Improving the Life Saving Performance of Emergency Logistics

Working Paper Authors Publish Date
46 Kai Huang
Yiping Jiang
Yufei Yuan
Lindu Zhao
May. 2013

In this paper, we characterize the lifesaving objectives of emergency resource allocation and distribution in disaster response operations, and propose an integrated model that captures these objectives. We identify two types of fundamental needs in life saving operations. The need to “save as many lives as possible” is modeled as a lifesaving utility function; while the need to “save lives as quickly as possible” is modeled as a delay cost function. We also model the fairness consideration in resource allocation by balancing lifesaving utility, delay cost and equality. We also use a rolling horizon approach based on time space network to incorporate frequent information and decision updates; and integrate resource allocation and emergency distribution into one model. The integrated model is shown to be a linear or convex quadratic network flow problem. A case study on the Great Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 is used to explain the meaning of the important parameters and highlight the managerial implications.

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