The first law on civil protection interventions

Law No. 996 of December 8, 1970-"Rules on rescue and assistance to disaster-affected populations-Civil Protection"-outlined a broad framework for civil protection interventions. 

For the first time, the Italian legal system defined the concept of "civil protection," intended as the activity of providing services aimed at guaranteeing rescue and assistance to populations in the event of an emergency and, upon the occurrence of the calamity, the coordination of the interventions of state administrations, regions, and territorial and institutional public entities. The notion of a natural disaster or catastrophe was also specified for the first time: "the occurrence of situations involving serious damage and danger of damage to the safety of persons and property, and which, due to their nature and extent, must be faced with extraordinary technical interventions."

The management and coordination of all activities related to disaster response were transferred from the Ministry of Public Works to the Ministry of the Interior. A new interministerial Committee was explicitly established to coordinate the activities of the various ministries involved in disaster response. The law also provided for the appointment of an Emergency Commissioner responsible for directing and coordinating the rescue efforts at the disaster site. According to the law, the declaration of a disaster or natural calamity was the responsibility of the Prime Minister, who would issue a decree containing the appointment of the Commissioner.

Emergency assistance centers (Centri Assistenziali di Pronto Intervento-CAPIs) were created to assist the population from the first emergency to the return to normality. For the first time, civil protection volunteers' activity was also recognized: the Ministry of the Interior, through the National Fire and Rescue Service, was responsible for educating, training, and equipping citizens who voluntarily offered their help.

Law No. 996/70 prioritized the moment of emergency; in fact, it regulated only the rescue to be deployed immediately after the event. Regulations implementing the law would be approved after eleven years.