Since the launch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2002, research needs have been established in the areas of disaster preparedness and critical infrastructure protection. Disaster preparedness seeks to lessen the adverse effects of disasters and hazards by planning in advance and responding in a proper manner. Critical infrastructures are those entities deemed necessary for society to function properly. Examples of critical infrastructures include vital stockpiles, transportation networks, emergency services, government buildings, electrical power systems, telecommunications, water supply systems, gas and oil production facilities, chemical and manufacturing plants, defense industrial bases, and other key commercial assets. Recent research has developed location models to aid in the management of many of these critical facilities. However, few efforts have modeled where to locate a future critical vaccine supply facility.
Past high-profile attacks on the United States have been focused on major cities, including Washington, D.C. and New York City. Generally, planned attacks will focus on centralized urban areas in order to cause as much damage as possible. In addition, centralized urban areas are more prone to damage, injuries, and death in comparison with rural areas. As a result, I propose a multi-objective modeling approach for strategically siting a critical vaccine supply facility that integrates disaster preparedness directives and critical infrastructure protection needs with respect to urban concentrations of critical facilities and populations. Specifically, I apply this model to locate the future placement of a critical vaccine stockpile in the greater metropolitan areas of Tampa Bay and Orlando in Central Florida. This research should benefit planners, policy makers, academics and researchers, as well as the welfare of civilians who are vulnerable to attack.