Hurricane Camera could ease post storm mitigation

Published: Aug. 8, 2011 at 12:53 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2011 at 12:00 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Darrell Jones is an expert on insurance and risk management, and he's all too familiar with the frustrations of post storm mitigation.

"In Hurricane Katrina, I had a public adjusting company that settled many, many claims. The bottom line was always wind or water issue. Now, we've come up with a product to settle that issue," said Jones.

After his experiences with Katrina, Jones teamed up with his business partner to develop something that would help ease the process of filing and awarding insurance claims: a camera that could record all damage as it happens.

"We knew we had to get some sort of visual evidence, what they call the preponderance of evidence in the court of law. Now with the product being redesigned several times now, it is able to visually see what happens during the storm," said Jones.

The $3,000 hurricane camera is waterproof, wind proof, and can record video for days.  It attaches to light poles and can be quickly installed 48 hours before a storm makes landfall.

"There's a tremendous financial risk for not only insurance companies, but also for the general public. When someone, in fact, has their home blown away, they should be able to collect full limits for their wind policy and not just a portion. And, we should be able to have the evidence for them to do that," said Jones.

Jones and his partners are meeting with city officials across the Coast about using their product. They also hope to test it in the institute of business home safety which can simulate a cat three storm.

"Cities can use the data when it comes to state and federal money. It'll result in shorter wait time for state and federal money in order to rebuild cities,"

The hurricane camera has gone through four redesigns. The first camera was incased in stainless steel, and was unable to be mounted. The latest version is a fraction of the size and cost.

Jones and his partners hope to mass produce the camera soon.

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