The Indian sub-continent experiences frequent flooding, earthquakes and landslides. During the times of peril, live surveillance of the disaster zone facilitates the disaster agencies in locating and aiding the affected people. For this reason, development of a micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be an optimal solution. This article provides a conceptualization of a UAV model that meets the need of the country. A comparison of different aircraft components and their optimization and sensitivity analyses are presented. In the end, this research produces a preliminary design of UAV that can accomplish surveillance and payload dropping missions in disaster affected areas. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.