Dynamics of disasters: what role can operations research play in a disaster?


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Dynamics of disasters: what role can operations research play in a disaster?

  1. 1. What role can operations research play in a disaster? Laura McLay © 2013Some slides from FEMA and José Holguín-Veras at Rensselaer PolytechnicInstitute
  2. 2. What is a disaster? Disaster metrics must capture the magnitude and scope of physical impact and social disruption.  Community, regional, or societal levels  Not at the individual level Extinction LevelEmergency Disaster Catastrophe Event
  3. 3. Definition of Catastrophe FEMA definition: “ . . . any natural or manmade incident, including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions.” US Department of Homeland Security National Response Framework. Chapter. 2: Response Actions, 42. Available at http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nrf/nrf-core.pdf 3 Courtesy of FEMA
  4. 4. Definition of Catastrophe - 2 Bissell’s concise definition: A catastrophe is an event that directly or indirectly affects an entire country, requires national or international response, and threatens the welfare of a substantial number of people for an extended period of time. Synonym used by several European countries: hypercomplex emergency. 4 Courtesy of FEMA
  5. 5. Definition of Catastrophe - 3 Quarantelli’s 6 criteria:  In catastrophes most or all of a community built structure is impacted, including facilities of emergency response organizations.  Local response personnel are unable to assume normal roles due to losses of personnel and/or facilities & equipment.  Help from nearby or even regional communities is not available because all are affected by the same event.  Most, if not all, of the everyday community functions are sharply and concurrently interrupted.  News coverage is more likely to be provided by national organizations over a longer period of time.  National government and very top officials become directly involved.* * Dr. Quarantelli’s 6 criteria and related discussion can be found in “Catastrophes are Different from Disasters: Some Implications for Crisis Planning and Managing Drawn from Katrina” by E.L. Quarantelli. Published on: Jun 11, 2006 on the Social Sciences Research Council website www.ssrc.org. 5 Courtesy of FEMA
  6. 6. Continuum of Magnitude Emergency: local effects managed with local resources. Examples: transport crashes, local floods, building collapses, pandemic flu, etc. Virginia example: 2011 earthquake, 2011 bus crash in Caroline County. Disaster: Local or regional effects, managed with local or regional resources. National resources may also be used, but damaging effects are not national. Surrounding societal infrastructure intact. Virginia example: Hurricane Irene (2011), H1N1 6 Courtesy of FEMA
  7. 7. Continuum of Magnitude Catastrophe: Event with national implications, local and regional response impossible or inadequate. Many governmental and societal systems are affected. Complex long-term consequences; may involve multiple countries. - Examples: Massive New Madrid zone earthquake, massive pandemic, 1976 Tang-Shen earthquake in China. - Virginia Example: Pentagon on 9/11 Extinction level event: Results (or could result) in the loss of all human life. No effective response is available. - Examples: Massive meteorite strike, Yellowstone Caldera super explosion (maybe), bi-national or multinational thermonuclear warfare, zombie outbreak. 7 Courtesy of FEMA
  8. 8. Disaster: Joplin, Missouri (50,000 residents)8 Courtesy of Dr. José Holguín-Veras
  9. 9. Disaster: Joplin, Missouri (160 deaths)Private sector supply chains:partially destroyed Multiple entry points Local supplies: partially destroyed Small to midsize geographic areaChallenging but doable localdistribution 9 Courtesy of Dr. José Holguín-Veras
  10. 10. Catastrophe: Minami Sanriku, Japan (19,170 residents) 10 Courtesy of Dr. José Holguín-Veras
  11. 11. Catastrophe: Minami Sanriku, Japan (1,205 fatalities) 95% destroyed in the tsunami following the 2011 earthquake Extremely complex local distributionFew entry points Most local supplies are destroyedPrivate sector supply chains Could be an extremely largeseverely impacted geographic area 11 Courtesy of Dr. José Holguín-Veras
  12. 12. FEMAhttp://www.ready.gov/make-a-planhttp://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
  13. 13. Core topics in disaster research HAZARDS DISASTER RESEARCH RESEARCH (pre-disaster) (post-disaster) Hazard vulnerability Disaster Preparedness Emergency response Hazard mitigation Disaster recovery
  14. 14. Core topics in disaster research Hazards vulnerability  Is the potential for physical harm and social disruption Hazard mitigation  Interventions made in advance if disasters to prevent or reduce the potential for physical harm and social disruption  E.g., structural mitigation such as flood walls, land-use measures that prevent building in flood plains, building codes  http://www.fema.gov/what-mitigation/mitigation-fact-sheets Disaster preparedness  Actions taken in advance of disasters to deal with anticipated problems of emergency response and disaster recovery  E.g., formal disaster plans, training of first responders  We prepare for power outages by buying flashlights and generators, stockpiling water and canned goods
  15. 15. Core topics in disaster research, Cont’d. Emergency response  Activities related to the issuance and dissemination of warnings, evacuations, mobilization of emergency personnel, damage assessment, damage control, restoration of public services, maintenance of political systems Disaster recovery  Activities related to the reestablishment of pre-disaster social and economic routines, repair of damaged infrastructure, financial assistance to victim populations Typical disciplines involved: sociology and civil engineering Operations research has the most opportunities in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency response
  16. 16. Types of disasters National vs. International  Hurricane Irene vs. Japan earthquakes Natural vs. Man-made  1906 San Francisco earthquake vs. 9/11  Mississippi river flooding vs. Dust Bowl Slow-moving versus Medium-paced versus Fast-moving  Flood vs. Hurricane vs. Tornado  Climate change vs. Forest fire vs. earthquake Health and disease is being recognized as a disaster  Management by CDC vs. FEMA  Pandemic flu, foodborne illnesses, HIV/AIDs, communicable diseases ( Not all significant natural weather events are a disaster  E.g. August 2011 earthquake in Louisa, Virginia
  17. 17. CDC on zombie preparedness http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm
  18. 18. Learn about disasters in an era when theWalking Dead is popular
  19. 19. Operations Research on Disasters Mitigation Response • Zoning and land use controls to • Activating the emergency prevent occupation of high operations plan hazard areas • Activating the emergency • Barrier construction to deflect operations center disaster forces • Evacuation of threatened • Active preventive measures to populations control developing situations • Opening of shelters and • Building codes to improve provision of mass care disaster resistance of structures • Emergency rescue and medical • Tax incentives or disincentives care • Controls on rebuilding after • Fire fighting events • Urban search and rescue • Risk analysis to measure the • Emergency infrastructure potential for extreme hazards protection and • Insurance to reduce the financial recovery of lifeline services impact of disasters • Fatality managementFrom Altay and Green (2006). OR/MS research in disaster operations management, EJOR 175, 47
  20. 20. Operations Research on Disasters Preparedness Recovery • Recruiting personnel for the emergency • Disaster debris cleanup services and • Financial assistance to individuals and for community volunteer groups governments • Emergency planning • Rebuilding of roads and bridges and key • Development of mutual aid agreements facilities and • Sustained mass care for displaced memorandums of understanding human and • Training for both response personnel and animal populations concerned citizens • Reburial of displaced human remains • Threat based public education • Full restoration of lifeline services • Budgeting for and acquiring vehicles and • Mental health and pastoral care equipment • Maintaining emergency supplies • Construction of an emergency operations center • Development of communications systems • Conducting disaster exercises to train personnel and test capabilitiesFrom Altay and Green (2006). OR/MS research in disaster operations management, EJOR 175, 47