The United Nations has designated 13 October as the International Day for Disaster Reduction. It celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters.
This year, the International Day for Disaster Reduction will focus on reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure.
The IEC offers the tools necessary to increase infrastructure resilience against disasters as well as for planning and recovery should a disaster strike.
Ready, set resilience
IEC work helps strengthen disaster resilience of infrastructure through built-in safety mechanisms, processes and minimum requirements. IEC Standards include external environmental conditions in their design requirements. For example, the IEC 61400 series of standards developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 88, addresses external conditions for offshore wind turbine designs which include the ability to withstand 70 m/s (155 mph, nearly 250 km/h) winds (IEC Class I), which is greater than most hurricanes.
The IEC ensures safety is an integral aspect of devices and systems, thereby protecting people, critical infrastructure, economies and the environment. These standards can address aspects of safety that apply horizontally to many products or specifically address the needs of a single product type or industry. The IEC 61508 series of standards ensures functional safety throughout the life cycle of electrical and electronic systems and devices.
However, as extreme weather events are likely to occur more frequently, a new type of resiliency for utilities may be necessary. The IEC Market Strategy Board (MSB) which identifies key technology trends and market needs, has indicated that it will tackle the issue of resiliency and ensure that electricity distribution systems are more climate-resilient.
Planning for disruption
Continuity planning for potential disasters can help mitigate the adverse effects of disasters. Planning is a key factor to minimize cost and damage should critical infrastructure become inoperable.
IEC TC 56 prepares standards in the area of dependability, a technical discipline that address the risk assessment and management of services and systems throughout their life cycle, including cyber security threats. It has developed standards that include dependability assessment and technical risk assessment. The IEC White Paper, Microgrids for disaster preparedness and recovery, addresses the actions necessary in anticipation of major electricity outages and after a disaster has occurred.
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