Civil Protection relief drills

Civil protection relief drills are an important tool for prevention and for checking emergency plans, with the objective of testing the intervention model, of updating territorial knowledge and suitability of resources.
It also aims to instruct those involved on emergency management and the population on the correct behaviour to adopt.



The drills can be carried out on a national, regional, provincial and local level.

For national drills, programming and organisation are the responsibility of the Civil Protection Department in agreement with the Regions or Autonomous Provinces where they are held. Those classified as regional or local, on the other hand, are promoted by the Regions or Autonomous Provinces, by the Prefetture (central governmental institutions on a provincial level) or by any other administration of the Civil Protection National Service, relative to plans within their competence.

The fundamental elements for programming a drill are contained in the “document for organisation of exercise” – shared with all the participating administrations – which establishes, among other things, the territorial context and the reference risk scenario, coordination system, objectives and intervention strategy and ways for involving the population.
Further classification of activities identifies “table-top drills” with activation of operations centres and the telecommunications network, and the “full-scale exercise” with actions locally and possible involvement of the population.

The relief drills, on the other hand, can be carried out by each of the operating units and aim to check the intervention capacity with their own resources for carrying out activities of competence.
An important national drill took part on the island of Stromboli in 2005.

As part of the Community Mechanism the European Commission entails training that includes exercises to simulate big emergencies.

International drills are supported, also with specific financial contribution, by the European Commission and represent an important appointment for evaluation of: emergency management by countries taking part, intervention model, forms of collaboration between Civil Protection National Systems called upon to cooperate in the event of disasters in a foreign or European country.

The Civil Protection promotes and organizes international drills together with the regions involved. Dills cover different types of risk, they aim to test the effectiveness of activities and procedures put in place during the emergency.

Teams from different member states take part in an international drill, both as operational members, represented by teams that intervene with men and means an also as observers who take part in the activities to get to know the active members, compare methods and procedures.

All representatives from Union member countries can be “observers” with greater participation by those interested in the risk addressed by the drill.