THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY’S EMERGENCY OPERATIONS OFFICE GIVES EMERGENCY MANAGERS FAST ACCESS TO CRITICAL SATELLITE IMAGERY.
The use of geographic information system (GIS) technology is gaining widespread acceptance in the disaster response and management community. Emergency managers useGISfor preparedness, as well as for event management and follow up. Pre-incidentGISinformation includes location and status of critical infrastructure and emergency services, as well as identifying areas susceptible to damage. During an event, up-to-dateGISinformation helps emergency managers deploy and prioritize the use of assets. As efforts move into recovery and rebuilding,GIStechnology continues to assist in damage assessment, construction planning and mitigation of future incidents.
Every GIShas an enormous appetite for geographic data, especially up-to-date maps and images. Satellite and airborne remote sensing plays an important role in providing both pre- and post-incident imagery. Although there exists a large array of government and private imaging sources for information, finding and obtaining the needed imagery in a short time frame—as is usually the case in an emergency situation—can become a daunting task forGIS operators.