Disaster areas are one of the most challenging environments faced by mankind. Uncertainty, hazards, and limited availability of rescuers all impact the ability to save lives. Prepositioned autonomous rescue robots offer promise in assisting the rst responders to a disaster site, but there is a challenge to using robots in hazardous environments: numerous studies have shown that human rescuers lack trust in fully autonomous systems. This paper introduces the aspects of disaster areas that make them so challenging. The use of robots as a risk management tool for human rescuers is introduced. Then some of the factors that limit human trust in robots are addressed – including one of the key factors: reliability. The design of a computer model used to investigate issues of trust and the impact of reliability in a re ghting scenario is discussed and the results are analyzed. Finally, some preliminary conclusions and plans for further work in this area are presented.