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DHS wants to know what you think about using drones during emergencies

DHS wants to know what you think about using drones during emergencies

On Tuesday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a notice on the Federal Register about a survey to get a better idea of citizens’ knowledge and feelings of government agencies using drones during emergencies.

DHS survey on using drones during emergencies

The survey that the DHS is planning to issue is titled ‘Understanding Public Perception and Acceptance of First Responders use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

In the notice S&T Chief Information Officer Gregg. Piermarini wrote:

“First responder organizations have used UAS to search for lost children, identify high risk areas in burning structures, facilitate relief operations following hurricanes, reduce risk and exposure for law enforcement officers in active-shooter events, and many other use cases. The primary purpose of this survey is to understand the public perception of and identify concerns with current and potential uses of UAS technology by first responders.

Questions that are included in the survey have to do with the respondents’ knowledge of drones and their capabilities as well as how first responders use these unmanned aircraft, and what the respondents think of those use cases. And, lastly, whether the public trusts the government and first responders to use drone technology ethically.

Respondents will be also asked about their personal demographics to get a better idea of how opinions may be different between different backgrounds. Piermarini said the survey will ask respondents to evaluate the effectiveness of different test messages that we have created to deliver information to the public about first responder drone applications. The Department of Homeland Security is only planning to issue this survey once and expects about 2,000 responses from the general public. It should take no more than 20 minutes to complete the survey.

Comments on the structure and the content of the survey can be submitted online until July 9th.

Officials are particularly interested in hearing feedback on five questions.

  1. Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the department?
  2. Will this information be processing used in a timely manner?
  3. Is the estimate of burden accurate?
  4. How might the department enhance the quality utility and clarity of the information to be collected?
  5. How might the department minimize the burden of this collection on respondents, including through the use of information technology?

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Photo: Kent County Sheriff’s Office

Haye Kesteloo

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