Operational Resilience Analysis and Capacity Building in the US Virgin Islands

Operational Resilience Analysis and Capacity Building in the US Virgin Islands

Sponsor: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Project Abstract: This project builds on preliminary work to provide modeling, analysis, and subject matter expertise to the Infrastructure Systems (IS) Recovery Support Function (RSF) and the Community Planning and Capacity Building RSF following Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in the territory of the US Virgin Islands. Specifically, this project proposes (1) ongoing modeling and analysis of interdependent infrastructure systems within the territory, with emphasis on assessing and improving their operational resilience; (2) support for the development of a next-generation hazard mitigation and resilience plan in the territory; and (3) capacity building efforts via the development of an education and training pipeline for knowledgeable professionals who understand and think about hazard mitigation and operational resilience of the USVI in everything they do. This project explicitly supports several other complementary efforts, particularly those hosted at the University of the Virgin Islands. 

Untitled Basic Web Content

Project Members

Dr. David Alderson, Operations Research, Principal Investigator

Dr. Daniel Eisenberg, Operations Research

Dr. Justin Rohrer, Computer Science

Dr. Robert Beverly, Computer Science

Elle Hancock, Operations Research

Alan Howard, NPS Energy Academic Group

CPT Dominik Wille, German Army



Untitled Basic Web Content

Simulation Optimization for Operational Resilience of Interdependent Water-Power Systems in the US Virgin Islands.

Cpt Dominik Wille, German Army | M.S Thesis in Operations Research (Completed Dec. 2019)

This work studies the water and power distribution systems on the island of St. Croix (STX) to predict the outcome of interdependent water-power failure events and recommend system hardening and protection activities. As the storms revealed, loss of electricity on STX can also lead to loss of pumping stations that distribute water. During these situations operators rely on water storage tanks to serve communities until electricity and pumps return to service. The goal of this thesis is to model how water-power failures happen and recommend ways to prevent them by answering the following questions:

  • How do worst-case and hurricane induced blackouts affect STX pumping stations?
  • How long can the STX water system provide services without electricity?
  • In what ways can STX power infrastructure be hardened to support water distribution?


Untitled Basic Web Content
Untitled Basic Web Content


Untitled Basic Web Content

An Operational Model of the Critical Supply Chain for the U.S. Virgin Islands

LCDR Jeffery E. Good | MS Thesis Operations Research (Completed September 2019)

Hurricanes Irma and Maria deposited over 660,000 tons of debris on roads and also created mudslides, rock slides, sinkholes, and washouts that blocked surface transportation for months. The damage to surface roads caused significant last-mile distribution problems that affected the ability to distribute disaster relief supplies within the islands and limited community access to these supplies during post-disaster curfews. This thesis (1) develops computer models and supporting data of surface road transportation and supply chain infrastructure for the island of St. Croix and uses the models to assess community mobility and disaster relief during disasters. Specifically, we assess:

  • round trip travel times and roadway congestion when residents travel to acquire food, fuel, and emergency supplies during post-disaster curfews;
  • total number of containerized cargo that can travel from ports to locations of disaster relief during congested traffic conditions; and,
  • which road segments, if blocked, have the potential to create the most congestion and hardship on travelers.
Untitled Basic Web Content

Technical Reports, Theses, Articles and Other Written Products:

Untitled Basic Web Content


Project Alumni

ENS Andrew Borgdorff, USN

MAJ Elad Bengigi, Israeli Defense Forces

LCDR Robert Routley, USN

LCDR Jeff Good, USN

CAPT William (Bill) Wine, USMC

LCDR Brendan Bunn, USN

MAJ Brian Moeller, USMC

Jack Templeton

Jacob Wigal