Government preparedness: using simulation to prepare for a terrorist attack

Pavel Albores, Duncan A. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The heightened threat of terrorism has caused governments worldwide to plan for responding to large-scale catastrophic incidents. In England the New Dimension Programme supplies equipment, procedures and training to the Fire and Rescue Service to ensure the country's preparedness to respond to a range of major critical incidents. The Fire and Rescue Service is involved partly by virtue of being able to very quickly mobilize a large skilled workforce and specialist equipment. This paper discusses the use of discrete event simulation modeling to understand how a fire and rescue service might position its resources before an incident takes place, to best respond to a combination of different incidents at different locations if they happen. Two models are built for this purpose. The first model deals with mass decontamination of a population following a release of a hazardous substance—aiming to study resource requirements (vehicles, equipment and manpower) necessary to meet performance targets. The second model deals with the allocation of resources across regions—aiming to study cover level and response times, analyzing different allocations of resources, both centralized and decentralized. Contributions to theory and practice in other contexts (e.g. the aftermath of natural disasters such as earthquakes) are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1924-1943
Number of pages20
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Bibliographical note

Part Special Issue: OR Applications in the Military and in Counter-Terrorism


  • discrete event simulation
  • terrorism
  • preparedness
  • Fire and Rescue Service


Dive into the research topics of 'Government preparedness: using simulation to prepare for a terrorist attack'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this