Emergency Response Imagery

Contributing Partners:

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To support homeland security and emergency response requirements, NOAA has the capability to acquire and rapidly disseminate a variety of spatially referenced data sets to federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as the public. Remote sensing technologies used for emergency response include the Emerge/Applanix Digital Sensor System (DSS) for the acquisition of high-resolution images. These images have assisted with recovery efforts along coastlines affected by a variety of disasters, including hurricanes, nor’easters, and earthquakes.

Data Specifications

  • Area of Coverage: Texas to Delaware
  • Date(s) Available: Range from 2003 to present (vary by location)
  • Format: JPEG (2003 to 2006), Georeferenced JPEG (2007 to present)
  • Resolution: Approximately 50 cm (1.64 feet)


The data are disseminated to facilitate various support efforts:

  • Aiding emergency managers to develop recovery strategies
  • Enabling damage assessment through comparison of before and after imagery
  • Rebuilding of damaged properties
  • Allowing those displaced to see images of their homes and neighborhoods

Notes and Limitations: This rapid response product was generated for use by emergency managers for visual analysis of damage in the landfall area. It is not intended for mapping, charting, or navigation. Although NOAA is making these photographs available to others who may find the photographs of value, NOAA does not warrant, endorse, or recommend the use of these photographs for any given purpose. In no event will NOAA be liable for any use or misuse of these data.


The National Response Framework Resource Center
Presents the guiding principles that enable all response partners to prepare for and provide a unified national response to disasters and emergencies

Aerial Photography and Mapping Lesson Plan: Images of Katrina
Allows students to use maps and online data resources to locate specific geographic areas in aerial photographs and assess some impacts of Hurricane Katrina