A cost optimization model and solutions for shelter allocation and relief distribution in flood scenario

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction


Humanitarian operations and relief material supply are expensive tasks which have considerable impact on socio-economic conditions of a country. In this paper, we are concerned about the humanitarian logistics and relief distributions during flood, keeping in mind the cost and time aspects. The first priority is to attend the most affected regions for reducing casualties. Then the humanitarian operations need to be carried out efficiently and effectively. People of some regions also might require temporary shelters. Unlike other disasters, flood related disasters also give rise to water-borne and vector-borne diseases. To combat the spread of diseases and sufferings of people, relief materials must be quickly distributed along with the reallocation operation. Here, we have tried to address the issues of evacuation of people, their reallocation to comparatively safe places and distribution of relief materials by developing a cost optimization model. We have proposed two methodologies for the problem based on mixed-integer programming technique and genetic algorithm. The solutions have been illustrated using a case study and the results of the two methods have been subsequently compared. The result shows that, performances of both the techniques are good in the situation when there is sufficient evacuation time and number of blocks and shelters also are not outsized. But, as the number of blocks and shelters increases and the evacuation time decreases, the heuristic approach achieves much better result than its counterpart.

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