UPDATED: NRC Workshop Examines Using Remote Sensing Satellites for Disasters

UPDATED: NRC Workshop Examines Using Remote Sensing Satellites for Disasters

UPDATE: A link to Dr. Williamson’s presentation has been added.

Everyone needs to look “at the entire disaster cycle” and communities need “to understand the risks they take” according to experts who met at a July 8 National Research Council (NRC) workshop on how to better use remote sensing data in disaster response and recovery. A SpacePolicyOnline.com summary of the meeting is available on our website.

Stuart Gill of the World Bank and Ray Williamson from the Secure World Foundation emphasized those points during a panel discussion at the workshop. Gill added that “a top-down modeling exercise” combined with “bottom-up community risk mapping” is needed to get people involved in understanding their environments and attendant risks.

Panel participants believed the biggest impediment to better use of remote sensing data to deal with disasters when they happen, or perhaps to avoid them, is policy development. Jack Harrald, chair of the NRC’s Disasters Roundtable, which sponsored the workshop, concluded that there is a “profound leadership challenge” to develop and implement a vision for 2020. The topic of the workshop was “From Reality 2010 to Vision 2020: Translating Remotely Sensed Data to Assets, Exposure, Damage, and Losses.”

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