As I’m sure you’ve heard, Hurricane Florence is due to make landfall on the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia on Friday. The storm is projected to bring record-breaking rain and wind to the area and has prompted mandatory evacuations along the East Coast. Given these conditions, it is of the utmost importance that all UAS operators refrain from flight. As an AMA member, you know to stay grounded, but we urge you to spread the word to other UAS operators who may not know that flight before, during and after the storm can be dangerous.
Following the storm, important Hurricane Florence emergency response and relief efforts will be underway. All UAS operators should check if there is an active Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in their area. Furthermore, although post-storm conditions may seem clear to fly, you must not interfere with any of these crucial operations. UAS can be a helpful tool during disaster relief, but unless you are working directly with relief efforts, you must stay clear and allow the professionals to do their vital work.
It’s also important to note that unauthorized UAS operators may be subject to significant fines if they interfere with emergency response and relief operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state or local laws and ordinances, even if a TFR is not in place. To see if there is an active TFR in your area, please visit www.tfr.faa.gov.
Please stay safe during the storm, and reach out to us if you have any questions.