Scenario-based preparedness plan for floods

Oscar Rodríguez-Espíndola*, Juan Gaytán

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing trend of disaster victims globally is posing a complex challenge for disaster management authorities. Moreover, to accomplish successful transition between preparedness and response, it is important to consider the different features inherent to each type of disaster. Floods are portrayed as one of the most frequent and harmful disasters, hence introducing the necessity to develop a tool for disaster preparedness to perform efficient and effective flood management. The purpose of the article is to introduce a method to simultaneously define the proper location of shelters and distribution centers, along with the allocation of prepositioned goods and distribution decisions required to satisfy flood victims. The tool combines the use of a raster geographical information system (GIS) and an optimization model. The GIS determines the flood hazard of the city areas aiming to assess the flood situation and to discard floodable facilities. Then, the multi-commodity multimodal optimization model is solved to obtain the Pareto frontier of two criteria: distance and cost. The methodology was applied to a case study in the flood of Villahermosa, Mexico, in 2007, and the results were compared to an optimized scenario of the guidelines followed by Mexican authorities, concluding that the value of the performance measures was improved using the developed method. Furthermore, the results exhibited the possibility to provide adequate care for people affected with less facilities than the current approach and the advantages of considering more than one distribution center for relief prepositioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1262
Number of pages22
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
Early online date11 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2015


  • emergency logistics
  • facility location
  • preparedness
  • prepositioning


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