Sep 29, 2019 BLOG

Rescuer in the Sky: 4 Ways Drones can improve Disaster Response in India


Disasters both natural and man-made cause a lot of damage and loss of life. Although helps such as helicopters, ambulance, fire trucks are available in disaster struck places, they often take time to arrive In India due to heavy traffic and various other factors. It is time that Authorities consider the option of taking the help of technologies such as Drones to aid in these situations. Drones are compact, reliable and do not have to face traffic, they would be using aerial means to reach at the disaster struck places faster than manual help. These Drones can provide live status and footage to the ground departments and assist them in providing better assistance and relief to the people.

What these Drones will be able to do is provide locations of the people in disaster struck places so that fast help is provided and lesser lives are lost.


Drones in Wildfires


From assessing forests for potential fires using thermal imaging and Lidar, to assisting in eliminating wildfires using installed sprinkler systems, Drones can do it all.

Drones can fly for hours and days and provide real time updates to the ground departments regarding the temperatures and other conditions in forests. Departments can use Drones to remain updated regarding the conditions in forests using this technology.

After a forest fire takes place, Drones can help in providing information and data regarding preventive measures to be taken and the areas damaged. In India.


Determining Structural Damage


After a disaster has occurred in structures such as buildings, it is difficult for relief workers to reach these places as there is a risk of the building collapsing, chemical leaks, potential blasts and many other hazards. During these times, Drones can be used to reach these places easily, as they will be equipped with “sniffers”, which detect the presence of chemical leaks, and can aid in providing relevant information to the ground force. Drones can reach places such as tunnels, bridges and help in determining the damage done and if there are any people stuck.

Previously, Satelites were used to determine information regarding damages, but they have limitations such as cost, accuracy and the sharing of data. With Drones, data sharing is not a problem as they provide almost instant updates, they have greater accuracy as they are equipped with high quality cameras and observe from lower altitudes. This technology is required in India and the resources are available, it only requires implementation and testing.


Aid in Floods


India has been hit with some major floods in Mumbai, Karnataka and various other places. Floods are very dangerous and making human help available during floods is very difficult. Manual help is next to impossible in these situations. Supply of goods such as water, food in flood hit areas is almost impossible and takes time. Drones can help in providing resources such as water, in these areas much faster and can also locate victims stuck in these areas. Drones can give major assistance to departments before manual help can reach regarding victim locating, analysis of the damage area. This would increase the efficiency of disaster relief departments.

Drones were used in the Karnataka Floods to locate people stuck and provided aid to the departments to save them.

Drones can be used to save lives and supply resources in these situations in the future.




Earthquakes are the most unpredictable, sudden disasters which takes a lot of lives and destroys structures such as roads, buildings, bridges. Manual help in the event of an earthquake is hard and time taking. Locating victims stuck is a very difficult task.

Drones can be used to locate victims stuck in buildings, etc within half an hour using drones, which increases the probability of people found alive by 90%, when people are found after 24 hours, this probability drops to 81% and it keeps reducing as time passes by. Drones can provide fast relief and locate people. This will help departments to provide aid faster and in a reliable manner. Drones will be equipped with infrared, visible light, multispectral and hyperspectral sensors to operate efficiently. These systems aid by providing quality, accurate images and rush to help if anyone is found.

After an Earthquake has struck, preventive measures can be taken by analysing the damage done to roads, bridges, buildings with the help of 3-D images, thermal imagery can be used to plan these structures in an Earthquake proof way and reduce the number of lives lost during such disasters.


Countries such as China, Mexico and Africa have started to use this technology for disaster relief and have been able to design buildings, structures in a better way and have saved many lives during disasters.




India has lost a lot of lives during disasters. In order to prevent this, the assistance of Drones is the best solution as they will be able to reach at the disaster location much faster than any manual help, they will be able to locate survivors and aid the departments in saving them as fast as possible.

The technology and the resources required for this purpose are present. But still, the rate of adaptation is slow and not very effective. The Government, Drone suppliers and solution providers need to work together towards adapting this technology for increasing the efficiency of disaster management teams and respond to disasters in a faster, reliable manner resulting into lives being saved.