Optimizing Hurricane Disaster Relief Goods Distribution: Model Development and Application with Respect to Planning Strategies

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GIS, hurricane, logistics, spatial model

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Over the last few years, hurricane emergencies have been among the most pervasive major disruptions in the United States, particularly in the south-east region of the country. A key aspect of managing hurricane disasters involves logistical planning to facilitate the distribution and transportation of relief goods to populations in need. This study shows how a variant of the capacitated warehouse location model can be used to manage the flow of goods shipments to people in need. In this application, the model is used with protocols set forth in Florida's Comprehensive Emergency Plan and tested in a smaller city in north Florida. Scenarios explore the effects of alternate goods distribution strategies on the provision of disaster relief. Results show that measures describing people's accessibility to relief goods are affected by the distribution infrastructure used to provide relief, as well as assumptions made regarding the population(s) assumed to be in need of aid.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Disasters, v. 34, issue 3, p. 821‐844