Tag Archives: damage

Drones

U. S. companies are urging federal aviation regulators to speed up the use of drones in disaster response and relief operations in the United States.

The consulting firm’s 32 Advisors propose the use of drones for various purposes.  These range from response planning and damage assessment to supply delivery.

The view from above is key for humanitarian response, which explains why satellite imaging has played a pivotal role in relief operations for almost two decades now. Satellites do however present a number of limitations. These include cost, data sharing restrictions, cloud cover, and the time needed to acquire images.

In contrast, drones can capture aerial imaging at a far higher resolution. They move quickly and at a much lower cost. Unlike satellites, members of the public can actually own drones. This therefore means that disaster-affected communications can launch their own drones in response to a crisis.

Groups like SkyEye in the Philippines and CartONG in Haiti are actively training local communities to operate their own drones for disaster-preparedness purposes.

Public comment is scheduled for April 24, 2015. The 52 page report is sponsored by companies that are involved in drone technology.  They thus hope to use the devices to cope with hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and other disasters. The sponsors include Boeing Co, Lockheed Martin Corp, United Parcel Service inc, IBM Corp, Willis Group Holdings Ltd and Zurich North America.

 The United States officially banned drones for civil and commercial use. This is unless the operation wins FAA approval under a process that many have found to be too slow. The proposed rules finalised late 2016 or early 2017.

More than 1700 migrants are believed to have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to southern Europe this year.  800 deaths occurred in one incident mid-April. The International Organisation for Migration has warned that the death toll could exceed 30,000 by the end of the year. The team conducted test flights at a simulated disaster city at Texas A&M University. Using infrared cameras, the aircraft could spot people trapped in the rubble.  They relayed these images back to humanitarian response teams for more effective delivery of aid.

Drones identify structural damage to buildings.  Insurance companies help victims with insurance claims.  However, the researchers found that for drones to be effective in such missions, they need to get into the air within 24 hours of a disaster.

Small marine machines cleared underwater debris after the Haiti earthquake in order to allow aid shipments to arrive.

Off-shore oil rigs use drones.  Machines can assist with raising the alarm when workers fall overboard.

Irma

Residents will pay a large proportion of the catastrophe caused by Hurricane Irma. The Consumer Federation of America made this statement.

Insurers have therefore developed higher wind coverage deductibles.  Paperwork obscures payouts.  However, many consumers do not read or do not understand the documentation.

There will be about 300,000 claims for wind damage and 150,000 flood damage claims in the future.  These claims could reach more than $40 billion.

There are “anti-concurrent causation” clauses in policies.  Wind damage is excluded. This is the case if an “uninsured flood” occurs simultaneously.  Wind coverage disappears through a hidden backdoor in a policy.
The National Flood Insurance Program has $1.5 billion to assist in paying claims, as well as $5.8 billion in borrowing authority. $250,000 is offered for structural damage and $100,000 for damaged or lost contents. The residents need to survey damages as soon as possible. The policy of the NFIP is first to come, first served.

Insurance companies will use drones to assess damage as the use of insurance adjusters is very costly. Furthermore, this will speed up the payment to the Irma hurricane victims.

Two percent is the usual deductible of the insured value of a residence. Therefore on a $300,000 home, the deductible would be $6,000.  This amount is payable before an insurance company will pay out any amount to the insured.

Victims of Irma need to know that the comprehensive section of their auto insurance also covers flooding.

President Trump issued the following for Florida i. e. to provide temporary housing and give financial housing for home repairs.  grants to be made available to assist with medical, dental and funeral transportation.  Furthermore, relief to be provided regarding unemployment for up to 26 weeks for state benefits.
Loans at low-interest rates to cover losses not covered by insurance.
Crisis counselling is available.

Tornadoes Mississippi

Tornadoes in Mississippi:

Insurers have paid more than $31.6 million on 2,801 claims from tornadoes that hit Mississippi during January 2017.

The Mississippi Insurance department expect insured damages to reach the $100 million mark, with $50 million in uninsured losses.

A powerful tornado tore a 31 mile path across Mississippi killing four people and destroying more than 1200 homes. The most damage was in the towns of Hattieburg and Petal. At least 20 deaths were reported.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said more than $51.7 million had already been approved.

The Mississippi Insurance Commission asked the insurance industry to expedite payments for living expenses for affected individuals.

More than 1,200 homes were damaged in eight total counties. 549 were destroyed or sustained major damage as a result of these tornadoes.

4 insurance companies including Allstate and the Hartford set up a help centre at Petal to assist storm victims. The units issued living/emergency expense payments to those people who were displaced.

It is estimated that insured damages would be about $100 million and uninsured losses more than $50 million.

Georgia was affected by storms, including tornadoes on January 21 and 22. Fifteen deaths were reported. The storms caused $100 million in damage.

The Georgia Department of Insurance urged the insurance industry to respond as quickly as possible to the affected individuals.

“Individuals in these areas have suffered devastating losses and should receive special consideration with regards to their insurance claims,” Hudgens said. “I have notified the larger insurers and expect them to first and foremost take care of the immediate needs of their policyholders. This includes providing direct emergency funds for basic necessities such as food and shelter.”

Mr. Hudgen of the Department also asked the insurance industry to exercise leniency in dealing with affected individuals. He referred to individuals whose premiums may appear tardy. This may be due to disruption of services such as mail, telecommunication as well as loss of property.