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Danube region: Disaster Management Working Group

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Hungary: Disaster Management Working Group to strengthen response network in Danube region.

By Knowledge Network – Staff member in project PROFOUND

“When the first reports came out about the number of deaths, everyone hoped it would not get that high – sadly, it was unavoidable that there would be more victims,” Kinga recounts. “Just as many of my fellow responders, I immediately felt the urge to support the response efforts. It was clear though, that very specific support was needed.”

European countries such as Austria, Italy and France were able to provide support, deploying flood rescue teams, boats and helicopters through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM).

Following the disaster, Kinga’s team is working to strengthen the response to potential future events by encouraging members of the EUSDR PA5 Disaster Management Working Group (DMWG) to use the network to offer and receive assistance in an organised way. She believes tools such as the UCPM support this aim, allowing experts to contribute to the objectives and implementation of DMWG actions.

“I truly believe in coordination and preparedness. First responders are ready to provide support, no matter what, but the main question is whether there is a framework in place to support their mission. If units deploy without adequate arrangements, it might be more harmful than helpful,” says Kinga. “Our overall goal is to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to join the network.”

The parallel flooding of the Danube and Tisa Rivers will be main scenario of the large-scale regional flood response field exercise (to be organised in 2022), which will aim to establish unified flood operations. The DG ECHO PROFOUND project provides an opportunity for the DMWG members to participate with their capacities.


Kinga stresses the need for solutions like the DMWG, which are tailored to macro-regional environmental risk and involve governmental and non-governmental organisations.

“Cooperation between civil protection and humanitarian actors during these emergencies can be achieved through joint preparedness activities – including joint training exercises – and establishing or nursing of existing cooperation and collaboration.”

The DiMaND project, funded by the UCPM - Knowledge Network Partnership Call, for example, aims to support the DMWG by promoting the network of governmental and non-governmental disaster management organisations in the region, while the RISKHUB project (funded by the European Regional Development Fund) is based on cross-border cooperation between Slovakia and Hungary and the linking of municipalities and volunteer firefighter associations.

The hazard-specific network project DAREnet aims to improve flood protection in the region, and works with the EUSDR PA5 DMWG to initiate the Danube Flood Resilience Exchange of Experts programme.

“In the EUSDR PA5 DMWG, we identified and included both civil protection and humanitarian actors, as they support one another when it comes to disaster response,” Kinga notes. “So, why not make more efforts to prepare jointly for these missions?”

Aiming to enlarge RISKHUB’s scope to ensure an active role for them in the Danube region, the DMWG is working on tools, such as a mobile application, e-learning modules, and a glossary of terms and procedures, to facilitate efficient disaster response and maintain a better flow of information.

“Standardisation of assets is perhaps not a realistic goal, but harmonisation of preparedness activities is achievable and desired at regional level. I believe we are on the right track and I am very optimistic about the future of our communities.”

About the author

The Knowledge Network – Staff member

The Knowledge Network editorial team is here to share the news and stories of the Knowledge Network community. We'd love to hear your news, events and personal stories about your life in civil protection and disaster risk management. If you've got a story to share, please contact us.