Maximizing temporary housing safety after natural disasters

Omar El-Anwar, Khaled El-Rayes, Amr Elnashai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the aftermath of large-scale natural disasters, emergency management organizations are expected to provide safe temporary housing for a large number of displaced families and to ensure that these housing arrangements are not located in hazardous areas. Potential postdisaster hazards can take many forms such as earthquake aftershocks, landslides, postearthquake soil liquefaction, flooding, hazardous material releases, etc. This paper presents the development of a multiobjective optimization methodology to support decision-makers in emergency management organizations in optimizing postdisaster temporary housing arrangements. The developed methodology incorporates (1) a safety model to measure and quantify temporary housing safety in the presence of multiple potential postdisaster hazards; (2) a cost model to minimize total public expenditures on temporary housing; and (3) a multiobjective optimization model to simultaneously maximize temporary housing safety and minimize public expenditures on temporary housing. An application to a large region is presented to illustrate the use of the models and demonstrate their capabilities in optimizing postdisaster temporary housing arrangements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number002002QIS
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infrastructure Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Housing safety
  • Optimization
  • Postdisaster hazards
  • Postdisaster recovery
  • Temporary housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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