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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Romana Berariu, Christian Fikar, Manfred Gronalt and Patrick Hirsch

The purpose of this paper is to present a system dynamics (SD) model that allows one to simulate resource deployment to fulfill increasing needs for commodities such as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a system dynamics (SD) model that allows one to simulate resource deployment to fulfill increasing needs for commodities such as food and other consumables during disaster situations. The focus is on managing a suddenly increased demand (hoarding behavior) of an affected population under restricted transport conditions. The model aims to support decision makers by fostering comprehension of the systemic behavior and interdependencies of those complex settings.

Design/methodology/approach

Through literature review and case study analyses the SD model was established and implemented with STELLA 10.1.1.

Findings

The needs of relief units for response operations and supply of evacuees in the affected region result in conflicting needs under limited transport conditions during disaster situations. Therefore, uncertainties and dynamic parameters as, e.g., occurring delays, limited information, or delivery constraints and their influence on resource deployment under a sudden demand, have been identified and incorporated in this work. The authors found that an oscillating behavior within the system is possible to occur and is more intensified in case of regarding the additional needs of evacuees and relief units.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the high level of abstraction, it is not possible to incorporate all influencing variables in the SD model. Therefore, the authors focused on the most important ones with regard to the model objective.

Practical implications

To focus on awareness raising is of importance for decision makers in the context of disaster management. Furthermore, the authors found that the oscillating behavior is more irregular in case of assuming a higher increase rate of the water gauge than if a low increase rate is assumed.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, none of the work already done refers to providing a flood-prone area with commodities under consideration of a sudden demand, by applying the SD approach. The presented model contributes on the generation of systemic insights of resource deployment under consideration of conflicting needs in times of a river flood to support decision makers in those situations.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Romana Berariu, Christian Fikar, Manfred Gronalt and Patrick Hirsch

– The purpose of this paper is to present a training model for decision makers that covers the complexity which is inherent in decision-making processes in times of floods.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a training model for decision makers that covers the complexity which is inherent in decision-making processes in times of floods.

Design/methodology/approach

Through literature review, case study analysis and iterative interviews with decision-makers, the model was established. It enables one to simulate different scenarios depending on selected influencing factors and was implemented with Stella 9.1.

Findings

Flood events are highly complex and their development process is significantly influenced by various conditions. The findings show that the most important factor is the water level which determines the time available to respond. The presented System Dynamics (SD) model has the capability to capture such complex settings. Through what-if analysis and the comparison of different scenarios, learning effects are achieved by using the model.

Research limitations/implications

The level of abstraction is high. Not all influencing variables can be incorporated due to the variety of flood events. Based on experts’ recommendations, the most relevant factors were included as areas of focus in the model.

Practical implications

The generated model is presented to facilitate holistic comprehension of the modelling process. It offers the possibility to start learning processes through scenario analyses in order to strengthen decision-makers’ understanding of complexity.

Originality/value

To the best of our knowledge, there are no comparable studies that focus on the generation process of building an SD-model for educational purposes in flood response.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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