Healthcare vulnerabilities to electromagnetic pulse


  • Lenard H. Ross, Jr, MPH
  • F. Matthew Mihelic, MD



electromagnetic pulse, EMP, healthcare, vulnerability, nuclear


The US healthcare system is particularly vulnerable to the effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack because of the system’s technological sophistication, but while national defense planners prepare for the considerable threat that EMP poses, there has been little or no recognition of this threat within the US healthcare community, and neither has there been any significant healthcare planning to deal with such an eventuality. Recognition of the risk presented by EMP, and advance institution of appropriate strategies to mitigate its effects on the healthcare system, could enable the preservation of much of that system’s function in the face of EMP-related disruptions, and will greatly further all-hazards disaster preparations.

Author Biographies

Lenard H. Ross, Jr, MPH

Center for Homeland Security Studies, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.

F. Matthew Mihelic, MD

Center for Homeland Security Studies, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.


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How to Cite

Ross, Jr, MPH, L. H., and F. M. Mihelic, MD. “Healthcare Vulnerabilities to Electromagnetic Pulse”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 3, no. 6, Nov. 2008, pp. 321-5, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2008.0041.