Saturday, October 18, 2008

Additional information for Hurricane Gustav response

In the days since Hurricane Gustav first appeared on the radar (swiftly followed by several other storms), a team of Googlers has been gathering information we hope will be useful to residents of the affected regions and the relief agencies working to help them.

Imagery from NOAA

After Hurricane Gustav passed on Tuesday, NOAA's Remote Sensing Division began flying rapid response aerial reconnaissance missions of the Mississippi delta region where the storm came ashore. The data they gathered are primarily to help emergency managers visualize conditions on the ground, but are also useful for anyone interested in the impact a major hurricane has on the landscape. The NOAA team has published the data they have collected so far on their official Hurricane Gustav response page, and members of the Google Earth team have processed it into a KML image overlay for easy access by anyone. To view the imagery in Google Earth, click here to download the KML file.

Here's a sample of before & after imagery of battered islands and structures in southern Louisiana:

Before (Image © DigitalGlobe) After (Image courtesy NOAA)

Healthcare information from Direct Relief International

Direct Relief put together a KML layer to aid in their efforts around Hurricane Gustav. They mapped the federally qualified community health centers and free clinics along the U.S. Gulf Coast that make up the core of the medical "safety net" for the region. Combining these facility locations with the path of the hurricane, they are able to target medical material, financial, and other assistance to those places that need it most. The green icons in the layer indicate clinics that received medical supplies from Direct Relief prior to the arrival of the hurricane, the blue icons correspond to non-profit free clinics, and the red correspond to federally qualified community health centers.


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