ASEC UAS Subject Matter Expert Assisted in Statewide Hurricane Exercise

ASEC UAS Subject Matter Expert Assisted in Statewide Hurricane Exercise

Tallahassee, FL.  Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) recently conducted a three day, full scale exercise to practice Florida’s statewide hurricane response. The exercise involved all levels of support, ranging from local municipalities through federal stakeholders such as FEMA and the FAA. As a State Emergency Response Team member, Space Florida was instrumental in developing plans and procedures prior to the exercise, and coordinating operations for unmanned aircraft system (UAS) during the event. ASEC represented Space Florida throughout as a UAS subject matter expert, assigned to the Air Branch assisting with manned and unmanned air missions. Prior to the exercise ASEC collaborated with Polk County Sheriffs Office to enable their drone participation in a search and rescue mission, leading to the first successful, small UAS flight during an exercise in the nation for a public safety organization. The exercise provided an opportunity to test the states overall processes, including UAS being recognized by FDEM for the promise of being faster, cheaper and a safer method to gain information. Florida is a national leader in disaster management and Space Florida appreciated the opportunity to integrate UAS capability in a safe and controlled environment to better understand how to mitigate risk during the next disaster.

Photo caption: “Polk County Sheriffs Office drone video displayed at State Emergency Operations Center during Florida Statewide Hurricane Exercise.”