Remote sensing research improves hurricane response

Safe and uninterrupted road travel is crucial in the aftermath of storms so that people can have access to medical treatment, broken power lines can be removed and communities can begin to return to normal.

Researchers at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering’s Resilient Infrastructure and Disaster Response (RIDER) Center are investigating better ways to predict where road-clogging debris will be most severe after tropical cyclones. Their latest magazine was published in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

“This research is particularly relevant as the hurricane season approaches because it reminds us that we need a variety of tools to respond properly to these storms,” ​​said Eren Ozguven, director of the RIDER Center and the magazine’s senior author. “This document describes an important tool and applies it to disasters in the Florida Panhandle.”

Researchers used satellite images to measure the amount of vegetation in Bay County, Florida, before and after two tropical storms and three hurricanes, including Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm that devastated the county in 2018. It gave them an estimate of how much vegetative debris the storms caused and where the debris was at its heaviest. They could correlate debris measurements with factors such as wind speed, initial amount of vegetation and road density.

The researchers found that rubbish was heavier in suburban and urban areas, which have a high density of people and roads, compared to rural areas. Although vegetation is not the only type of debris caused by a hurricane, it is an important predictor of where roads will be blocked.

Researchers are striving to develop a tool that gives emergency planners an estimate of the debris storms that are likely to generate – enabling officials, for example, to plan where to place trucks and collection zones before storms.

“The faster you can remove debris from the roadway, the better you will be at getting back to normal after a hurricane,” said newspaper co-author Tarek Abichou, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

Along with understanding where to place resources before a storm, officials can use satellite images after a hurricane to quickly and inexpensively get an idea of ​​damage after the storm before deploying first responders.

The work is part of RIDER’s efforts to use remote sensing technology to solve plant problems.

“Engineering is about finding solutions despite obstacles, and hurricanes throw up all sorts of obstacles,” Abichou said. “Improving our ability to use remote sensing to prepare for and recover from storms will help us overcome these challenges.”

Former doctoral student at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Alican Karaer, served as the magazine’s lead author. Co-author was Mingyang Chen from the Harbin Institute of Technology; former FAMU-FSU College of Engineering doctoral student Mahyar Ghorbanzadeh; and Michele Gazzea and Reza Arghandeh from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

This document was supported by the National Science Foundation Coastlines and People (CoPe) Award 1940319.

Story source:

Material provided by Florida State University. Original written by Bill Wellock. Note! The content can be edited for style and length.

Leave a Comment