Improving supply chain disaster preparedness Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeTerrorist attacks, natural disasters, and regional power outages from the past several years have all highlighted the low levels of disaster preparedness that exist at many firms. Supply chain disruptions caused by external events can have a significant financial and operational impact on firms not properly prepared. Therefore, improving disaster preparedness in supply chains is critical. One critical component of disaster management planning in supply chains is the storage of emergency supplies, equipment, and vital documents that will be needed in times of crisis. The goal of this paper is propose a decision process for establishing an efficient network of secure storage facilities that can effectively support multiple supply chain facilities.Design/methodology/approachThe authors use the fivestage disaster management process for supply chains as the framework for a proposed decision process for secure site locations. The decision process combines recommendations from FEMA's Disaster Management Guide with a set cover location model from the location sciences field to help establish a network of secure site locations.FindingsStoring emergency supplies at every supply chain facility can be costprohibitive. In addition, gaining access to emergency supplies that are stored at each facility may be prevented by some external events, such as fires or hurricanes, because items stored onsite are destroyed or are inaccessible. Therefore, the proposed secure site selection process can balance operational effectiveness and costefficiency by identifying the minimum number and possible locations of offsite storage facilities.Originality/valueOne important contribution of the paper is that it combines recent recommendations for disaster preparedness in supply chains with established models in location sciences research to create an interdisciplinary solution to an important supply chain issue. Even though the storage of important documents, equipment, and materials is only one small part of disaster management planning, it is hoped that this model will do its share in helping supply chains become better prepared for the next emergency.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Hale, T., & Moberg, C. R.

citation count

  • 169

complete list of authors

  • Hale, Trevor||Moberg, Christopher R

publication date

  • March 2005