The recent floods in Texas & Oklahoma are a tragic reminder of just how dangerous and destructive flooding water can be. Flooding can occur in every state of the nation and is the leading cause of weather-related death in the U.S.
When entering a flooded area, be on the lookout for downed power lines, submerged transformers, and other submerged electrical equipment. Downed power lines and submerged electrical equipment may energize the surrounding water posing a lethal hazard to humans and animals. Also avoid touching metal objects submerged in water such as light poles, road signs, or other metal structures.
Do not use electrical outlets, lighting, or appliances that have been wet or submerged under water without first having the electrical system and equipment evaluated by a licensed and insured electrical contractor. NEMA’s Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment guidelines should be used to determine what equipment can be reconditioned and what equipment should be replaced. Attempts to clean or recondition electrical equipment without consulting the manufacturer can result in additional hazards.
Additional resources and guidance related to electrical safety after a flood is available from the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
Be prepared, have a plan, and stay informed. Contact Bryan Holland, NEMA Southern Region Field Representative, if you need further information or assistance.
Bryan.Holland@nema.org or 972-358-0543