Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Yongjia Song

Committee Member

Dr. Thomas Sharkey

Committee Member

Dr. Tugce Isik


South Carolina is one of the most vulnerable states in the United States to the impact of hurricanes. Currently, when threatened with a natural disaster such as a hurricane, the state government makes many vital decisions based on knowledge and experience. In this study, the distribution of disaster relief commodities to meet immediate needs is analyzed through two models for the case of South Carolina to generate an optimal logistics strategy that considers the social vulnerability of affected populations. The first model is a multi-objective pre-disaster logistics model that uses a four-index formulation for the multiple trip vehicle routing problem. The second model is a multi-objective pre- and post-disaster time-expanded network flow model with detailed operational-level decisions for the overarching tactical planning decisions, which allows the model to act as an optimization-based simulator. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to determine optimal conditions for the cases used and to analyze the effects of different assumptions on the resulting logistics plan. This paper presents models that optimize scenario-dependent logistics plans, visualize logistic solutions, and suggest alternatives to some aspects of the government’s current logistics plan to aid in the efficient distribution of life-saving supplies.



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