February 7, 2020
NASA Earth Science Directory (Acting) Sandra Cauffman. Credit: NASA
Versión en español Director (Acting) of the NASA Earth Science Mission Directorate Sandra Cauffman will be the key speaker at the upcoming “Understanding Risk Central America” conference taking place February 12th  - 14th,  2020 in San José, Costa Rica. She will be speaking on NASA’s role in supporting disaster risk reduction and response in Central America.   NASA Earth Science Director (Acting) Sandra Cauffman. Credit: NASA Understanding Risk (UR) is an open and global community of individuals and institutions that work on the creation, communication and use of disaster risk information. The community organizes global and regional conferences to highlight best practices, facilitates public-private partnerships and shares the latest technical knowledge in disaster risk identification. NASA has signed a joint declaration with the countries of the Central American Integration (SICA) to collaborate in disaster risk reduction and related areas. NASA Earth observation data represent a strategic value for decision-making in disaster risk reduction and resilience for one of the world's most vulnerable regions to natural disasters. NASA will have a booth at the Understanding Risk event and representatives will be attending from the NASA Disasters Program and SERVIR.


February 5, 2020
Members of the NASA Disasters Program at the Esri user conference. Credit: NASA Disasters Program
Join more than 5,000 attendees from across government agencies at the Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, DC on February 11 - 12, 2020. Hear how government agencies are using GIS to power deeper understanding for effective solutions. Learn more: Members of the NASA Disasters Program at the Esri user conference. Credit: NASA Disasters Program Members of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program will be attending to teach people about the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal how NASA is connecting GIS to science and applying geospatial technology to better understand our changing planet. NASA Events NASA Special Interest Group Meeting  Wednesday February 12th, 12:30 – 1:30pm, Room 154B This meeting is for NASA staff and collaborating partners to discuss and share information on NASA projects supported by GIS. NASA Disasters Program Mapping Portal Overview Wednesday February 12th, 1:30 – 2:30pm, Room 154B Learn how the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal bridges the gap between NASA scientists and end-users. The Portal hosts NASA near real-time image services and event specific products for users involved in disaster risk management and day-to-day planning and operations.


January 28, 2020
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas that are likely damaged as a result of the November 26, 2019 earthquakes in Albania. The map was derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The images were taken before (November 14, 2019 and November 20, 2019) and after (November 26, 2019) the sequence of earthquakes. Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data, processed by ESA. Analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This task was carried out at JPL funded by NASA.  During a recent U.S. State Department “Observations and Communications Roundtable” meeting, NASA Disasters Program personnel briefed a delegation of several Italian disaster preparedness and response agencies on the work in which the program is engaged. One of the Italian delegation subsequently reached out to Disasters with a specific request for information on damage to structures in the epicentral region of an Albanian earthquake which occurred on Tuesday, November 26th, 2019. Disaster-affiliated researchers from the Advanced Rapid Images and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory were able to provide a damage proxy map that was then released to Italian officials. 


January 10, 2020
NASA Disasters Program Manager David Green giving a talk on the NASA Hyperwall at AGU 2019. Credit: Jacob Reed (NASA GSFC)
Members of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program will be attending the American Meteorological Society 2020 Annual Meeting this year in Boston, MA to give talks and teach people about the program and the services it provides.


January 9, 2020
NASA’s Terra satellite captured this view of the region, showing a complex array of dust storms, enhanced thanks to the rich spectral information of MODIS.
In part supported by NASA’s Disasters Program, the system known as LANCE — short for Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (Earth Observing System) — collates satellite data to deliver imagery of intense disturbances across the globe: usually less than three hours after initial observations. As it enters its second decade of operation, LANCE provides subscribers free and open access to more than 130 near real-time data products and imagery from 12 satellite instruments.


December 31, 2019
Category 5 Hurricane Irma as observed by the GOES-16 satellite on September 5th, 2017, and processed by SPoRT.
The NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT) was established in 2002 to transition NASA satellite data and capabilities to improve short-term weather forecasting with an emphasis on National Weather Service (NWS) end users. With the goal of maximizing the benefit of NASA research and capabilities to benefit society, SPoRT has developed innovative solutions to bring research products to operations and tailor them to meet end user needs. Over the past decade SPoRT has been at the forefront of a range of activities, making notable contributions to NASA LIS and WRF Hydro, the GOES-R/JPSS Proving Grounds, and the GPM, SMAP, and SWOT Early Adopter Programs. With an initial focus on partners in the southeastern U.S., SPoRT has expanded partnerships to include end users in all NWS Regions, National Centers, and other government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, U.S.D.A., and state environmental agencies.


December 23, 2019
Emergency responders during the May 2017 flooding near Pocahontas, Arkansas. Credit: U.S. Army National Guard/Spc. Stephen M. Wright
Arkansas lives up to its nickname of The Natural State, with three national forests covering 2.9 million acres, seven national parks, scenic mountains and plains, and dozens of rivers bordering and crossing the state, including the mighty Mississippi. But with all those rivers, flooding is a recurring natural hazard. For those providing relief and other emergency services to flooded areas, timely NASA Earth observations help determine the scope of the disaster.


November 25, 2019
The 2011 floodwaters show up as dark blue spreading across the historic city of Ayutthata, Thailand, just north of Bangkok. The 2011 floods killed hundreds of people and displaced millions. Credits: Credit: LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA’s G
In the first NASA study to calculate the value of using satellite data in disaster scenarios, researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, calculated the time that could have been saved if ambulance drivers and other emergency responders had near-real-time information about flooded roads, using the 2011 Southeast Asian floods as a case study. Ready access to this information could have saved an average of nine minutes per emergency response and potential millions of dollars, they said. The study is a first step in developing a model to deploy in future disasters, according to the researchers. The Mekong River crosses more than 2,000 miles in Southeast Asia, passing through parts of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, China and other countries. The river is a vital source of food and income for the roughly 60 million people who live near it, but it is also one of the most flood-prone regions in the world. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


November 19, 2019
Refugee camps built in the Bangladeshi hillside are vulnerable to sudden landslides. Credits: UN Development Programme/Eno Jonathan
Refugee camps built in the Bangladeshi hillside are vulnerable to sudden landslides. Credits: UN Development Programme/Eno Jonathan Camp managers and other local officials overseeing Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh are now incorporating NASA satellite observations into their decision making in order to reduce the risk to refugees from landslides and other natural hazards. Information like daily rain totals can help inform how  to lay out refugee camps and store supplies. More than 740,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017. Many of them have sought shelter in camps located in the hilly countryside, where landslide risk may be the greatest. Increasing this danger is Bangladesh’s intense monsoon season. Approximately 80 percent of Bangladesh's yearly rain falls in just five months, from June to October, bringing with it an increased risk of flash flooding and landslides. When these refugee camps were built in the southeastern part of the country, plants and trees were removed and their roots no longer helped to hold the soil in place. The soaked hillsides are at even greater risk of cleaving off with heavy rains. In July 2019, after 14 inches of rain fell in 72 hours, 26 landslides in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, killed one person and left more than 4,500 without shelter. “We have little information on landslides," said Hafizol Islam, who is in charge of one of the most densely populated camps of the Kutupalong mega-camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. "It is unpredictable for us and can happen at any time.”


November 1, 2019
Landslide researcher and Disasters Program Center Coordinator Dalia Kirschbaum gives a presentation on the NASA Hyperwall at AGU 2016.
Members of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program will be attending the American Geophysical Union 2019 Fall Meeting this year in San Francisco, CA to give talks, present posters, and teach people about the program and the services it provides.