Presidency of the Council of Ministers- Italian Civil Protection Department (DPC)
Italy is a risk-prone country, therefore its civil protection system must ensure in every area the presence of human resources and means, as well as operational, organizational and decision-making capacities ready to intervene in a timely and coordinated way in case of emergency, but also to operate with continuity to prevent and, as far as possible, foresee potential disasters. For this reason, in Italy, civil protection is not a task assigned to a single administration but a function attributed to an integrated system: the National Civil Protection Service, established in 1992 with law no. 225.
The new Civil Protection Code of 2018 has reinforced and improved this role, by enriching it with new tasks and responsibilities. The National Service operates according to the subsidiarity principle at central, regional and local level through the civil protection authorities. In close coordination with the Regions and Autonomous Provinces, the Department develops and organizes national plans for risk scenarios and organizes exercises/drills, coordinates the intervention of the National Service in case of national emergencies, and promotes activities of risk forecasting and prevention. It coordinates also the participation of the National Service in European Union civil protection policies and its intervention in disaster relief operations abroad.
The operating structures work in coordination with the National Fire Brigades, the Armed Forces, the Police Forces, the scientific community, the National Health Service structures, the organized civil protection volunteer service, the Italian Red Cross, the National Corps of Alpine and Speleological Rescue, the National System for Environmental Protection and the structures responsible for managing meteorological services at a national level.
Cultural Heritage and Civil Protection in Italy
In case of national and international emergencies, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT) under the overall coordination of the Civil Protection Department, manages all activities related to the safeguard of cultural heritage, providing technical advice, also in terms of assessing intervention priorities.
In case of disaster, the actors contributing in cultural heritage safeguard operations are: cultural heritage experts from MiBACT, specialised police forces (Carabinieri – Nucleo Tutela Beni Culturali), military corps and fire brigades, scientific/academic resources, specialised volunteers. In the last years, the cooperation among relevant institutions in this sector increased significantly, therefore in order to guarantee an effective coordination of relief operations undertaken during the response phase, the MiBACT released the 2015 Regulation – drafted in collaboration with the DPC – establishing the procedures for the management of all activities related to the safeguard and protection of cultural heritage in case of natural disasters.