INTEGRATION OF INFORMATION AND TRANSPORTATION FLOWS IN DISASTER RELIEF LOGISTICS MODELING
Disasters, specifically earthquakes, result in worldwide catastrophic losses annually. The first seventy-two hours are the most critical and so any reduction in response time is a much-needed contribution. This is especially true in cases where parts of the communication infrastructure are severely damaged. Traditional disaster relief logistics models tend to rely on the assumption that information flow is continuous throughout the system following the onset of a natural disaster. A new integrated framework for disaster relief logistics that optimizes the movement of critical information along with physical movements is proposed in order to alleviate post-disaster conditions in a more accurate and timely manner. The framework consists of an information network and a transportation network with interrelationships. The framework was applied to the Irvine Golden Triangle Network and the Knoxville Network for up to three different cases. The DYNASMART-P simulation program performance was compared against the Time Dependent Network Simplex paths approach combined with the information updating feedback loop. The average total travel times of vehicles travelling to the trauma center in the study areas were compared in order to quantify the improvements of the integrated solution framework. The results show a significant reduction of average total travel times for vehicles transporting injured patients to the trauma center.