Why the US is enlisting a spy agency during hurricanes

January 04, 2023

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. "Geospatial data is really layered data," said Robb, who helps run a team at the geospatial intelligence agency that deploys to locations around the world. The effort was responsible for at least one human rescue, Robb said.