Drones being deployed into Harvey and Irma disaster zones - FOX Carolina 21

Drones being deployed into Harvey and Irma disaster zones

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Drones. (9/18/17 FOX Carolina) Drones. (9/18/17 FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When it comes to responding to emergencies, Army Veteran , Brian Scott is no stranger to helping strangers. After hurricane Harvey hit Texas, he and a handful of other drone pilots went to Texas to help out.

"We had people from Colorado, Iowa, New York - me from South Carolina,” explained Scott.

Scott also runs Upstate Aerial out of Greenville. He and the other pilots arrived to Texas to do whatever was needed to help.

"There was basically seven of us in an RV. We called local municipalities. We called Port Arthur first,” described Scott. “We did mapping, damage assessment, thermal imaging."

The drones can hover closer and get into areas helicopters cannot reach. Scott says they were able to free up military and law enforcement aircraft for other duties like rescues. The drone pilots focused on damage and roads. They teamed up with local agencies in Texas to know which routes were accessible.

"We were giving real time situational awareness to the commanders on the ground,” said Scott.

Their drones delivered higher quality imagery than most of the satellites cities like Rockport were using to assess damage.

"They needed to know how much of their tax base in terms of property had been damaged and which homes were standing,” explained Scott.

Scott says if the situation arose, he and the other pilots could easily use their aircraft to also help locate people in need of rescue.

"Especially with the fleer capability and thermal imaging,” said Scott. “I've used mine to find objects, people and animals up to 300 to 400 yards away no problem."

The pilots formed “Humanitarian Drones,” so they can respond to future diasters.

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