, Volume 196, Issue 1, pp 469-490

Location-allocation planning of stockpiles for effective disaster mitigation

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Abstract

In the existing framework for receiving and allocating Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) assistance, there are three noticeable delays: the delay by the state in requesting federal assets, the delay in the federal process which releases assets only upon the declaration of a disaster and lastly the time it takes to reach supplies rapidly from the SNS stockpile to where it is needed. The most efficient disaster preparedness plan is one that addresses all three delays taking into account the unique nature of each disaster. In this paper, we propose appropriate changes to the existing framework to address the first two delays and a generic model to address the third which determines the locations and capacities of stockpile sites that are optimal for a specific disaster. Specifically, our model takes into account the impact of disaster specific casualty characteristics, such as the severity and type of medical condition and the unique nature of each type of disaster, particularly with regard to advance warning and factors affecting damage. For disasters involving uncertainty (magnitude/severity) with regard to future occurrences, such as an earthquake, development of appropriate solution strategies involves an additional step using scenario planning and robust optimization. We illustrate the application of our model via case studies for hurricanes and earthquakes and are able to outline an appropriate response framework for each.