Drones have been making headlines for a few years now.
Drones are being used to fight deforestation and help farmers tend their crops.
So it should come as no surprise that in the middle of hurricane season, drones are playing a big part in the recovery process.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways that hurricane technology is incorporating drones to help rebuild after a disaster.
Search and Rescue
One of the biggest advances in hurricane technology was the helicopter. Like an airplane, it gives emergency responders a birds-eye view of stranded survivors. But helicopters can also hover, which makes them indispensable for carrying them out.
While a drone might not be able to airlift a person to safety, they have proven much more effective than helicopters at searching emergency areas for survivors.
Most cities have a limited amount of helicopters. They are expensive and difficult to operate.
But drones are cheap and user-friendly. A fleet of small drones outfitted with cameras can fan out and can search for survivors. And since they fly much lower than helicopters, they can find people that helicopters might miss.
Drones can also access damaged buildings to find survivors that are invisible from the sky.
Ater a hurricane, floodwaters and downed power lines are a deadly combination. Utility companies cannot send a person to assess damage to their grid, lest they face potential electrocution.
Many telecom and electric companies are using drones to send pictures of damaged transformers, power lines, and cell towers.
This allows repair crews to assess the problem areas and prepare accordingly. They can repair problems faster and more efficiently.
Hurricanes can damage internet cables and mobile towers. Smartphones and laptops can be rendered useless until they are repaired.
Some telecom companies have started using drones as mobile hotspots until the infrastructure is repaired. These drones can help people call their families or keep working in the aftermath of a disaster.
Whether evacuating before the hurricane or trying to get back home afterward, it’s important to know the condition of the roads. Impassible roads can rob drivers of precious time or leave them stranded.
Drones can be used to scout ahead to check road conditions, updating drivers as roads are blocked by debris or flooded.
Scout drones can also alert emergency cleanup crews so they can clear the roads as soon as possible.
How Will Drones Advance Hurricane Technology Next?
As drones continue to advance, we’ll surely see them being used in hundreds of different ways. The technology is still very new, and we’re just getting started.
Do you have any other ideas of how drones could be used to help in hurricane recovery? We want to hear them. Let us know in the comments, or contact us!