Disaster Assessment and Mitigation Planning: A Humanitarian Logistics Based Approach

  • Das, Kanchan (Technology Systems Department, East Carolina University) ;
  • Lashkari, R.S. (Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, University of Windsor) ;
  • Biswas, N. (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Windsor)
  • Received : 2013.01.29
  • Accepted : 2013.11.14
  • Published : 2013.12.31


This paper proposes a mathematical modeling-based approach for assessing disaster effects and selecting suitable mitigation alternatives to provide humanitarian relief (HR) supplies, shelter, rescue services, and long-term services after a disaster event. Mitigation steps, such as arrangement of shelter and providing HR items (food, water, medicine, etc.) are the immediate requirements after a disaster. Since governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing humanitarian aid need to know the requirements of relief supplies and resources for collecting relief supplies, organizing and initiating mitigation steps, a quick assessment of the requirements is the precondition for effective disaster management. Based on satellite images from weather forecasting channels, an area/dimension of the disaster-affected zones and the extent of the overall damage may often be obtained. The proposed approach then estimates the requirements for HR supplies, supporting resources, and rescue services using the census and other government data. It then determines reliable transportation routes, optimum collection and distribution centers, alternatives for resource support, rescue services, and long-term help needed for the disaster-affected zones. A numerical example illustrates the applicability of the model in disaster mitigation planning.



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