Impact-based disaster classification: A prerequisite for planning and operations of humanitarian supply chain

Lijo John, Anand Gurumurthy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The classification of disasters has far reaching consequences on policy making and developing preparedness plans in humanitarian supply chain (HSC). The policy makers try to understand and focus on a few major types of disasters that require their attention to appropriately utilise the scare resources. This has led to the development of multiple classification schemes for disasters. However, the existing schemes are often subjective in nature and fail to capture a holistic impact of disaster on the lives of the affected people. This paper addresses this gap by proposing a composite impact indicator (CII) to measure the impact of the disaster and classify them based on the risk of impact. The proposed classification schema uses the data from emergency events database (EM-DAT) and classifies the natural disasters on a two-dimensional matrix based on CII and relative frequency of occurrence. This classification schema would assist policy makers - specifically the government agencies to suitably allocate resources among the stakeholders, specifically for high impact disasters during preparedness phase. Furthermore, it would also help in improving the coordination between the stakeholders during the preparedness phase of HSC and thereby play a significant role in improving the effectiveness of the activities during the relief and rehabilitation phases.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Services and Operations Management
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)478-501
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • CII
  • Classification schema
  • Collaboration
  • Composite impact indicator
  • Coordination
  • Disaster
  • EM-DAT
  • Emergency events database
  • HSC
  • Humanitarian supply chain
  • India
  • Natural disasters
  • Preparedness phase


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