Emergency disaster management has emerged as a vital tool for reducing the harm and alleviating the suffering that disasters worldwide cause their victims. A significant task of planners involved in emergency disaster management is the ability to plan for and satisfy the vital needs of the people located in emergency shelters, such as the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, which was used as a shelter during Hurricane Katrina. This task requires determination of a way to reduce the uncertainties associated with emergency operations and to estimate the expected costs of delivery and consumption of vital supplies throughout these operations. This paper attempts to address these issues by application of a case study-based approach to demonstrate the usefulness of a stochastic humanitarian inventory control model and estimation of the minimum safety stock levels of emergency inventories. The emergency inventory management problem is discussed, and previous emergency inventory studies are reviewed to identify the need for a stochastic emergency inventory management model. After introduction of the mathematical formulation for the model, the formulation is applied to a number of realistic case studies built on the basis of the experiences in recent major disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina. The paper concludes with a summary of lessons learned for the model when it is applied to a wide range of scenarios drawn from real-life experiences and used to create emergency inventory management strategies for different types of disasters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering