NEMA Disaster Response Initiatives Underway

NEMA Disaster Response Initiatives Underway

Kevin J. Cosgriff, NEMA President & CEO

NEMA is actively engaged in disaster readiness and response initiatives to help mitigate electrical hazards caused by wind, water, and fire damage. This memo provides a summary of our activities.

Regional Representation

NEMA Field Representatives are engaged in emergency preparedness and recovery efforts in all regions of the United States to help mitigate electrical hazards before, during and after natural disasters. They maintain relationships with local inspectors and city officials offering education, technical guidance and supply chain outreach.  They provide intelligence reports on power outage status, electrical equipment and product needs as they arise.  And they field questions from the insurance industry, the enforcement agencies, and building owners related to their particular needs.

As part of our Natural Disaster Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), NEMA uses all available Web and social media channels to push out technical guidance on evaluating damaged electrical equipment to inspectors, building engineers, electrical contractors and homeowners in the affected region. We monitor the state utility commissions and the major power companies for power outage reports to channel communication to the affected areas.

Based on the many lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and other super storms, this year we have expanded our initiatives to:

  1. Coordinate with federal and state governments to include immediate responsiveness/expertise but also for the longer term Congressional & Agency activity to fund and then allocate recovery and rebuilding  monies
  2. Reinforce and amplify the work of our Field Reps on conventional and social media to get the word to responders/restorers to include establishing a “single-window” of sorts for all questions electrical
  3. Coordinate outreach initiatives with relevant Associations in the electrical world, including National Association of Electrical Distributors, National Electrical Contractors Association, Independent Electrical Contractors, Utility trade associations, and Electrical Safety Foundation International
  4. Utilize our anti-counterfeiting network and expertise with NEMA and ESFI as a service to inform relevant entities of the importance of using reliable sources for purchase of replacement electrical products and reliable installers
  5. Engage policy-makers to provide them information about smart, resilient rebuilding so that the extensive repair work in Texas/Louisiana is 21st Century grade. In essence, this could become the first at-scale infrastructure improvement family of projects in the U.S. for this Administration

Hurricane Harvey

The NEMA’s Field Operations Network Southern Field Representative, Bryan Holland, is engaged with local officials in Texas and Louisiana as they initiate disaster recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey. We anticipate that many of the regional building departments and local government offices will be reopening this week.  They will give us a more focused picture of infrastructure losses, resource needs, and recovery timing for the Gulf region. Some of the Field Rep Program work will shift to conflict resolution between the various segments of the industry, e.g., installers vs. the building department, homeowners vs. insurance, etc.

Hurricane Irma

Today NEMA activated the natural disaster SOP for Hurricane Irma in the Atlantic. NEMA Northeast Region Field Representative Jack Lyons is assisting Bryan Holland, Southern Field Rep in the NEMA response initiative so Bryan may also focus on recovery initiatives in the Gulf Region.

NEMA Resources

To keep you apprised of all NEMA activity during the long recovery efforts from these super storms, we are adding a new Storm Recovery Center within the NEMA Daily Digest email. If you don’t receive the Daily Digest, sign up here.

NEMA is collaborating with many electrical associations, manufacturers and distributors to offer disaster recovery resources and technical guidance. The resources below are broken down by categories. For more information, contact NEMA Field Representative Jack Lyons (jack.lyons@nema.org).

Counterfeit Electrical Products

Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment

AFCI Protection

Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Alarms

Downed Power Lines

Storm Response

Please let us know if there are additional actions NEMA could take on your behalf. We stand ready to assist in any way possible.


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