A multi-agency perspective to disaster preparedness

Oscar Rodríguez-Espíndola, Pavel Albores, Christopher Bewster

Abstract

The increasing number of victims from disasters in recent years results in several challenges for authorities aiming to protect and provide support to affected people. Humanitarian logistics represents one of the most important fields during preparedness and response in cases of disaster, seeking to provide relief, information and services to disaster victims. However, on top of the challenges of logistical activities, the successful completion of operations depends to a large extent on coordination. This is particularly important for developing countries, where disasters occur very often and resources are even scarcer.

This paper assumes a multi-agency approach to disaster preparedness that combines geographical information systems (GIS) and multi-objective optimization. The purpose of the tool is to determine the location of emergency facilities, stock prepositioning and distribution allocation for floods. We illustrate the application and the results using a case study centred on Acapulco, México.

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