A hierarchical approach to modeling hurricane disaster relief goods distribution

The need to create effective plans for distributing aid after a hurricane is of increasing importance in the transport community, as recent research suggests stronger storms will be affecting more people located in highly populated areas. Studies show that not all people will choose to evacuate an at-risk region or seek protection at shelters. To this point there have been relatively few efforts exploring the use of geographic information systems in conjunction with spatial optimization models in post-hurricane settings to accomplish efficient placements of facilities for distributing relief services. Despite the fact that hurricane relief strategies could benefit from a standardized methodology that reliably provides efficient placements for relief facilities, no research has examined the possibility of implementing a hierarchical structure among these facilities. This paper suggests a type of hierarchical capacitated-median model for this purpose. Two variations of this model are tested and their solutions are compared to that of a non-hierarchical version of the capacitated-median model. Findings suggest that if there is limited availability of certain services it could be useful to employ the use of a hierarchical capacitated-median problem to help place distinct facilities that provide different levels of assistance.


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  • Accession Number: 01344747
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2011 7:23AM