Satellite Images of Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

GeoEye-1 satellite images of Hurricane Katrina shows how county planners, coastal managers and local communities can better prepare for the next natural disaster by learning from past experiences. Satellite imagery and GIS mapping enables emergency management and community planners to better prepare for hurricane impacts on their region. Estimates of the particular land cover classes that may be inundated by each category hurricane can enable planners to better assess the region’s vulnerability. With this type of information, planners are better able to prioritize and target mitigation and preparedness activities for their area. Remote sensing gives state and government agencies the ability to view the damage from multiple vantage points. The spatial resolution of an image determines the ability to view individual features such as building’s and bridges. It also effects the ability to monitor and access damage conditions and depends on the nature of the hazard itself – for example: flooding, wind-pressure and storm surges.

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Using high resolution satellite images of 1 meter or less from satellite sensors such as GeoEye-1, WorldView4, WorldView-3, and WorldView-2 are necessary to distinguish the damage conditions of individual buildings such as wind damage to roofs and escape routes. Image resolution of 10 meter or smaller can determine the discern presence and location of the buildings and detect and monitor flooding. Satellite imagery from multispectral satellite sensors such as WorldView-4 can detect difference in physical materials such as vegetation, construction materials and water by identifying their unique characteristics which is beneficial to separating the constituent materials within an image and for the interpretation of images for pre and post disaster assessment.