Thousands of homes flooded. Millions without power. 122 lives lost. Those were just some of the numbers left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
No matter what the disaster, the Emergency Operations staff supporting ERT's TSSC contract at the USGS EROS Data Center are ready to respond. Over the last several years, ERT staff have supported national and international events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and earthquakes.
With the most recent event—Hurricane Sandy—TSSC contract support included updating pre-event base coastal imagery with recent 2011 National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) data sets and 2012 high-resolution ortho data sets from Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. As post-event data was received, it was loaded into the Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDS) where emergency staff, first responders, and planners had immediate access to it.
In support of Hurricane Sandy, the team received and distributed aerial data from the U.S. National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, North Carolina Department of Transportation, NOAA, American Aerospace Advisors, Inc., and the recently generated USGS NED and EAARL-B products. High-resolution satellite imagery such as Landsat, EO-1, ASTER, International Space Station, VIIRS, and commercial imagery such as TerraSAR-X, Radarsat, COSMO, SPOT, QuickBird, and WorldView were received and made available via the HDDS. A wide array of products such as FEMA damage and flood assessment maps, flood extent shape files, NOAA and USCG flight plans, and data source documents also were provided and posted on the HDDS.
As with other emergencies, staff supported the Hurricane Sandy event by working as a team around the clock and weekends to ensure immediate data availability. Team members worked with first responders and data providers to ensure that all data requirements were met. This type of dedication to the job and the Emergency Operations Long-term Archive Project at the EROS Center make it a primary resource for state and Federal agencies to access when data are needed most following a disaster. For more information, check the following website: http://hdds.usgs.gov/hdds2/.