New Checklist Helps Electricians Assess Whether Damaged Electrical Systems Should be Repaired or Replaced After a Natural Disaster

The past few months have produced a number of powerful and damaging natural disasters across the US. From earthquakes and wildfires in the west to tornadoes in the Midwest and hurricanes across our northern and southern states, no one part of the country has been immune to the mighty force of nature.

In the midst of this trying time, and with the worst of the hurricane season still to come (hurricane season runs from June to November), building owners and managers of industrial and commercial facilities are facing (and will continue to face) the daunting process of disaster recovery. More specifically, when electrical systems are damaged in a natural (and yes, even man-made ones, too!) disaster, electricians need to make a critical decision about whether the electrical equipment that was damaged can be salvaged or not.

So where to start? Let NFPA lend a hand. We've created a new checklist for electricians to help highlight and simplify key aspects of this decision-making process. The checklist builds off of recommendations in Chapter 32 of NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance* (2019 edition).

The checklist includes such things as:

  • A list of disaster scenarios, which can inflict damage of varying degrees to facilities
  • Steps for assessing equipment
  • A Priority Assessment Table
  • Steps to help identify factors for replacement or repair

… and more.

Still, even with the help of the checklist, the choice between repair and replace will not always be an easy one. Following these simple suggestions can be the difference, however, between an impossible task and an informed decision.

Before your community experiences a disaster, download this free “Natural Disaster Electrical Equipment Checklist” and review the contents. Having this information at your fingertips will be extremely valuable should your community call on you for your electrical experience and assistance in the aftermath of a storm or other weather-related event.  

Additional disaster-related resources can be found on NFPA's disaster webpage, including tip sheets, related code information, articles, and more.

*The complete current edition of NFPA 70B and related resources are available for free access or to purchase at

Download the Natural Disaster "Repair or Replace" Electrical Equipment Checklist
Barry Chase
Standards Lead, Emergency Response and Responder Safety

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