Written by former director of India's National Remote Sensing Agency, D. P. Rao, this article reviews the role of space technology in disaster mitigation.

Rao offers examples of how remote sensing can feed into prevention, preparedness and relief strategies for a number of disasters. He identifies the areas where these applications are operational, and those that need more research and development.

For drought, cyclones, floods, fires, earthquakes and other disasters in India, Rao outlines the status of relevant remote sensing projects. He outlines the extent of the problem posed by each disaster, and how Indian government and nongovernment organisations use remote sensing to improve risk assessment and early warning.