USGS - science for a changing world

Emergency Operations Portal


During times of disaster, there is often a need for rapid acquisition and coordinated distribution of remotely sensed imagery and other geospatial products. These products enable agencies to plan the response to conditions on the ground. The hosting of imagery through a common delivery portal such as the USGS Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDS) facilitates the sharing of imagery and other geospatial datasets.

For any disaster event, one or more responding agencies initiate USGS Emergency Response support.  The specific type of remote sensing support is coordinated with the end user(s) and scaled to their requirements. The types of service and capability for USGS Emergency Response support are described below.

Domestic Support

Domestic support consists of remotely sensed image acquisition and delivery for U.S. events. The imagery is typically acquired by U.S. sources. 

International Support

For international events, USGS remote sensing support is integrated through its active role in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters".

The amount of imagery and duration of support will vary from event to event, depending on the requirements of the end user(s).  Support may include any of the following:

  • Scheduling and acquisition of relevant satellite imagery 
  • Hosting and distribution of pre- and post-event satellite imagery via HDDS
  • Hosting and distribution of pre- and post-event aerial imagery via HDDS
  • Hosting and distribution of geospatial products and miscellaneous datasets via HDDS
  • Preparation and delivery of selected HDDS datasets via GIS Services (e.g. WMS, REST)
  • Coordination and communication with other Federal, State, Tribal, local and international emergency response agencies, to include hosting a Remote Sensing Working Group (RSWG) teleconference if requested
  • Activation of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" if requested
  • Coordination of Project Manager services for Charter activations     

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Page Last Modified: February 23, 2015