How do Socioeconomic Characteristics Interact with Equity and Efficiency Considerations? An Analysis of Hurricane Disaster Relief Goods Provision

  • Mark W. HornerEmail author
  • Michael J. Widener
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 99)


Spatial analytic research has explored the issue of where to best site hurricane relief distribution facilities, but it has largely concentrated on the efficient provision of these services. However, equity considerations may also impact decisions on where to locate facilities. Questions of efficiency vs. equity become all the more acute when more detailed assessments of peoples’ socioeconomic characteristics are made as a part of these decisions. This paper examines the issue of siting hurricane disaster relief facilities based on equity vs. efficiency objectives, in light of populations’ socioeconomic differences. Population differences are measured in terms of a household income variable. p-median and vertex p-center problems are applied to find relief center locations in a Southeastern U.S. city. Results show that income differences interact with the location strategies employed to produce variation in people’s accessibility to relief goods.


Hurricanes Distaster relief Spatial model GIS Equity 



This chapter is based upon work supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grant No. (BCS-0550330) awarded to the first author (Horner). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyThe Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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