Businessman develops storm damage surveillance camera


It looks like something out of a Star Wars movie, but the people behind it say it’s far from science fiction.  It’s a video camera, designed to withstand winds of up to 200mph, and resist damage from flood waters or debris.  It’s called “The Eye of the Storm.”

“It came about when there were all of the fights with the insurance companies and the homeowners,” said Darrell Jones, CEO of World Class Companies, and developer of the camera.  “We’ve now developed a product that will give us the truth.”

Jones said he saw the need for a product like the camera after he came to Mississippi as a public adjustor.  After three years of development, the cameras have gotten much smaller than the prototype on display and are ready to make their hurricane season debut.

“We have designed a program to put in a hurricane-resistant camera 48 hours before a category two or higher hurricane hits,” explained Jones.  “And that’s done with basically a 4 inch pipe that is driven in the ground that extends about a 10 foot base out of it with a camera on the top.”

Jones said he can set up cameras anywhere between Corpus Christy, TX and the northern tip of Virginia.  He said each one is equipped with infrared vision and designed to roll through a storm day or night, recording the exact cause of damages when no one else is there to watch. 

Jones offers some free cameras, and others are available for sale.

“We have it set up where you can actually view it via the internet if you have to go out of town,” said Jones.

Jones said the cameras can be bought or leased before storms or at the beginning of hurricane season.  He said he can place up to 300 free cameras per storm, depending on the storm’s size.  He said only one free camera will be allowed per square mile.  He said his crews retrieve the cameras in days following the storm.

“The biggest benefit is this device is going to show the truth,” said Jones.  “It’s going to be able to determine water and wind what actually damages a home during hurricanes.”

By Sylvia Hall

WLOX- ch 13

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