A significant number of record-setting natural disasters have occurred across the United States over the past half-decade, including record setting hurricanes ranging from the East Coast down through Florida and across the Gulf to Texas and massive wildfires across California and the Western U.S.
First responders, utility workers and other field service professionals have worked tirelessly to mitigate the effects of these catastrophic events, and they are employing leading edge technology to restore essential services, render aid, and improve safety.
Drones operated by rugged tablets bring a wealth of benefits to first responders who are engaged in various tasks to serve and protect.
The advantages of drones has become even more apparent during California’s current fight against wildfires, allowing those on the front lines to receive accurate, real time information about fire progress, direction, and prevailing winds as well as other factors that can help them judge where to deploy resources and how to keep team members safe. With rugged tablets and advanced GIS software, teams can coordinate efforts and find out of the box solutions which can then be utilized in areas not yet reached by fire to evaluate the risk and mitigate it in any number of ways.
After hurricanes, many areas are inaccessible or dangerous due to flooding. Drones can be utilized to scan large areas rapidly, providing images that are high quality and close enough to help render a perfect replica of the topography of an area. Rugged tablets can be used to integrate the use of these small unmanned aircraft, and GPS positioning determined down to centimeters of accuracy. This can benefit first responders in multiple ways:
- Determine safety of terrain and help in decision making
- Spot survivors in need of rescue
- Drop much needed supplies in case of emergency
- Assess damage to homes and property
Pursuit, Search and Rescue, and More
Drone and tablet systems provide cost effective ways to solve real field problems and will continue to provide new and effective ways to assist first responders. The combination is especially relevant for time sensitive missions, from scanning areas in case of a suspect on the run to identifying the location of persons trapped in rough terrain and remote areas when hiking or skiing. Drones can even be utilized to restore voice and data to public safety officials in the event of an incident which makes former modes of communications transmission unavailable.
Coupling the unique situational awareness of a drone with high powered, real time communications devices like rugged tablets reduces the risk of response actions for first responders and allows these complementary technologies to be leveraged for maximum benefit.