A system dynamics & emergency logistics model for post-disaster relief operations

Abosuliman, S 2014, A system dynamics & emergency logistics model for post-disaster relief operations, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A system dynamics & emergency logistics model for post-disaster relief operations
Author(s) Abosuliman, S
Year 2014
Abstract Emergency teams’ efficiency in responding to disasters is critical in saving lives, reducing suffering, and for damage control. Quality standards for emergency response systems are based on government policies, resources, training, and team readiness and flexibility. This research investigates these matters in regards to Saudi emergency responses to floods in Jeddah in 2009 and again in 2011.

The study is relevant to countries who are building emergency response capacity for their populations: analysing the effects of the disaster, communications and data flows for stakeholders, achieving and securing access, finding and rescuing victims, setting up field triage sites, evacuation, and refuges. The research problem in this case was to develop a dynamic systems model capable of managing real time data to allow a team or a decision-maker to optimise their particular response within a rapidly changing situation. The Emergency Logistics Centre capability model responds to this problem by providing a set of nodes relevant to each responsibility centre (Civil Defence, regional/local authority including rescue teams, police and clean-up teams, Red Crescent). These nodes facilitate information on resource use and replenishment, and barriers such as access and weather can be controlled for in the model. The dynamic systems approach builds model capacity and transparency, allowing emergency response decision-makers access to updated instructions and decisions that may affect their capacities. After the event, coordinators and researchers can review data and actions for policy change, resource control, training and communications. In this way, knowledge from the experiences of members of the network is not lost for future position occupants in the emergency response network.

The conclusion for this research is that the Saudi emergency response framework is now sufficiently robust to respond to a large scale crisis, such as may occur during the hajj with its three million pilgrims. Researchers are recommended to test their emergency response systems using the Emergency Logistics Centre model, if only to encourage rethinking and flexibility of perhaps stale or formulaic responses from staff. This may lead to benefits in identification of policy change, training, or more appropriate pathways for response teams.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Keyword(s) Emergency Logistics
System Dynamics
Disaster and Crisis Management
Emergency Operation
Relief operation
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