FLYMOTION’s drone deployment aids hurricane response in SW Florida

FLYMOTION hurricane drone

Tampa Bay drone and robotic services company FLYMOTION has joined the expanding list of homegrown and national businesses and emergency responder organizations now hard at work to locate and care for survivors, and assist large areas of southwest Florida start recovering from the devastating passage of Hurricane Ian.

Aware of the destructive power that Category 4 Ian would batter areas with as it passed through, FLYMOTION began preparing its drone-led search, rescue, and reconnaissance operation even before the hurricane made land. That advance work allowed the company to mobilize teams to worst-hit Cape Coral, Ft. Myers, Bonita Beach, and other ravaged Lee County cities October 1, as soon as authorities gave the clear sign.

Since then, FLYMOTION has been providing daily updates of its work using drones to assess damage, map neighborhoods, gauge recession of flood waters, and locate and help people stranded by Hurricane Ian’s merciless force. Company logistics experts say they got a clear and close-up idea of the damage they’d be working with from the extreme conditions they witnessed in Tampa Bay.

“Experiencing such destruction so close to home is a humbling experience, to say the least,” said FLYMOTION CEO Ryan English. “On Monday, we were expecting the eye to make landfall in right in our backyard, Tampa.” 

In addition to addressing pressing, at times urgent situations many survivors have been left in, the drone work FLYMOTION is doing in southwest Florida provides critical, swiftly evolving information to emergency services on road accessibility, the state of standing structures, and which of the rescue and debris-clearing scenarios they identify require the fastest response.

Along with its fleet of drones and supporting tech, FLYMOTION is using robotic vehicles, satellite communications, mobile command centers, and a fully self-contained 45-foot bus to serve as an operational post and lodging for team members in responding to the post-Ian catastrophe. 

The veteran-owned company initially planned for a multi-day mission, but says it will extend its work in the Ft. Meyers area as long as it can offer support to the wider and expanding group of organizations and individuals flocking to southwest Florida to provide assistance.

“In the midst of such loss, seeing the community pull together and receiving such an outpouring of support from around the state and country is powerful,” said FLYMOTION director of business operations, Bryce Cline. “We are here, and we are glad that we are able to support our fellow Floridians in an impactful way.” 

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