The Service provides maps of damage assessment and of reference pre-event situation based on satellite images, to support civil protection and humanitarian aid operators in their tasks related to the reaction to natural/manmade disasters. Access to the service is centrally coordinated at European Commission level by DG ECHO and it is granted free of charge to authorized Users operating in Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aids sectors, belonging to the European Member States as well as international organizations such as the United Nations, the World bank or other NGOs.
Given the target user community, the main characteristic of the rapid mapping component of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service is the all-year-round 24/7 availability, the extremely quick response time and the very fast map delivery time. After the reception of a service activation request, relevant optical and radar satellite resources are immediately tasked to acquire images of the affected area and post event damage assessment maps are delivered within few hours after the satellite acquisition.
Main drivers for activations are volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, oil spills, fires, humanitarian crisis, border conflicts and any other event that requires rapid response.
The results of the service in near real time are published on the Copernicus portal, directly managed by the European Commission and are made publicly available in accordance with the Copernicus policy on free and open data.