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Synopsis

The main goal of this text is to introduce the systems approach to disasters management community as an alternative approach that can provide support for interdisciplinary activities involved in the management of disasters. The systems approach draws on the fields of operations research and economics to create skills in solving complex management problems.

The text is organized into four parts. Part I provides an introductory discussion of disaster management including an overview of the main terms used. Part II is devoted to the introduction of systems theory, mathematical formalization and classification of methods. The material presented in this section should be of practical relevance during the process of selecting an appropriate tool for the solution of a problem. Part III is technical in nature, providing a simulation approach and a detailed description of system dynamics simulation. This section details two areas of application: flood evacuation simulation, and disaster risk assessment. Part IV ends with a chapter covering steps to improve disaster management. Finally parts of the book can be used as a tool for specialized short courses for practitioners. For example a course on 'System analysis for emergency management optimization' could be based on Chapters 3, 4 and parts of Chapter 6.

Included in the book is a CD with three computer programs Vensim PLE, LINPRO, and COMPRO. Vensim PLE (Personal Learning Edition) is state-of-the-art simulation software used for the implementation of system dynamics simulation. The other two programs are: LINPRO, a linear programming optimization tool; and COMPRO, for the implementation of the multi-objective analysis tool of compromise programming.

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