There’s A New Way To Use Float Aviation In Disaster Response And We Need To Make Sure It Happens.
As time grows closer to the Cascadia Rising exercise in the Northwest it is exciting to see an increased recognition of the potential that float aviation has in contributing to response efforts in the state of Washington.
Below is an interactive map that is designed as a concept, but can transition into a live map of how floats could potentially be used;
With as many floats as possible coordinated from one or two predesignated locations, a tremendously flexible resource is made available. Response logistics are much easier to manage by centralizing the efforts. It becomes easier to know what you have at your disposal and you can support many regions from one or two primary locations.
Given the nature of earthquakes, you can simply use the earthquake itself to alert the responders. If the planet moves, then the pilots fly to their closest Base Lake and wait for further instruction. The Incident Command (IC) at the Base Lake directs flights as requests for evacuation or medical assistance are received through the designated channels.
A core aspect of why this is growing in value is the realization that with a magnitude 8 plus for 3 to 5 minutes and the topography of Washington being as it is, the use of the many water ways as an additional method of getting aid in or people out becomes an obvious and necessary resource. There is still work to do, but we have a solid start.
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With the very likely loss of the pass highways, this additional means of transportation becomes very important. It is the loss of those highways that reminds me of an historic example where aviation played a key role.
In the Berlin Airlift at the close of World War II a city was kept going entirely by aviation.
I could easily see float aviation and land based general aviation doing the same again for many communities.
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