AN OPERATIONAL MODEL OF CRITICAL SUPPLY CHAIN FOR THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
Good, Jeffrey E.
Alderson, David L., Jr.
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In September 2017, two Category-5 hurricanes struck the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) within a period of two weeks causing massive devastation to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. These storms deposited over 660,000 tons of debris on roads and also created mudslides, rock slides, sinkholes, and washouts that blocked surface transportation for months. The damage to surface roads caused significant last-mile distribution problems that affected the ability to distribute disaster relief supplies within the islands and limited community access to these supplies during post-disaster curfews. Working directly in support of the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this thesis (1) develops computer models and supporting data of surface road transportation and supply chain infrastructure in the USVI and (2) uses the models to conduct a series of analyses that inform efficacy and prioritization of proposed infrastructure modifications and/or investment on community mobility and disaster relief. Specifically, we consider the island of St. Croix and model its transportation system and supply chain for food, fuel, and emergency supplies as a multi-commodity network flow problem. We assess system performance and potential vulnerabilities of the existing road network in order to inform investment decisions to strengthen the resilience of transportation and other interdependent lifeline infrastructure systems.
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