Nowadays drones are able to contribute to disaster control. Drones are obviously not able to literally help rebuilding. But drones can provide medicines and possible life-saving supplies to areas that have been hit by natural disasters. Hopefully, drones can be incorporated in most humanitarian services in the future. This blog will give some practical examples and elaborate on the current use of drones in disaster relief.
Drone disaster relief
Real time footage can be collected in disaster areas which are hard to reach for humans. Thus, if necessary rescue teams can use this footage to react faster and focus their workforce. This can possibly save lives and prevent even more damage. A great example is the use of drones in Philippines after typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
This example showed the possible impact of drones in stressfull situations. Since then, companies have started to use drones for plenty more humanitarian services. The core service drones are able to provide is the fact that drones are able to freely travel to any place which are inaccessible for humans.
Philippines disaster relief
Some read life examples are:
- Distribution of visible goods
- Temporary settlements
- Population estimates
- Displaced person
- Logistics mapping
- Early warnings
- Damage assesments
- High quality/3D mapping
- Disaster risk reduction
- Search and rescue
Now, there are many user cases for the operation of UAVs in humanitarian settings (those listed above are only a subset). Most of you are already very familiar with these applications. Therefore, we will jump directly to the real world case study from the Philippines and Haiti (irevolutions.org).
Danoffice IT, used a quadcopter drone to support humanitarian services in Tacloban. Drones were able to provide valuable information regarding safe areas and blocked roads. On the basis of this information people could strategically provide help.
Drones can also contribute to damage control with non-natural disasters like Fukushima. Since drones are completely mechanic and controllable from a large distance, people can safely use drones for disaster control in Fukushima. Radiation levels are still too high for scientists and visitors to study the area. Therefore, drones are used to collect data and monitor the area.
To sum it up, drones are capable of reaching areas which are impossible to get to for humans. This will result in a drastically more efficient disaster control system.
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