OECD Reviews of Risk Management Policies: Italy


Review of the Italian National Civil Protection System




When a disaster strikes, time is of the essence to save lives and limit potentially enormous disruption to economic activities. Is Italy prepared for the next major natural disaster?


This OECD review of risk management policies focuses on the Italian civil protection system and its means to prepare for and react to earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, landslides and even volcanoes.


The Italian National Civil Protection Service can rapidly mobilise operational resources for emergency management and recovery both at home, throughout Europe and around the world.



Its components constantly research known hazards to better understand and model vulnerabilities, while technical experts co-operate in real time to monitor events as they unfold and operate the early warning systems.


These professionals are supported by a highly organised and motivated volunteer service unseen elsewhere in OECD countries.


What makes these many parts of the civil protection system work as one effective whole, however, is its governance structure under the direct authority of the Italian Prime Minister. 

Recent years have seen a steep increase in the frequency and economic impacts of disasters, and Italy has been no exception.


In addition to increased seasonal variance linked to climate change, the devastating earthquakes around L’Aquilla in 2009 make Italy a case study for policy-makers, emergency management practitioners, academics and international organisations who are searching for solutions, notably in the areas of disaster damage reduction policies.


The Italian civil protection system offers a rich source of best practices for their consideration. The National Department of Civil Protection in particular, as the hub of the National Civil Protection Service, provides a model of professionalism and leadership.


The review report also identifies many challenges facing the Italian civil protection system and areas where improvements are still needed.


Table of contents


Executive summary
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Governance and organisational structure
Chapter 3. Analysis of Italy’s civil protection system
Chapter 4. Risk assessment, prevention and early warning
Chapter 5. Risk communication and preventative information
Chapter 6. Preparedness and real time response
Chapter 7. Post-event issues, emergency overcoming
Chapter 8. Synthesis of conclusions and recommendations
Annex A. Principal legislation and operational components
Annex B. Critical infrastructure operator components within NCPS
Annex C. Review self-assessment questionnaires
Annex D. Presentation of INGV, RELUIS and the EUCENTRE
Annex E. List of interviewees


How to obtain this publication


Readers can access the full version of Italy 2010: Review of the Italian National Civil Protection Systemby choosing from the following options:




Further information


For more information on our work on Risk Management, please contact: and Sté




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