Minimization of socioeconomic disruption for displaced populations following disasters

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the aftermath of catastrophic natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes, emergency management agencies come under intense pressure to provide temporary housing to address the large-scale displacement of the vulnerable population. Temporary housing is essential to enable displaced families to reestablish their normal daily activities until permanent housing solutions can be provided. Temporary housing decisions, however, have often been criticized for their failure to fulfil the socioeconomic needs of the displaced families within acceptable budgets. This paper presents the development of (1) socioeconomic disruption metrics that are capable of quantifying the socioeconomic impacts of temporary housing decisions on displaced populations; and (2) a robust multi-objective optimization model for temporary housing that is capable of simultaneously minimizing socioeconomic disruptions and public expenditures in an effective and efficient manner. A large-scale application example is optimized to illustrate the use of the model and demonstrate its capabilities ingenerating optimal plans for realistic temporary housing problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-883
Number of pages19
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Post-disaster recovery
  • Social welfare
  • Socioeconomic disruption
  • Temporary housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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