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Earth Observation for Emergency Management

A section of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Section Information

Background and Aim 

Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity in the modern world, and their impact on human lives and the economy is accelerating due to growing urbanization and increasing frequency of extreme weather events. Disaster management planning is structured around the disaster management cycle model of four stages—mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Disaster monitoring and assessment are the most benefited areas by recent advances in satellite and airborne remote sensing. Consistent efforts to find ways to operationally monitor and assess disastrous events, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, floods, and wildfires, are consistently rewarded by integrating advanced remote sensing. Novel techniques in image analysis and the scheduled launch of a series of new sensors with enhanced specifications are also promising for disaster monitoring and assessment, which aims at reducing the risks caused by disasters, providing the public and emergency responders with information that can assist decision making around short-term readiness.

Earth Observation (EO) has been widely applied to post-disaster response, damage assessment, recovery and mitigation, and data collection and processing methods have advanced substantially in recent years. The overall trend toward open data favored by major agencies and programs across the globe enables an unprecedented scale of monitoring and understanding of disaster phenomena, creating the conditions for building complete, accurate, and dynamic pictures of post-disaster situations.

Using satellite and airborne data, regional and global environmental, economic, and societal impacts on the public health (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic) can be assessed. To discover the effects on the environment due to changes in human behavior, remote sensing data can show new trends over time. Human-made and technological hazards are events that are caused by humans and occur in or close to human settlements. They include complex emergencies, conflicts, industrial accidents, transport accidents, environmental degradation, and pollution.

The aim of “Earth Observation for Emergency Management” is to offer a platform to discuss disaster monitoring, assessment, and emergency management caused by natural hazards, such as earthquakes, storms, floods, wildfires, and landslides, and human-made and technological hazards, such as chemical explosion and environmental pollution.


  • Multisensor data fusion for disaster monitoring and decision support
  • Novel techniques for remote-sensing-based vulnerability and disaster assessment
  • Remote-sensing-based systems for disaster monitoring and forecasting
  • Damage assessment and mapping using Earth observation ​data
  • Exposure information and recovery monitoring
  • Insurance policies and claim vetting
  • Open data and big data and machine learning in risk and damage assessment
  • Crowdsourcing and participative sensing
  • Human-made and technological hazards
  • COVID-19 pandemic, public health, and emergency management

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