GRW Collects Imagery to Assist with Hurricane Disaster Recovery

This cell-phone photo was taking during a flight GRW pilots flew as part of a disaster recovery assignment to collect aerial imagery following Hurricane Michael in Florida.

GRW’s flight crews spent time this fall collecting imagery of the hurricane damage in Florida and Georgia. 

From October 11, the day after Hurricane Michael hit the Gulf coast, to October 18, GRW’s flight crews flew 140 miles of the Gulf coast, the Laguna Beach area, the Santa Rosa Beach area, and -- one of the hardest hit areas -- Panama City.

GRW used its recently purchased camera, the Vexcel Eagle Mark 1, to take extremely high resolution images in these areas. One team flew 609 sq. mi. of 5cm resolution (2” pixel), and 299 sq. mi. of 10cm resolution imagery (4” pixel).  A second GRW flight crew flew 20cm imagery (8” pixel) of over 7,400 sq. mi. of coverage in Florida and Georgia.

This is not the first time GRW supported natural disaster recovery efforts by providing aerial imagery collection services. GRW provided these services following Hurricane Florence in September and Ohio River flooding this spring.

GRW used Vexcel digital cameras to acquire imagery for the last 6 years; it was then GRW purchased its first digital camera, the Vexcel UltraCam Lp. Not only do we use Vexcel's camera equipment, GRW also is a service provider for the Vexcel Blue Sky/Grey Sky program. The Blue Sky program focuses on imagery of existing conditions/non-disaster imagery across the nation, while the Grey Sky program provides post disaster event imagery. 

The images taken by GRW of Hurricane Michael are used by citizens, agencies, and the insurance industry to provide information needed during the recovery phase of the natural disasters.

Vexcel, a worldwide leader in photogrammetry, imagery, and remote sensing technology, is also key partner of the Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC). GIC is a not-for-profit initiative of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), whose member companies write almost 80 percent of all property/casualty insurance and over 94 percent of all auto insurance in the country, according to the NICB website.

Learn more about GRW's geospatial services.