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While we can’t prevent natural disasters from impacting our communities, we can ensure our businesses are electrically safe before and after a storm.

In the event of a natural disaster, it’s important for businesses to create emergency shutdown and start-up procedures for the electrical systems, equipment, and HVAC.

Before the storm arrives, be sure to charge all phones and electronic communication systems. 

Once fully charged, disconnect all power to affected areas.

To minimize flood damage, raise equipment and furniture above expected flood level heights, and relocate critical records, computers, and equipment to an alternate site, if possible.

After the storm blows through and you begin to evaluate the aftermath, it’s important to avoid flooded areas.

If any electrical equipment has been exposed to water, be sure to review ESFI’s guide to water-damaged electrical equipment to verify what can be reconditioned and what must be replaced.

If you need to use a portable generator, make sure to use a listed and approved transfer switch and GFCI protection.

Businesses should also consider upgrading to alternative power sources such as micro-grids, energy storage systems, or other decentralized generations. This allows the power source to break off from the main grid and operate on its own using local energy when necessary in a storm.

Energy-efficient smart grids are a great way to upgrade electrical supply networks. By using digital communications technology, smart grids detect and react to changes in usage.

And one of the most basic preventative measures may be relocating main energy sources and major equipment to higher floors of a building to help defend against water damage.

Visit ESFI’s full suite of Disaster Safety resources.