|Excerpt from GEOSS *Strategic Plan:|
Natural and technological disasters, such as hurricanes and other extreme weather events, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and debris flows, wildland and urban-interface fires, floods, oil spills, and space-weather storms impose a significant burden on society. Within the U.S., disasters inflict many injuries and deaths, and cost the Nation $20 billion each year. The Earth observation systems needed to forecast and mitigate disasters are diverse in type and maturity. The Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction report "Reducing Disaster Vulnerability through Science and Technology" identifies the many existing interagency and international partnerships that are involved in an array of valuable cooperative programs for improving the resiliency of American communities to all hazards.
The Subcommittee for Disaster Recovery has identified many existing interagency partnerships that deal with particular hazards. An example is flood monitoring and response, which involves coordination among the NWS, USGS, FEMA and USACE. Another example is dealing with the hazards posed by volcanic ash clouds. Safe air traffic control involves coordination between NOAA (both the NWS and NESDIS), the USGS, the USAF, and the FAA.
Disasters can also span beyond our borders, where international cooperation is paramount to ensure public safety. Some key international partnerships and coordinating bodies for disaster observations include the WMO and the associated Meteorological Watch Offices, the nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers, the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Organization, which has a number of monitoring systems, and the International Space Environment Service. We are beginning to see the success of linking global observations to help mitigate disasters, examples are the National Ice Center which collaborates internationally through the WMO/IOC; the International
Ice Chart Working Group, formed in 1999, provides operational cooperation amongst national ice services, with regional (North American) collaboration handled by the US-Canadian Joint Ice Working Group. Another category of international partnerships includes programs such as the USGS Volcano
Disaster Assistance Program (cosponsored by the USGS and USAID/OFDA) and the Civil Military Emergency Preparedness program of the USACE.
SERVIR Disaster Links
*CENR/IWGEO. 2005. Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System, National Science and Technology Council Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Washington, DC. http://iwgeo.ssc.nasa.gov/docs/EOCStrategic_Plan.pdf