Prepositioning of Relief Items Under Uncertainty: A Classification of Modeling and Solution Approaches for Disaster Management
Natural and man-made disasters often have devastating effects on the affected population and the economy. Optimization models for determining the locations of relief facilities and the amount of first-aid items to be stored before the occurrence of an emergency can help decisively to mitigate the impact of a disaster. As research interest in disaster management has grown significantly over the last decade, this paper reviews the state-of-the-art literature concerning prepositioning of relief items in conjunction with facility location decisions, taking the uncertain nature of a disaster into account. A classification of the respective modeling approaches and solution methods is provided to facilitate the identification of relevant research gaps. One of the main findings is the lack of efficient solution methods especially for large scale problems, although generating optimal solutions in a reasonable timeframe is crucial for the success of a relief operation. Based on the detected gaps, future research directions are suggested.