NEMA provides safety guidelines for safe handling of damaged electrical equipment in floods caused by Hurricane Harvey

Blog Post created by lisamariesinatra Employee on Aug 24, 2017

hurricanes, floods, electrical safety, hurricane harvey


Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas coastline last Friday evening bringing with it winds of about 130 mph, torrential rains and significant flooding. Parts of Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley are also expecting heavy rains due to the hurricane this week.


As Harvey bears down on the coast, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is alerting contractors in the area of their “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment” document aimed specifically at contractors who will be called in to help with the damage assessment once the waters have receded. The guide is free and available for download on NEMA's website.


The document provides guidelines on how to handle electrical equipment that has been exposed to water. It's designed for suppliers, installers, inspectors and users of electrical products, and outlines items that require complete replacement or those that can be reconditioned by a trained professional. Such equipment includes:

* Electrical distribution equipment

* Motor circuits

* Power equipment

* Transformers

* Wire, cable and flexible cords

* Wiring devices

* GFCIs and surge protectors

* Lighting fixtures and ballasts,

* Motors and electronic products


According to NEMA, field representatives have reached out Texas officials, local contractors and building officials to offer this guidance during the clean-up to help ensure that electrical safety remains a top priority during the initial assessment and cleanup of flooded communities. NEMA also recommends that inspectors, suppliers and others contact the original manufacturer of the equipment if there are questions and/or a need for specific recommendations. 


Industry professionals looking for electrical information related to NFPA 70 (National Electrical Code) can find it on NFPA's  NEC webpage. Additional information on electrical worker safety (NFPA 70E) is also available.