Natural Hazards

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 1809–1824 | Cite as

Post-earthquake allocation approach of medical rescue teams

  • Xiang Chu
  • QiuYan Zhong
Original Paper


Earthquakes result in overwhelming demand for medical resources at once, and affected areas requires reinforcement from neighbor cities. An effective allocation approach of medical rescue teams in early stage of disaster relief can improve rescue performance significantly. To find optimal allocation strategy, an integer nonlinear programming model is established, following utility principle. To construct the optimization model, stochastic transition probability of triage levels is introduced. Meanwhile, function from allocation scheme to fatalities of areas is established. Next, we design algorithm based on Lingo software to find solution of utility model. Finally, numerical experiments based on real data in 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China are used to compare utility approach with existing approaches in practice. The results of experiments indicate that: (1) to save more lives, a support team should preferentially be allocated to a worse and nearer affected area. When the worst area is not the nearest, the team also may be sent to an area with moderate severity and moderate distance. (2) Compared with severity strategy and distance strategy, utility strategy improves rescue efficiency significantly.


Medical rescue team allocation Fatalities Multiple areas Earthquake 



This research was sponsored by National Science Foundation of China (No. 91024029).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Management Science and EngineeringDalian University of TechnologyDa LianChina

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