Department of Defense will not shut down power grid

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FORT MYERS, Fla. A false rumor has created wide-spread concern on social media.

A video circulating the internet warns the Department of Defense (DoD) will be using an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to shutdown the power grid from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6 and that everyone must prepare now.

“If everything goes down people would freak out, the country would freak out and everyone would go crazy,” Naples resident Tim Knapp said.

An EMP is a burst of radiation when a nuclear weapon explodes above earth, causing massive power outages and completely wiping out communication across the board.

While the DoD is planning a simulated training exercise to stay prepared, the outcome has been exaggerated by false reports being shared on social media.

“I always worry about the power grid going out because that means somebody, an enemy, can take out the power grid and leave us totally helpless,” Naples resident Marilyn Pearson said.

The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) shared an article outlining more information about the exercise:

The exercise will simulate a power-outage scenario; it will not impact any public or private communications. There will be no power outages of communications systems. This exercise is designed to improve readiness, build cooperation and public awareness, and better prepare to defend the nation.


*Information from WTVR was used in this report. 

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