Copyright © 2013 Menghao Xi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Emergency incidents, including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, public health outbreaks, and industrial and mining accidents, and so forth, result in severe human casualties and property losses. Emergency facilities, which provide relief materials and services, play an important role in rescue management. The decision of where to locate the emergency rescue facilities is very important, as it determines the efficiency and effectiveness of the emergency management process. This paper develops a modified -median problem model that accounts for rescue time limitations. A variable neighbourhood search- (VNS-) based algorithm is developed for the model considered. The modified VNS algorithm exhibits good performance on -median benchmark problems. A case from Western China is studied, and a reasonable location decision is then made for emergency rescue facilities using the modified VNS algorithm. The paper also compares the results with and without considering the rescue time limitation.