New Journal on Humanitarian Aid Logistics

Emerald Group Publishing is delighted to announce the launch of an exciting new journal for 2011: Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

Co-edited by Dr. Gyöngyi Kovács and Professor Karen Spens, Hanken School of Economics, Finland, the journal will publish state of the art research in the field of humanitarian and development aid logistics and supply chain management. Logistics and supply chain management related articles in the context of disaster relief and development aid are of equal interest to the journal.

The journal will publish papers based upon different methodological approaches and submissions utilizing both quantitative and qualitative approaches will therefore be welcomed. The journal will publish a range of different papers including empirical research, a call for research notes and viewpoints from practitioners.

The journal will publish research on the following topics:

– Humanitarian logistics

– Emergency logistics

– Disaster relief operations

– Supply chain management in disaster relief

– Development aid logistics and supply chain management

– Assessing and managing supply chain vulnerability

– Managing supply chain disruptions

– Measuring performance in humanitarian supply chains

– Decision-making in humanitarian supply chains

– Knowledge management and transfer in humanitarian supply chains

– Information and communication technology for humanitarian logistics

– Supply chain co-operation, integration and collaboration in the humanitarian setting

– Relationship management in humanitarian supply chains

– Public-private partnerships in humanitarian logistics

– Inter-organisational co-ordination across humanitarian supply chains

– Crisis management

– Civil-military co-operation in disaster relief

– Humanitarian health care supply chains

– Principles and theory of relief supply chain management

– The role of donors and volunteers in humanitarian logistics

– Non for profit-supply chains.

Submit a paper

Initial submissions to Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management should be sent to the co-editors:

Dr. Gyöngyi Kovács:

Professor Karen Spens:

New manuscript on evacuation among nondrivers

Relocation of Children, Elderly, and Transit Dependents for a Daytime No-notice Evacuation in a Multimodal Transportation System

By Sirui Lui, Pamela Murray-Tuite, and Lisa Schweitzer

Under no-notice conditions with family members collecting dependents, the geographic location of these pickup points become a crucial factor to efficient evacuation. This paper presents a bi-level linear integer optimization model for facilities to relocate, optimally, dependents that need to be picked up. The program, solved using Lingo, is iterated with a traffic simulation model to obtain an optimal set of locations based on anticipated travel times with dependents relocated to those sites. Theentire methodology is applied to a sample application based on Chicago Heights, Illinois with three safety thresholds. The results found that the safe evacuation time threshold is quite important on implementing the strategy. When the safeevacuation threshold is tight, the relocation strategy is not effective;however, when it is adequate, relocating dependents of facilities increases the number of successful evacuation and decreases the total network evacuation time, and also significantly benefit those who rely on public transit to evacuate. Application of the proposed methodology to a certain area can assislocal decision-makers to take effective measures during no-notice evacuation and the relocation sites could be part of local evacuation management plans.

Freight and Livability, reflections

Last week I participated in roundtable specifically requested by the Federal Highway Administration on freight and livability. “Livable communities” of one of the themes that has been intended to unify Federal programs into–whether intended or not–a cohesive set of ideas about urban policy. Not unlike many terms that describe the city, livability can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but when asked to give a definition, I argued essentially that livability means “a nice place to live.” In the big scheme of things, that is not really asking all that much of urban planning. After all, planners should be in the business of developing nice places.

The question they asked: are freight and livability mutually exclusive. Everybody else pretty much said “no”; I said “yes, pretty much.” The other folks on the panel are air quality people; it seems pretty clear that we have to, and we will, begin to clean up freight fuels to the point where, at least, we won’t making people sick. However, there is a significant nuisance aspect to freight shipping, and that’s where I rather held out. We would need a radical reshaping of the forms and structure of the freight industry to get rid of that nuisance factor, and nothing about the existing trajectory of the industry suggests this is going to happen. Current factors emphasize economies of scale rather than diversity of scope or small-scale distribution.

Heartbreaking news from Taiwan and China

The folks from the compact development research argue that high human population settlements make for more resilient cities. However, it is disasters such as these which make me wonder: is it likely that there is a one-size-fits-all urban form for resiliency against disasters. 400 people victim to one mudslide is terrifying, and while I guess we could go into long arguments about how climate change is causing all this, we’ve had typhoons for some time. What we haven’t had in the scope of human history are the population levels and densities in particular locations which heighten the casualties from major events.

As irritating as Los Angeles is to many urbanists, developers’ response adaptation to earthquakes made perfect sense before the technology was available to build upwards. The spread also creates a feedback problem for the wildfire resiliency folks. Yes, it would be better if people weren’t living in the fire ecosystem on the fringes. But given that there are people living in the fire ecosystem, the fewer the better, the easier it is to evacuate them, etc. I’m not suggesting that LA fringe is an optimal urban form, but it does carry some advantages. The spatial spread in LA’s population and economic activities meant that while Northridge and surrounding areas suffered immensely from the earthquake, the rest of the region went on largely as before.

New manuscript on evacuation

Murray-Tuite, P., L. Schweitzer, S. Liu. 2009. “Impacts of Family Responsibilities and Car Availability on Household No-Notice Evacuation Time.” 14 p.

Available for download here.

The family gathering phenomenon is a critical evacuation consideration. Recently, researchers have placed greater emphasis on capturing household member interactions for emergencies, but most of these efforts have not specifically addressed associated gender issues. This paper examines the impact of gender-based family gathering responsibilities on family evacuation delay from the optimal conditions for a hypothetical no notice event during school hours. This study uses initial results of an original interview data collection effort addressing home and work locations, pre-evacuation actions, and family gathering responsibilities, among other considerations. Many of the women with appropriately aged children indicated responsibility for collecting them. The impact of assigning gathering responsibilities to a single parent on household evacuation time is determined using a nonlinear integer program that assigns activity chains, meeting locations, and final destinations so as to minimize household evacuation time in a multimodal transportation network. The effects of car availability are also examined for a sample household in Chicago Heights. The number of and locations of dependents were also varied as well as whether one parent stayed at home or both parents worked. If only one vehicle was available and with the parent further from the dependents, household evacuation time could substantially increase (e.g. double), especially if the family did not unite prior to arriving at the final destination. Consideration of gathering behavior, household responsibilities, and persons dependent on transit will lead to more accurate evacuation models that help emergency agencies make better decisions and potentially save lives.

Evacuation and Resilience Manuscript

Relocation of Household Dependents For a Daytime No-Notice Evacuation in a Multimodal Transportation System

Sirui Liu, Pamela Murray-Tuite and Lisa Schweitzer

Under no-notice conditions with family members collecting dependents, the locations of these pickup points becomes a crucial factor to efficient evacuation. This paper presents a mathematical program for facilities to relocate, optimally, dependents that need to be picked up. The program, solved using Lingo, is iterated with a traffic simulation model to obtain an optimal set of locations based on anticipated travel times with dependents relocated to those sites. The entire methodology is applied to a case study based on Chicago Heights with three safety thresholds. In two of the three cases, relocation improved evacuation conditions.

You can download the draft here.

Ethanol explosion

One of the topics I study is hazardous materials transport, so this accident on Sunday caught my eye. Deaths to nonemployees are extremely rare in the hazmat world–engineering has done an amazing job with hazmat containers. Nonetheless, these types of evacuations are more common than we think. I have a new study coming out (I hope soon) describing the spatial distribution of severe hazmat events, like evacuations. Stay tuned.