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Integrated Multi-Sector Contingency Planning: An Application of Balanced Resource Allocation Model Open Access

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Multiple national and international research studies show that global warming is increasingly impacting communities. Global warming affects all continents and has been directly linked to many recent catastrophic weather-related disasters. Scientists and meteorologists predict that future natural hazards will be greater in magnitude and will occur more frequently, making projections of the required allocation of resources ever more challenging. In some instances, the government sector is unaware of public or private sector involvement in the allocation of resources, which may result in unnecessary duplication of supplies and services at a given location.This research introduces and defines Impact-To-Life (ITL) as the aggregate consequence of the lack of availability of a resource on the lives of disaster victims. Resiliency in recovery efforts is key to minimizing the ITL of potential disaster victims. Minimizing the ITL for disaster recovery efforts was based on the immediate availability of resources such as water, food, shelter, transportation, medical care, sandbags, and bleach. By distributing resources in a timely manner the cost of destruction, namely, loss of life and property damage can be significantly reduced. Many relief efforts face challenges including constrained budgets, high cost of resources, and lack of an effective means for allocation of these limited resources. Most resource allocation systems leverage state warehouse goods and appropriate products, as required, both during and after a disaster. In some cases services are outsourced to the private sector. In most cases, these processes exclude coordination among multiple sectors, which result in higher overall costs for goods and services. To improve the efficiency of disaster relief efforts, collaboration between several sectors is vital in disaster planning and preparation.This research addresses the problem of resource distribution during a disaster by using a mathematical optimization approach. The problem of distributing resources during an emergency response was formulated as a variant of the Multi-Commodity Flow (MCF) technique. The proposed methodology demonstrates the potential for improved outcomes that can be achieved by balancing the responsibility for resource distribution among multiple sectors via a user-friendly mathematical model. To this end, this research introduces the Balanced Resource Allocation Model (BRAM). This method was used to model collaboration and resource balancing among local public, local private, and local government sectors during the “pre-phase” of hurricane disaster recovery efforts. The results presented in this dissertation indicate the effectiveness of coordinated distribution in a collaborative manner for disaster contingency planning.

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