Optimizing large-scale temporary housing arrangements after natural disasters

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis often cause large-scale destruction in residential areas. In the aftermath of these disasters, emergency management agencies need to urgently develop and implement a temporary housing plan that provides displaced families with satisfactory and safe accommodations. This paper presents the computational implementation of a newly developed multiobjective optimization model to support decision-makers in emergency management agencies in optimizing large-scale temporary housing arrangements. The model is capable of simultaneously minimizing (1) postdisaster social and economic disruptions suffered by displaced families; (2) temporary housing vulnerabilities to postdisaster hazards; (3) adverse environmental impacts on host communities; and (4) public expenditures on temporary housing. The model is implemented in four main phases and it incorporates four optimization modules to enable optimizing each of the aforementioned important objectives. A large-scale temporary housing application example is presented to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the model and illustrate the performed computations in each of the implementation phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Displacement
  • Economic factors
  • Environmental issues
  • Housing
  • Optimization
  • Social factors
  • Temporary structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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