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Wildfires in a forest in Greece

Safe Village, Safe People: Working with the local community

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Portugal is particularly prone to wildfires over the summer season. In fact, one third of the country is classed as a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risk area. This can pose real threats to the safety of inhabitants: in 2017 (the deadliest fire season on record), the fires resulted in more than 100 casualties. Future climate scenarios are not favourable: there is a high potential for extreme ‘mega fires.

By Knowledge Network – Staff member

Given this risk, the Portuguese Government decided that a stronger call for action on awareness and preparedness was needed, particularly targeting local citizens in those areas which are at risk

The ‘Safe Village, Safe People’ campaign also involved the implementation of preparedness measures on a large scale. More than 2 800 shelters or places of refuge were set up. Local warning mechanisms were established, and 12 000 citizens took part in over 400 drills. More than 900 evacuation plans were implemented.

‘Safe Villages, Safe People’ is a pertinent example of good practice in running a campaign at local level in order to achieve stronger results in awareness raising and preparedness.

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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.