American Red Cross is launching a drone disaster-relief program

Starting next week, a drone will hover over Houston, assessing the damage Hurricane Harvey caused and finding areas that need more help. The American Red Cross will conduct the survey in one of the most badly affected areas of the city for a week as part of the first drone disaster-relief program in the US. This week-long pilot period involves the use of a Cyphy drone that’s tethered to a generator, so it can operate for lengthy periods of time, and has a 30x zoom camera to provide miles of visibility from 400 feet above ground.

According to the Red Cross, the images the drone takes will help it funnel aid to areas that need it the most. They will also be used to evaluate billions of dollars of damage for insurance, since that’s a necessary step towards the city’s recovery. The program is funded by UPS’ charitable arm, which is probably why the team is using a Cyphy drone — the parcel delivery company owns a stake in the dronemaker. This isn’t the first time UPS is using drones to send help either: last year, it also tested the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver emergency medical supplies.

Brad Kieserman, Red Cross Disaster Services VP says “The measure of success for the American Red Cross on this pilot will be to prove that drones can help support, complement and accelerate the work already being done by our tremendous volunteers.” If the team successfully accomplishes their task next week, they could deploy the program for similar disaster-relief operations in the future. In fact, they plan to use the same drone and methods to assess Hurricane Irma’s impact after it passes through Florida this weekend.

About author

You might also like


Elon Musk confirms that he just bought back, the domain he owned in 1999

With a tweet, Elon Musk just confirmed that he is the proud new owner of, an admittedly very cool domain Excited to announce the launch of! It's a little verbose


Google and Amazon go head to head as both their bluetooth speakers are slashed to £99

Both the Google Home and the Amazon Echo are now on sale – for exactly the same price. While £30 has been slashed off the price of Google’s offering, taking


Faraday Future is one step closer to the deadpool

Faraday Future might as well pack it up and call it a day. The company has reportedly abandoned plans to build a massive factory in the Nevada desert. This facility


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply