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Rapid Response Disaster Mapping

The models show most areas around the world will experience more intense precipitation for a given storm during this century.”
– Gerald Meehl, Lead Researcher, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number, frequency and severity of weather-related disasters. Hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes and forest fires have caused civil authorities to grapple with the aftermath and reconstruction following such events:

  • Large number of people displaced, injured or killed
  • Billions in property damage
  • Severe health dangers due to disrupted water and sanitation systems
  • Clearing and restoration of roadways, infrastructure and basic services
  • Evaluation of over-stressed levy and water management systems
Tornado damage of an apartment complex

The key to such management issues is quick data, which gives authorities and first responders accurate and detailed information on the damage, enabling immediate decision-making. Aerial imagery and elevation data can help authorities:

  • See in almost real time the extent and severity of damage
  • Identify rescue needs and determine best avenues of response
  • Make preliminary damage and cost assessments
  • Plan repair and reconstruction efforts
  • Analyze data to mitigate and reduce future occurrences

The following is a list of recent disaster mapping projects:

  • Meramec River Flooding, 620 sq. mi
  • H-GAC Houston Flooding, 10,322 sq. mi.
  • USACE Flooding, 5 projects, 11,970 sq. mi.
  • Jefferson City Tornado, 56sq. mi.
  • Kansas Tornado, 113 sq. miles
  • USGS & FEMA, Nebraska flooding, 3,675 sq. mi. of ortho, 3,084 sq. mi. of lidar

Process Details

Rapid Response Disaster Mapping

In anticipation of the need for governments to respond as quickly as possible to natural disasters, Surdex has developed a rapid response protocol that expedites data acquisition and processing, providing data during that critical initial period – often within a day or two of acquisition.

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