Managing Risks in a Relief Supply Chain in the Wake of an Adverse Event


Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version


Document Type



catastrophe, relief supply chain, authority structure, disaster preparedness, communication, failure mode effects and critical analysis (FMECA)


Catastrophes cause significant physical damage and destruction, potential loss of life and disruption to the structure of society. However, many times, the relief efforts, although well-intentioned, fail to efficiently and effectively reach the intended victims. The evidence of supply chain effectiveness is examined and highlighted instances when the supply chain has failed. Key stages identified within the relief supply chain, and these stages must be connected through communication and collaboration. The failure mode effects and critical analysis method was used to assess the reliability of a relief supply chain system and its critical components. This research suggests the structure that seems to achieve the most effective results is one that involves authority derived from a network or industry expertise. This structure makes use of expertise in each area of the supply chain, as well as, taking advantage of the relationships and trust that local NGO's have built in areas throughout the world.

Published in

OR Insight

Citation/Other Information

Vol 24 (2) 131-157