Drones for Emergency Alerts?

This story is about the use of drones for emergency response, but we think there are some fascinating applications for emergency alerts.

Drones offer some really interesting capabilities for helping to alert the public:

  1. Mobile sirens.  Today, various communities spend tens of thousands of dollars on fixed sirens that have limited coverage.  A single siren on a drone could cover many square miles in just a few minutes;
  2. Mobile PA.  Instead of sirens, a drone equipped with speakers could broadcast a voice message in a small area, delivering very specific information about, for example, a downed power line;
  3. Mobile reconnaissance.  Many times, emergency alerts over-select the population that needs to be alerted.  A drone equipped with camera and other sensing equipment might be able to report the specific area affected by an emergency.

Crazy?  Perhaps.  But consider how inexpensive drones are in the story that inspired us.  These were developed to carry a defribillator to help revive heart attack victims.  And they’re cheap:

Momont proposes expanding the existing emergency medical infrastructure with a network of fast and compact drones that have communication capabilities and can carry medical auxiliary equipment. “The costs should not be an issue; I have calculated these at approximately €15,000 per drone, which is clearly a reasonable amount if you consider the number of lives that could be saved.”

It’s easy to get nervous about devices running around blaring alarms, but in a world where packages may be delivered by drone, it’s time to think about how else drones can help.


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