SUMMARY: Unmanned aircraft systems can be an incredibly effective tool for companies looking to quickly and safely assess damage from major storms and disasters.
PROBLEM: Exceptionally high floodwaters from Hurricane Matthew remain too deep for cars to traverse in some towns along the U.S. Carolina coast. Many buildings appear too damaged to accommodate inspections safely.
SOLUTION: Companies are turning to UAS's to assist with the post-storm damage assessment and recovery effort. Verizon is using a unmanned aircraft operated by a partner company to assess potential damage at cellular site locations that are still covered by floodwater. After the drone flight, Verizon was able to send a boat with technicians who restored service near the Tar River Reservoir. Allstate insurance is also using drones to assess property damage in Savanah, Georgia. Instead of having a claims inspector ascend to the roof of a house to inspect damage from a fallen tree, Allstate dispatched a drone to capture a bird's-eye photo of the roof, which they deemed to be both faster and safer then having a person climb a compromised structure.