[ESIP-all] ESIP Disaster Response cluster

Joe Hourcle oneiros at grace.nascom.nasa.gov
Mon Feb 3 15:53:56 EST 2014

On Feb 3, 2014, at 1:51 PM, Eric Kihn wrote:

> All,
> Just to add a little to the conversation.
> http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/12/10/Scientist-Near-miss-solar-storm-should-be-a-wake-up-call/UPI-60331386713722/
> Dan Baker claims we had a "near" miss last year that would have been
> larger than Carrington.

I'm not going to deny that should a big one hit us, it'd be really, really bad ... but there's completely different information needed for *prediction* vs. *response*.

For instance, for prediction:


But for *response* ... you'd need to be able to answer questions like 'how many years is the backlog for a replacement transformer for my power substation?' or 'when and where are the satellites likely going to fall?' or even as simple as 'what areas don't have power?' or 'when can we use GPS again?'.


Most of the issues are similar to areas that have been hit by earthquakes, hurricane Katrina, tsunamis or the 2003 blackouts ... but on a wider scale (possibly the whole Earth), with the possibility of no communications satellites or GPS (and GPS is slated to be used for air traffic control).  So even if someone had spare parts for fixing blown transformers (very unlikely, as they'll all fail the same way), you might not be able to communicate with anyone to find out, or transport it once you find it.

That's not to say that there aren't some systems that are detection ... bridging between prediction and response (eg, a satellite at L1 just detected something) ... but depending on what it is and how fast it's moving, they might not have a chance to sound an alert.  (and if they did, it might not be sufficient time for satellites near earth to be maneuvered to protect themselves)

A year or two ago, I remember reading an article on Japan's disaster response system (or maybe I saw it on the news ... I tend to watch MHz WorldView) ... it was fed by seismic and marine data, and it could be used to judge how severe the damage was in various areas, correlated against population densities and info about how well reinforced structures were in that area, so they could determine what level of response was needed and where.  I'm not having luck finding it, though (most websites talk about the 2011 earthquake).

I found something from the JMA on an update last year on their warning systems:



So anyway, my point is that you should clarify what the bounds of the group are:

	Disaster Prediction
	Disaster Detection
	Disaster Warning
	Disaster Response

... some response stuff is fairly universal (what areas were affected, where are the people most in need of help, what areas are too hazardous for responders, where are groups deployed to help, what resources are available / needed / deployed, what groups are participating in responding, etc.) ... but some of the specifics may not be.  (eg, for Katrina, they got industrial pumps from Germany ... but you may not know what specialty equipment needs to be tracked in advance of the disaster ... or that some specialty equipment even exists)


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