Use of OR in earthquake operations management: A review of the literature and roadmap for future research

Çoban B., Scaparra M. P., O'Hanley J. R.

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, vol.65, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 65
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102539
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Disaster management, Earthquakes, Earthquake operations management, Operations research, Review
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: No


To reduce human losses and minimize social and economic disruption caused by large-scale earthquakes, effective planning and operational decisions need to be made by responsible agencies and institutions across all pre- and post-disaster stages. Operations Research (OR), which encompasses a broad array of quantitative and analytical methods for systematic decision making, has garnered a considerable amount of attention in the disaster operations management literature over the past few decades. The purpose of this review is to highlight and discuss main lines of research involving the use of OR techniques applied specifically to earthquakes disasters. As part of our review, we identify existing research gaps and propose a roadmap to guide future work and enhance the real-world applicability of OR to earthquake operations management. We emphasize the need for (i) developing models that are specifically tailored to earthquake operation management, including the need to contend with cascading effects and secondary disasters caused by aftershocks; (ii) greater stakeholder involvement in problem identification and methodological approach to enhance realism and adoption of OR models by practitioners; (iii) more holistic planning frameworks that combine decision making across multiple disaster stages; (iv) integration of OR methods with real- and near real-time information systems, while confronting the problem of dealing with missing and incomplete data; (v) greater use of use of multi-methodology and interdisciplinary approaches, including behavioral OR and Soft OR techniques as well as seismology and earthquake engineering expertise; and (vi) improved data generation defined at appropriate scales and better probability estimation of earthquake scenarios.