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Purple Skies

What is Civil Protection & Emergency Management?

Civil Protection


The aim of civil protection is to protect the population and its vital resources, including critical infrastructure, in the event of disasters and emergencies, including armed conflict and acts of terrorism.


During World War II many countries set up Civil Defence Departments to deal with the immediate humanitarian consequences of war. Since the conclusion of the war, globalisation and increased interdependencies coupled with uncertainty and volatility have led to increased losses from natural and anthropogenic hazards. As a consequence, many countries turned their attention to protecting their respective populations from the impact of these disasters, and referred to it as civil protection.


Civil protection is now regarded as a function of civil society and refers to the activities and measures taken to protect the population against the impacts of all types of emergencies. It brings together people and organisations, volunteers and experts, particularly at local levels but, in the event of large scale disasters regions, and nations. 


Emergency Management


Emergency management refers to the range of activities designed to maintain control over emergency situations and to provide a framework to helping at risk persons to avoid or recover from the impact of such emergencies. It broadly consists of the coordination and management of resources and responsibilities relating to the phases of the integrated emergency and disaster management cycles:

  • Anticipation – horizon scanning

  • Assessment – assessing the risks and threats

  • Prevention – actions taken to eliminate, isolate or reduce risks 

  • Preparation – actions taken prior to an emergency to promote readiness and facilitate response.

  • Response – coordinate actions  during an emergency to save lives and livelihoods, property and the environment.

  • Recovery – actions taken after an incident to restore and resume operations.

Civil protection and emergency management professionals and academics work in a range of contributory and complementary disciplines including:

  • Civil protection

  • Disaster science

  • Disaster risk reduction (DRR)

  • Organisational and operational resilience

  • Emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR)

  • Emergency planning and management

  • Crisis management

  • Business continuity

  • Risk assessment and management 

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