A Chesapeake-based company that trains amateur drone pilots coordinated more than 5,000 disaster relief missions in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey.

DroneUp, an app that’s the main interest of Chesapeake resident Tom Walker’s company DART Ventures, allows certified drone pilots – many of them hobbyists – to sign up for training and be part of a “drone-assisted response team” to help when they receive alerts, such as for a missing child or missing elderly person.

After seeing Harvey’s destruction of Texas communities, the app’s leaders said, they decided to help by recruiting local drone pilots who could help capture photos and video in areas most people couldn’t reach, said Jim Harenchar, DroneUp’s chief marketing officer.

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