Play-by-play: The Drone-based Hurricane Response Process

Hurricanes cause extensive damage, particularly to utility poles and powerlines. In 2018, Hurricane Florence caused almost 1 million people to lose power in North and South Carolina. In the summer heat, power outages are not only an inconvenience, but they are also dangerous. They can affect communications and medical equipment, cause food to spoil, and leave customers at risk when their air conditioning fails. 

Drone-based aerial intelligence has shown to be a safe and efficient resource in hurricane response strategies. But how should emergency responders, whether they be utilities repair crews, search and rescue, or governmental agencies, deploy drones in the field? 

Ground crews often face challenges accessing areas of concern, especially when hurricanes flood roadways or down trees. Drones can fly over the area, identify safe access points, and collect imagery that provides context for the repair crews. They enable field crew to capture critical data that support safe, rapid repairs in the days after a hurricane. And drone-based aerial intelligence can complement traditional hurricane response methods--allowing them to efficiently and flexibly use all the responding resources available. The result is the faster restoration of services to constituents. 

“We know that after the hurricane hits, what we’ve prepared for is different than what we actually see. In preparing for that event, we position ourselves for success.” 

-Ed Hine, VP of Operations at PrecisionHawk. 

While plans rarely remain static in fluid disaster situations, it’s critical to plan strategies and contingencies in for hurricanes. 


Planning for a Drone-based Aerial Intelligence Hurricane Response

To effectively make use of drone-based aerial intelligence during hurricane relief efforts, we spend days planning communication, logistics, safety, and personnel before the storm hits. We ensure our teams and equipment are ready to meet the demands of your missions. 

Our disaster response expertise is available to any organization wanting to improve the efficiency of post-hurricane processes. 

Watch the Webinar

In our webinar about drone operations in hurricane response missions, you’ll hear from the Director of Flight Operations and Team Lead of Electric Utilities at PrecisionHawk about how we work with clients to plan a drone-based approach starting a week before the hurricane hits. We cover personnel planning, logistics, equipment needs, and ensuring a safe and adaptable approach that changes to meet our clients’ needs. 

Above all, you’ll learn how drone-based aerial intelligence enables repair crews to safely discover the source of the power outage and be well-equipped to fix it.

Watch the webinar now.

We’re Here to Help

Contact PrecisionHawk to speak with an expert about drone-based hurricane response planning.

If you’re interested in learning how our drone operators helped a major utility assess critical damage and restore power after a hurricane in 2016, check out this case study.