An equity approach to contractor assignment in post-disaster debris disposal operations
Disaster debris cleanup typically accounts for nearly one-third of the total cost of post-disaster recovery. In the USA, state and local municipalities rely on federal financial assistance administered by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Ineffective decision-making and allocation of resources can severely strain financial resources and cause social and political unrest. In addition to obvious objectives such as cost minimisation and FEMA suggestions related to contractor logistics, Disaster Management Coordinators (DMCs) should consider equitable cleanup across regions as an important objective when deciding how to allocate resources. This paper presents a multiple objective mixed-integer decision model for assisting decision makers in allocating resources in support of disaster debris cleanup operations. The model incorporates the unique assumptions, objectives, and constraints of post-disaster debris cleanup. The effectiveness of the proposed model is demonstrated using data from debris cleanup operations in Chesapeake, Virginia, following Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
Keywords: emergency management, disaster management, disaster debris, debris disposal, disaster recovery, debris contractor assignment