Simulating Distribution of Emergency Relief Supplies for Disaster Response Operations

In the event of disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and terrorism, emergency relief supplies need be distributed to disaster victims in timely manner to protect the health and lives of the victims. We develop a modeling framework for disaster response where the supply chain of relief supplies and distribution operations are simulated, and analytics for the optimal transportation of relief supplies to various POD (Points of Distribution) are tested. Our simulation model of disaster response includes modeling the supply chain of relief supplies, distribution operations at PODs, dynamics of demand, and progression of disaster. Our analytics optimize the dispatch of relief supplies to PODs and cross-leveling among PODs. Their effectiveness is estimated by the simulation model. The model can evaluate a wide range of disaster scenarios, assess existing disaster response plans and policies, and identify better approaches for government agencies and first responders to prepare for and respond to disasters.

By: Young M. Lee; Soumyadip Ghosh; Markus Ettl

Published in: RC24813 in 2009


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