Before and after disaster strikes: A relief supply chain decision support framework


Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version


Document Type



Disaster. Risk assessment and Mitigation. Relief Supply Chain.


The potential and scope of damages resulting from large scale natural disasters is undisputed. Additionally, the risks that societies are facing continue to grow along with the global population. A decision support risk assessment and mitigation framework for disaster relief supply chain is proposed. This framework was applied to the example of the March 2011 disaster in Japan which was the result of a Tsunami, after a strong earthquake, followed by flooding and meltdown of multiple nuclear reactors. The evidence of relief supply chain effectiveness is examined and diagnosed in specific instances when the supply chain has failed to perform. Key stages are identified within the relief supply chain, and these stages are connected through communication and collaboration. By identifying and quantifying different risks under different stages in the supply chain using fault tree analysis and then imputing them into the model, the results are helpful in the decision making process. The failure mode effects and critical analysis method was used to assess the reliability of a relief supply chain system and its critical components. The research suggests the support for a network authority for utilizing diverse expertise for organizing the efficient relief supply chain. This structure makes use of the community relationships and trust that NGOs have built in areas throughout the world to aid in crises. The development of a robust communications plan and system will help coordination of all groups, prior to, during, and after a disaster, and will provide a more effective response.





Published in

International Journal of Production Economics

Citation/Other Information

145(2), 613-629. doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2013.05.016