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Partnering with Disaster Responders to Improve the Use of Drones in Emergencies

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November 15th, 2022

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WeRobotics is very pleased to continue partnering with the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative (DPPI) for South Eastern Europe on expanding the impactful use of drones in emergency management. In 2020, highly experienced disaster managers from DPPI Member States actively participated in WeRobotics' professional online training on the use of Drones in Humanitarian Action. Multiple participants in this training went on to apply key insights from this training directly to their operations. 

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In 2022, DPPI and WeRobotics continued to work together to carry out a comprehensive and detailed review of the capacity, experience, opportunities, and challenges that the DPPI Member States face in their use of drones in disaster management. The internal report, "Expanding Drone Expertise Across DPPI Member States," included in-depth, semi-structured interviews with many emergency responders across the DPPI network. The rich input from these interviews was subsequently analyzed in detail. The analysis results formed the basis for the follow-up dedicated workshop organized by WeRobotics to present its key findings and recommendations to all stakeholders. This workshop yielded additional insights that were subsequently integrated into the final 20-page report submitted to DPPI in October 2022. 

One of many highly noteworthy findings that deserve to be shared across the entire drones for disaster management community is the fact that emergency responders in Bulgaria are fully authorized by the country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to operate their drones for 15 minutes as soon as they reach a disaster zone without needing any additional flight permissions. This allows first responders to very quickly collect aerial videos and photos to increase their situational awareness and thus make far more informed tactical decisions to direct their response efforts.

We very much look forward to continuing to support DPPI's important work in the region and welcome the opportunity to implement our core recommendations in close collaboration with disaster managers across Southeast Europe. In the meantime, we plan to share the most important high-level insights internally within the Flying Labs Network after approval from DPPI. 

Sincerest thanks to DPPI for kindly inviting us to support their important work in Southeast Europe and to all emergency responders who kindly shared their valuable time with us throughout the past six months. Last but certainly not least, sincerest thanks to WeRobotics consultant Faine Greenwood and Tanzania Flying Labs Director Leka Tingitana for joining the WeRobotics Team for this fascinating project. Faine took a leading role in conducting the interviews, analysis, workshop, and final report.



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