You would think some things go without saying but last night the FAA issued a series of statements via Twitter warning drone pilots to stay away from Hurricane Harvey and that there would be consequences for violations. These statements referenced a tweet from the Texas Military Department stating that they were seeing civilian drones in the airspace.
As one of the FAA tweets notes, a temporary flight restriction does not have to be in place for users to violate laws. While it may be difficult to understand how one might fly a drone in a hurricane, or why someone would fly in an emergency zone, there is no underestimating some people. Please follow all FAA rules and regulations, use common sense, and respect the authorities as they seek to assist people who are having a very difficult time.
In a statement on the hurricane, the FAA writes:
The FAA warns unauthorized drone operators that they may be subject to significant fines if they interfere with emergency response operations. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.
See also:FAA Prepares for Hurricane Harvey