Disaster Zone

Rent High-Tech Gear for Responding to Disasters

A new resource you likely don't know about.

by Eric Holdeman / January 16, 2019

Where can you go to obtain specialize equipment for responding to disasters — that is there specifically for responding to disasters? Just call 1-800-XXX-XXXX.

Or, you can contact experts who are maintaining a cache of equipment, see this TV news story, Rental gear kit available for scientists responding to natural disasters.

These supplies are not just for scientists. Public- and private-sector organizations can access them. The Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR) recently hosted a final workshop for a drone project we were wrapping up, and one of the presenters was from the NHERI Rapid Experimental Facility.

See the workshop notes here:

The last speaker of the day, Jake Dafni, operations manager for NHERI RAPID Experimental Facility at the University of Washington, gave an overview on the University of Washington’s NHERI RAPID Facility which is a National Science Foundation-funded organization. The NHERI (Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure) RAPID Facility is a field-based, reconnaissance-based facility. Dafni stated that the mission of the facility is address the grand challenges to critical infrastructure and provide the public and private sector and communities with publicly available solutions. Community resilience and infrastructure resilience are the two main issues that the facility seeks to address. The specific purpose of the facility is to acquire, maintain and operate state-of-the-art information collection tools that can be utilized by the public and private sector to address challenges to infrastructure in their communities. They provide advisory services as well as an option to collect data for communities if need be. Otherwise, they provide the training and support to allow entities to collect the data for themselves using the facility’s equipment and programs. The facility’s tools include survey equipment, lidar scanners, drones, seismic instrumentation, wind and storm surge instrumentation, social science recon equipment, imaging equipment, software and data processing tools, and more. Dafni then went into more detail about the fleet of drones that the NHERI RAPID Facility maintains from smaller drones to larger, industrial drones to a commercialized, lidar-scanning drone. Dafni finished by discussing the real-world applications of the facility’s tools and operations and what direction it might take in the future.