North Carolina drones on standby to survey post hurricane

North Carolina drone operators are some of the only people remaining on the coast as the State braces itself for the oncoming Hurricane Florence. 

The reason that the operators are staying in North Carolina is simple, so that they can be first on the scene in the aftermath, using airborne technology to highlight and identify areas or individuals that need assistance. This information will allow them to inform emergency services about the areas where they will be needed first.

Hadley Doyle-González, head of SMG Drones, a company based in Palm Beach, Florida, spoke with Tech site Wired about the upcoming project, and the challenges which she faces.

We have a ridiculous amount of batteries,” says Doyle-González. “We need to be able to fly for 24 hours with no power.

SMG Drones were on hand last year for Hurricane Irma and surveyed the Naples area following the storm.

According to Jack Stewart of Wired, “She made sure all her equipment was in waterproof cases and moved her car to higher ground. When the winds died down, she headed out to capture high resolution images of houses, buildings, or utilities, which can show damage early, and get help and repairs, as well as insurance money, to where it’s needed.”

Another company working on site are Airbus Aerial, run by Craig Besse. “Get that last shower in,” he says, before supplies are cut off. Then, it’s about being flexible.

It’s not going to go the way you expected. You’re charging every battery you have to the nth degree.” – Craig Besse, Airbus Aerial

The surveys will also allow information to be passed on to insurance companies. A madatory curfew and evacuation procedure has been implemented in both Carolinas, as well as Virginia. The following safety tips have been issued.

Additionally, Wired also posted a superb article about responsible social media use during the hurricane. Main points included the following:

  • Think Before You Retweet
  • Beware of Videos and Images
  • Share Links Rather Than Copying and Pasting
  • Follow Reliable Accounts
  • Don’t Co-opt a Hashtag
  • Don’t Tweet the Police Scanner

The full article is available to view here.