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Resource Allocation in Integrated Preoperational and Operational Management of Natural Hazards

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The management of natural hazards occurring over a territory entails two main phases: a preoperational—or pre-event—phase, whose objective is to relocate resources closer to sites characterized by the highest hazard, and an operational—during the event—phase, whose objective is to manage in real time the available resources by allocating them to sites where their intervention is needed. Obviously, the two phases are closely related, and demand a unified and integrated treatment. This work presents a unifying framework that integrates various decisional problems arising in the management of different kinds of natural hazards. The proposed approach, which is based on a mathematical programming formulation, can support the decisionmakers in the optimal resource allocation before (preoperational phase) and during (operational phase) an emergency due to natural hazard events. Different alternatives of modeling the resources and the territory are proposed and discussed according to their appropriateness in the preoperational and operational phases. The proposed approach can be applied to the management of any natural hazard and, from an integration perspective, may be particularly useful for risk management in civil protection operations. An application related to the management of wildfire hazard is presented.

Keywords: Decision support systems; operational management; preoperational management; resource allocation; risk management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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