Effective Disaster Preparedness and Response

Rapid and efficient response will always have a positive effect during and after any disaster. Natural and man-made events have increased in number and severity and adding new tools, technologies and simulation models to existing national preparedness systems improves resource coordination at the community level.

A group from George Washington University completed a project to study the critical nature of designing an effective response team including the decision-making challenges in which a response manager must evaluate hundreds of possible combinations while taking design configurations into account.

The group developed a Disaster Management Coordination simulation (DMCsim) system, which is a decision-support system that could assist emergency response managers to form effective teams. To develop the DMCsim system, an agent-based simulation (ABS), geographic information systems (GIS), machine-learning techniques, and optimization algorithms were used. Using AnyLogic software enabled the development of an ABS that inputs a large amount of data relating to team member characteristics and the disaster-operation environment.

Read the full case study published in the Australian Journal of Emergency Management to find out how employing a DMCsim model allows local community emergency managers to predict response-operation performance and take necessary steps to improve it.