about the planned exercise states:

“This exercise will begin with a national massive coronal mass ejection event which will impact the national power grid as well as all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cellphone, satellite, and Internet connectivity.” — Army MARS Program Manager Paul English

During the exercise, the national power grid will not be impacted. Most social media reports referencing the announcement do not mention the exercise is a simulation and will have no “real life” impact. “The average citizen will not even know this exercise is taking place. Our focus is to interoperate with the amateur radio community,” English told Snopes.

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Posted on November 4, 2017, in #social media. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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