With personal drones recently banned in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, we ask, “If used properly, could drones save lives?”
Drones have saved at least 59 lives in 18 different incidents (as of February 2017)—prompting local companies to send drones to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
But according to Mike Winn of DroneDeploy —a drone mapping software with the largest drone data platform in the world—grassroots efforts only go so far. With an FAA-sanctioned plan, drones could aid even more in emergency situations and save hundreds of lives.
Here’s what he says drones are capable of:
SAVING THE LIVES OF VICTIMS AND RESCUERS
Drones are 6X quicker than rescuers—while a 5-person rescue team needs 2 hours to find a victim, a drone can find that same victim in 20 minutes. They also keep rescuers safe by relaying live images of the scene, ensuring rescue operations can be planned with minimal risk.
DELIVERING SUPPLIES IN IMPASSABLE AREAS
Drones can safely deliver supplies like rescue ropes and life jackets in perilous situations (like raging floodwaters) which are too dangerous for rescuers to attempt.
ADJUSTING INSURANCE AND ASSESSING DAMAGE
Natural disasters leave victims with extreme property damage. Commercial drones, which can aerially survey damage, can help insurance adjusters scope out the scene when roads are dangerous or impassable.