Did you know that flooding is the most frequent, deadly and costly natural disaster in the U.S.? (www.noaa.org) California, Arkansas and Missouri have already experienced severe flooding in 2017. And, with the Atlantic hurricane season recently underway, there’s more to come. For those in the path of a storm, having an electrical emergency action plan in place is crucial to safely and efficiently restoring power.
NFPA 70B – Chapter 32, “Electrical Disaster Recovery”, helps users determine potential catastrophic events and categorize their potential impact to the system. Using Chapter 32, as a guide, companies should develop (or update) their Electrical Emergency Action Plan (EEAP). Recommended topics to address include:
1) Define the Criteria of an Emergency: When productivity is impacted, it can be confusing as to when a state of emergency should be declared. The EEAP should clearly define what constitutes an electrical emergency.
2) Identify Electrical Equipment that is Critical to Business Operations: On the single-line diagram, trace the power from the incoming utility source to every piece of electrical equipment feeding critical business operations. Perform an analysis on each of these critical assets to include availability in the market, lead times, and a plan of action when the equipment is no longer functional.
3) Select Outside Vendors and Pre-Negotiate Commercial Terms & Conditions: Without pre-negotiated emergency service contracts, companies may suffer from overpricing and insufficient support. In addition to pre-negotiated normal and emergency rates, due diligence should include estimated response time and procedures for large-scale project coordination.
4) Define Internal and External Responsibilities: The EEAP should clearly define ‘who has responsibility for what’ in restoring power to the facility. Third-party vendor(s) should also provide a clear procedure on how they will approach an emergency at a facility. ALL parties involved should fully understand the safety plan that is put in place.
5) Define the Equipment and Service Scope: This section will further define the equipment and associated work scopes that include equipment installation and commissioning in both temporary and permanent scenarios.
6) Emergency Contract Terms: Emergency contracts should be written for a specific time period with an expiration date. It is also recommended to add expiration dates to the EEAP for self-auditing purposes.
7) Contact Information: This section should include the latest contact information for anyone (internal or external) who has a defined responsibility in restoring power due to an emergency.
During the recovery period, it is also critical to know what NOT to do after an event. Attempting to restore power to water-damaged equipment can be deadly. All services should be performed by qualified personnel who are familiar with the equipment’s operation and construction. For more information on which electrical equipment must be replaced and that which can be reconditioned, click here.