Hazardous Chemical Spills
Dangerous chemicals can leak into the environment for various reasons. Some causes include factory or power plant malfunctions, spills during transportation or even terrorist attacks. In these and similar instances, measuring the damage and providing relief must be swift and effective. These events, known as CBRNE events (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive) make for unsafe conditions, not only for the people exposed to the hazardous materials in nearby areas, but also for relief workers.
In March 2011, a powerful earthquake caused a tsunami to hit Japan, resulting in severe damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The damage led to a full-scale evacuation because of the amount of dangerous nuclear material that was released. Drones were deployed in the air and on the ground at the first possible instance to assess the extent of the destruction. These unmanned vehicles were able to provide aid in monitoring for radiation exposure, repairing destroyed areas and rebuilding efforts — all while minimizing nuclear fallout exposure for relief workers.
The Need for Mapping
Areas that are prone to large-scale disasters such as earthquakes and flooding benefit greatly from visual imaging and 3D mapping. Manned aircraft are often too expensive to use, satellite mapping does not meet high-resolution needs, and both take too much time during emergency situations.
The use of drones to map disaster areas provides greater advantages in costs and in rapid response times when compared to traditional methods. Drones can be deployed quickly, generate high-resolution and 3D mapping, identify hotspot areas that have sustained the most damage and upload the data in real time to coordinate relief efforts.
In the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake, drones assisted in creating 3D maps and models through image processing software. These aided in assessing the widespread damage, operating search and evacuation missions, reconstructing buildings and preserving areas of the city.
Assessing Structural Damage[/span4][/columns]Relief workers often find it difficult and dangerous to assess structural damage from natural disasters. They often encounter buildings that are on the verge of collapsing, potential explosions due to chemical leaks and places that are hard to access such as tunnels and bridges. After an F-5 tornado in Wichita, Kansas, drones were used to identify infrastructure that was critically damaged. Equipped with “sniffers” to detect high levels of methane, they were able to locate broken gas lines. Workers then shut down the lines and fixed the breaches before an explosion could occur.
About Me the Pilot:
I am a uniquely qualified UAV pilot when it comes to emergency operations or expanding situations. I’ve spent over thirty years in the fire service and emergency management with a short time in law enforcement. I was also an advisor for Marin County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team.
- I know how to keep calm in chaos.
- Know how to recognize hazards and maintain situational awareness.
- Understand the use of radio systems.
ICS-300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents
E/L 952: NIMS ICS All-Hazards Position Specific Public Information Officer
S-420 Command and General Staff