A flag flies at a mobile home park on San Carlos Island in the Fort Myers area days after Hurricane Ian hit Florida in late September 2022. (Octavio Jones/for The Washington Post)
Stars and Stripes/Washington Post: Why the US is enlisting a spy agency during hurricanes
Corry Robb’s colleagues at the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency use powerful satellites to monitor protests in Iran, missile launches in North Korea and Russian strikes on Ukraine. This fall, Robb and a team from the agency were deployed under far different circumstances: to Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
With climate change driving more frequent and powerful natural disasters, the intelligence agency, part of the Department of Defense, is contending with new needs closer to home. Charged with mapping and analyzing the physical world, it’s turning skills sharpened in the world’s danger spots toward helping people inside U.S. borders. And within days of Ian’s landfall on the Florida coast, Robb and his team of analysts were processing tens of thousands of drone and satellite images per day to help direct rescuers in the Fort Myers area to their most important targets.
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WNU Editor: I am surprised that these resources are only being used now.