We hear how EMP would fry computers, sensitive electronics, fancy auto ignition systems I wonder about how likely that is if you're not at ground 0, and mess up the power grid. Bye bye water supply, communications, etc.
Despite the CNN rant we were subjected to this morning(*) about Puerto Rico, you can't pre-position enough supplies with only a couple of day's notice, and when the storm takes out everything you can't wave a magic wand and have a hundred thousand generators instantly materialize. And figuring out what to do in what order isn't trivial.
If we wanted less exposure to EMP, how would we design things? The national power grid needs work; some robustness might be designed into it. (Please?!) Do we have ways to hack and slash local chunks back together again (chucking out all the smart power stuff, and maybe not even hanging power lines high in the air the first month)?
Lightning strikes cause bad transients--can we look at how to isolate buildings from them? That might carry over into EMP hardening too.
We're doing a lot of alternative energy stuff: there's no way that wind could replace coal, but the tie-ins that make wind's variable supply feed into the grid might be extended to pre-positioned backup generators.
We can't move as much stuff as efficiently without fast computer communication. Do we still have fall-back approaches?
Are backup generators standard for water towers?
(*) The admin spokesman didn't seem to understand the situation either.