How drones are helping with Hurricane Ian response and recovery
Ian, which made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida as a powerful Category 4 hurricane Wednesday, has left catastrophic damage in its wake. As rescue crews and disaster relief groups jump-start recovery in the region, drones have emerged as a critical force multiplier for damage assessment and search and rescue efforts.
Utility asset inspection and damage assessment
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), an electric utility that serves more than 12 million people in Florida, is using its new FPLAir One drone to assess the damage on the West Coast. Since this fixed-wing drone can fly in heavy winds, it can gather real-time information about the damage caused by Hurricane Ian. This is enabling FPL to get the right crews and the right equipment to the right place, speeding up the restoration efforts considerably.
Telecom company AT&T has dispatched drone operators to areas that are too risky to be accessed by its ground team. The pilots are flying…