Cut Prices, Disaster Response Time Can Be Reduced by NASA Satellite Data.

Cut Prices, Disaster Response Time Can Be Reduced by NASA Satellite Data.

Emergency responders could cut costs and save time by utilizing near-real-time satellite data alongside other decision-making tools after a flood disaster, says a new analysis.

Employing the 2011 Southeast Asian shore as a case study, the researchers calculated that could have been saved if ambulance drivers and other emergency responders had near-real-time info about flooded streets. The analysis is a first step in developing a model to deploy in future disasters, according to the researchers.

‘We chose information that represented what we’d know in a few hours of the case,’ said the study’s lead writer Perry Oddo, an associate scientist in NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center at Greenbelt, Maryland.

‘We took estimates of flood depth and damage and asked how we could apply that to route emergency response and provides. And we inquired, what’s the value of getting that information?’

In 2011, heavy monsoon rains and La Nina conditions across Southeast Asia’s Mekong River basin overwhelmed and destroyed millions of acres of crops, displacing millions of people and killing tens of thousands.

The researchers investigated how access to near-real-time satellite information could have helped in the wake of the floods, focusing on the region surrounding Bangkok, Thailand. ‘The reaction time for emergency responders is greatly determined by the accessibility and fidelity of these mapped regions,’ stated John Bolten, associate program manager of the NASA Earth Science Water Resources Program, along with the study’s second author.

‘Here we demonstrate the map’s worth , especially for emergency responders, and assign a value. It’s a lot of significance for planning future reaction scenarios, enabling us to move out of information’ Bolten said.