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Why You Should Keep Hard Copies of Your Writings

Millions of writers, including this GalleyCat editor, store writings, eBooks, music, and calendars in virtual cloud storage.

We love the idea of better storage across our devices, but earlier this year we worried if an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack could cripple all our electronic devices in a few seconds. Could your eBook library and electronic writings survive this kind of disaster?

To find out more, we uncovered a massive report from the federal government’s Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. As you can see in the government chart embedded above, the initial gamma rays from “a high-altitude nuclear detonation” could theoretically wipe out electronics over a huge swath of the country and wipe out everything stored in the cloud.

Here’s more from the report: “What is significant about an EMP attack is that one or a few high-altitude nuclear detonations can produce EMP effects that can potentially disrupt or damage electronic and electrical systems over much of the United States, virtually simultaneously, at a time determined by an adversary … The first component is a free-field energy pulse with a rise-time measured in the range of a fraction of a billionth to a few billionths of a second. It is the ‘electromagnetic shock’ that disrupts or damages electronics-based control systems, sensors, communication systems, protective systems, computers, and similar devices. Its damage or functional disruption occurs essentially simultaneously over a very large area.”

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