WS123. Drone Program Development and Disaster Deployments in 2022

This workshop will provide participants with insight on all aspects of building and deploying an emergency manager/disaster response UAS program.  First, the team from the SFWMD will discuss an overview on the development, operation and maintenance of a multi-function drone program. This presentation will provide tips on seeking, building, and maintaining leadership engagement while highlighting the multiple benefits of building a comprehensive program that can be used as a tool for multiple types of missions.

Panelists will also discuss key elements for designing and building a drone program, including: equipment typing, Part 107 vs. Public Aircraft Operations, training programs, and equipment maintenance and upkeep.  This presentation will include discussion of integration of UAS remote sensing products into GIS workflows.  The FSU team will detail multiple recent case studies of how UAS operations can be a critical tool that support decision making through all phases of emergency management. These examples demonstrate how the desired results can be obtained faster, safer, and more efficient. The panelists will highlight standard workflows for daily UAS operations in disasters, followed by several examples of previous missions, including reconnaissance and rapid needs assessment, urban search and rescue remote sensing support, damage assessment, and technical/secondary search strategies. Using recent operations during Hurricane Ian, the FSU team will provide lessons learned on UAS resource management, GIS integration, information dissemination, and coordination with US&R and other state/local partners.

This panel is appropriate for agencies currently utilizing UAS, as well as those interested in starting a new program.  Some discussion of Florida Statute 934.50 and the approved UAS vendor list will happen at the end of the session.

Organized by Melissa Rudd