Rapid change detection is used in cases of natural hazards and disasters. This analysis leads to rapid information on areas of damage. In certain cases the lack of information after catastrophe events is obstructing supporting measures within disaster management. Earthquakes, tsunamis, civil war, volcanic eruption, droughts and floods have much in common: people are directly affected, landscapes and buildings are destroyed. In every case geospatial data is necessary to gain knowledge as basement for decision support. Where to go first? Which infrastructure is usable? How much area is affected? These are essential question which need to be answered before appropriate, eligible help can be established. This paper focuses on change detection applications in areas where catastrophic events took place which resulted in rapid destruction especially of manmade objects. Standard methods for automated change detection prove not to be sufficient; therefore a new method was developed and tested. The presented method allows a fast detection and visualization of change in areas of crisis or catastrophes. While often new methods of remote sensing are developed without user oriented aspects, organizations and authorities are not able to use these methods because of lack of remote sensing knowledge. Therefore a semi-automated procedure was developed. Within a transferable framework, the developed algorithm can be implemented for a set of remote sensing data among different investigation areas. Several case studies are the base for the retrieved results. Within a coarse dividing into statistical parts and the segmentation in meaningful objects, the framework is able to deal with different types of change. By means of an elaborated Temporal Change Index (TCI) only panchromatic datasets are used to extract areas which are destroyed, areas which were not affected and in addition areas where rebuilding has already started.