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    Aftermath of a tornado damaged wood framed house

    Use Aerial Photography During and After Natural and Man-Made Disasters

    • Quick accessing/analyzing of geographic data
    • Analyze the immediate needs of the crisis
    • Keep a historical record
    • Use footage as training material for future events
    • Record data for Insurance claims

    Lessons from Katrina

    7-Uses for Drones during an emergency

    1. Reconnaissance and mapping

    Before disasters strike, drones can be used for risk management and prevention of potential losses, for example, by mapping certain terrain.


    2. Structural integrity assessment

    Drones function well in environments that are unsafe for humans. For example, the unmanned ground vehicles used after 9/11 moved through extremely small spaces in unstable rubble piles to reach victims.


    3. Search and rescue operations

    Searching for people or wreckage


    4. Temporary infrastructure and supply delivery

    Severe weather events damage and can destroy critical infrastructure such as water lines, roadways, bridges, oil and gas pipelines, power plants and transmission lines. In addition to assessing infrastructure damage, drones also can deliver needed supplies to make infrastructure repairs or temporarily bypass damaged infrastructure by delivering supplies like food and water directl. Drones also can act as temporary telecommunications platforms, sending Wi-Fi and cell phone coverage across an area with downed power lines and damaged cell towers.


    5. Detecting and extinguishing wildfires

    Drones could help reduce the frequency and proximity of contact that firefighters need to make with wildfires. The drones also would be able to fly lower than manned aircraft and in reduced visibility, delivering fire retardant more efficiently, with less risk to pilots. The drones also could be used to map the most likely places to place backfires and ways to evacuate people from high-risk areas.


    6. Dealing with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) events

    One of the realities of life in the 21st century is that heavy industry and power generation rely on hazardous chemicals and fuels, including fissile material to create nuclear power. Malfunctions in factories or power plants, accidents while transporting hazardous materials, terrorism and criminal sabotage are a few of the incidents that might cause unexpected chemical, biological or nuclear disasters. Using drones in these situations, the report says, significantly reduces human exposure to unsafe environments while providing continuous monitoring and data validation.


    7. Insurance claims response and risk assessment

    Using drones to fly over an affected area after a disaster, assessing damage to insured property, developing situational awareness for deploying additional claims adjusters on the ground, and supporting the claims response process. Drones provide more options to review properties that otherwise would be inaccessible due to safety concerns. Insurance companies, working with risk managers in all industries, can help with pre-disaster planning. Drone-based high-resolution maps of communities with insured properties would help identify at-risk areas—for example, properties located in flood-prone areas, According to the report, the information would help create the best disaster response protocols and pre-emergency plans.

    Regardless if you fly the drone or hire a professional, there are a number of local, state, and federal safety rules that must be followed. The FAA carefully regulates any unmanned aerial vehicles.

    Items to consider when selecting a pilot to take aerial photography

    • The UAV pilot should have a current pilot’s license and completed the training courses.
    • The pilot or company he/she works for has insurance coverage in the event of and accident or other legal matter.
    • The contract should protect you from any claims related to the project including: personal injury, privacy or property damage.
    • The pilots UAV should be registered with the FAA. Anything weighing more than 0.5 pounds must be registered with the FAA. If you fail to register the drone, you could be fined up to $25,000.
    • The drone cannot be flown within a 5-mile radius of an airport terminal.
    • Generally, a drone for commercial use cannot be flown at more than 400 feet in altitude. The pilot of the drone must maintain visual contact at all times.

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    Let’s talk about your next project.

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    Burnt Hills, NY 12027

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