Verify: Is the government planning a nationwide blackout?
Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Is the Department of Defense conducting an electromagnetic pulse across the country on November 4?
A Michigan woman's Facebook Live video is going viral, claiming the Department of Defense is conducting an electromagnetic pulse from November 4th-6th. The video, which has been viewed more than 5 million times and shared more than 84,000 times claims it will leave everyone with no power and no means of communication.
"If you're not prepared for the electromagnetic pulse, you will be dead in 3 days," said the woman on the video.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a short burst of electromagnetic radiation, and it's generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment.
The video claims the Department of Defense issued a statement and held a press conference regarding the EMP, and says the government didn't say anything because they didn't want to incite panic.
"When I say blackout, I don't mean you just won't have electricity in your house. I mean, anything that has electrical current going through it, will not work. Your cars won't work. Your cell phones won't work. Your landlines won't work," the woman said in the video.
News 19 went straight to the U.S. military to set the record straight about these claims.
A spokesman with the U.S. Army Cyber Command said the Department of Defense is conducting an exercise on November 4th-6th, but it will only affect amateur radio operators. He said this exercise happens four times a year and it's basically a fire drill, simulating what would happen if electricity went down across the country.
The spokesman also said that there was confusion with a release that was published earlier this week, which made it seem like it would be an actual event.
The release states that the Department of Defense will conduct a "communications interoperability" training exercise November 4-6, "once again simulating a 'very bad day' scenario." The release also stated that "Amateur Radio and MARS organizations will take part."
So News 19 can verify that there will not be a nationwide blackout on November 4.
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