Build and Rebuild Smart to Mitigate Disastrous Effects

Build and Rebuild Smart to Mitigate Disastrous Effects

This piece was originally published as part of the “When Disaster Strikes” feature in the September 2016 issue of electroindustry

Pat Walsh, Editor in Chief, NEMA

DRP, Disaster Recovery Plan

Severe weather and fires, coupled with an aging and overstressed electrical infrastructure, may dramatically affect lives and property in the United States in the coming years.

This month marks the peak of the hurricane season. Forest fires, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes, on the other hand, follow no calendar. Rebuilding the grid after any major event is a formidable challenge. The core principle of any major reconstruction effort should be rebuilding smart, to ensure that reconstruction funds maximize the deployment of technologies to save lives, mitigate future power outages, and protect property.

Resilient and reliable power is critical for first responders, communications, healthcare, transportation, financial systems, water and wastewater treatment, emergency food and shelter, and other vital services. When smart technologies are in place, power outages are avoided and lives, homes, and businesses are protected.

By integrating information and communications technologies into the grid, utilities can not only minimize the extent of an outage but also immediately identify affected customers, shunt electricity around downed power lines to increase public safety, and enable faster restoration of services.

NEMA’s 400-plus member companies and staff of experienced engineers and electroindustry experts spanning more than 50 industry sectors stand ready to assist industry and government officials when disaster paralyzes electrical infrastructure. To learn more about smart technologies and the roles they play in rebuilding smart, visit

Read the September 2016 issue of electroindustry.

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