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(General News)
13. It is rare that just one cause leads to a chemical accident, usually there is a combination of factors - UNEP document says

To prevent chemical accidents, it is necessary to identify and understand the hazards associated with the chemical substances and their processes as well as the potential scenarios which may lead to an accident – indicates the recent UNEP Guidance Document “A Flexible Framework for Addressing Chemical Accident Prevention and Preparedness”. These scenarios include the effects of extreme weather conditions or seismic events - earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption.

The impact of extreme weather conditions or seismic events – the document says - on chemical installations can damage the plant construction or lead to a break down in the supply of energy or utilities. This may in turn lead to chemical accidents. Proposed prevention mechanisms include careful assessment of the siting of hazardous installations which should take account of local natural features (rivers which may flood, steep slopes prone to avalanche or mud slide, coastal plains exposed to tsunami risk). The construction of installations should also take account of the possible natural hazards and the expected weather conditions in the geographical region, including extremes. Provisions should be made for shutting down the installation in an emergency due to extreme natural conditions.

This Guidance document was developed by a group of international experts, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP-DTIE), as part of its work pursuant to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) adopted in February 2006.

The aim of SAICM is to “achieve by 2020, the use and production of chemicals in ways that lead to the minimisation of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.” One of the identified work areas of SAICM is “formulation of prevention and response measures to mitigate the environmental and health impacts of emergencies involving chemicals.”
Thursday, 12 May 2011
(General News)
Video explains risk of flash flooding and provides guidelines on how to react

A new video on the risk of flash flooding in the northern Mediterranean region has just been released by the EU funded research project IMproving Preparedness and RIsk maNagemenT for flash floods and debriS flow events (IMPRINTS). This video, which is targeted towards the general public, explains the reason for the increasing flash flooding risk in the region along with the forecasting and warning systems in place in the EU and suggests possible measures to cope with such risk and take fast action in emergency situations.

See the video: http://www.imprints-fp7.eu/en/dissemination/125-flash-floods-and-debris-flows-risk-management-part-1-living-with-the-risk

The research project IMPRINTS managed by Spain together with Italian, French, Dutch and Swiss organizations and the Institute for Environment and Sustainability of the EC Joint Research Centre based in Ispra, Italy, is working towards the improvement of preparedness and operational risk management of flash flood events. It studies innovative methods and tools to be used by emergency agencies responsible for the management of flash flood risk. In particular, the project is working on the development of an early flash floods warning system on the basis of the European Floods Alert System (EFAS). The IMPRINTS early warning system is mostly based on probabilistic forecasting using climatology data provided by the Cosmo Consortium. These data already cover Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, the western part of Turkey and the northern areas of Algeria and Tunisia. Therefore, the possible future extension of the IMPRINTS’ results to some of the PPRD South countries might be considered.

 

Sunday, 13 February 2011
(General News)
Fire Management Voluntary Guidelines. FAO 2006
The United Nations system recognize the critical role of fire – on the one hand, in maintaining fire dependent ecosystems, but on the other, in causing deforestation, forest degradation and destruction of livelihoods, biodiversity and infrastructure.
Friday, 26 March 2010
(International Cooperation on Civil Protection)

The Cairo based World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean published in 2007 the WHO e-Atlas of disaster risk for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Volume 1: Exposure to natural hazards. The e-Atlas uses geographic information systems and various disaster models to assist disaster management decision-makers, particularly those in the countries of this Region regularly experiencing disasters, to reduce health risks to vulnerable populations due to emergencies and health crises.

Monday, 15 February 2010
(General News)

The EpiSouth project - Network for communicable disease control in Southern Europe and Mediterranean countries - aims to create a regional framework for the collaboration on epidemiological issues in order to improve communicable diseases surveillance, communication and training across the countries of the Mediterranean and the Balkans. The project is led by the Italian National Institute of Health and involves 26 countries (9 Eu and 17 non EU).

The EpiSouth project started in 2006 and is due to finish in June 2010. It is funded by the European Commission (DG SANCO, EuropeAid and DG Enlargement) and the Italian Ministry for Health.

For more information please see the project web site: http://www.episouth.org/index.html

 

Friday, 12 February 2010
(General News)

This technical report on water scarcity and drought management in the Mediterranean and the Water Framework Directive was prepared by the Mediterranean Water Scarcity and Drought (WS&D) Working Group in the framework of the MED-EU Water Initiative / Water Framework Directive (WFD) Joint Process.

Friday, 12 February 2010
(General News)
Tsunamis: Know What to Do!

San Diego County used animated short film to educate kids about tsunamis.

Animated Crab Teaches Students Valuable Tsunami Preparedness Information.

 

Friday, 20 November 2009
(International Cooperation on Civil Protection)

The EFSCA was created in June 1988 from the will of 3 National schools of fire brigade to exchange regularly on the various aspects of the fire-fighters trainings (France, The Netherlands and United Kingdom).This association, now, groups all National fire-fighter training centres of the 27 countries of the European Community and the 4 countries of the European Trade Association.

EFSCA

The different European Fire Schools

Wednesday, 21 October 2009
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