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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Together, one step ahead of tropical storms: how France helped experts work safely

With Madagascar’s response capacity pushed to the brink by 5 consecutive tropical storms in 6 weeks, the country requested assistance from the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Disaster response experts came to their aid from France and across Europe. Advance preparation and a swift response protected people from suffering even more.

Preparing the next generation to stay safe

They can’t stay safe if they don’t know the risks. That’s why this is so important.

Mirana R’Abel

Climate change has increased the intensity of storms, flooding can happen in areas it didn’t before, and high waters can be dangerous even after a storm has passed.

“The good thing about teaching kids from a young age is that they are more flexible, more adaptable. It can be hard to explain to adults who are used to doing things a certain way,” says R’Abel.

After being educated on the dangers after a storm, her students stayed home and safe from the floods, enabling responders to focus on helping others in need.

Responding safely

This is the most beautiful job in the world because we have the chance to help people and to make a difference in their lives.

Alain Biasci

Preparing for the future

  • Million


  • Actions

    disaster preparedness actions

  • Countries


Climate change, combined with population growth and rapid, unplanned urbanisation, has led to more people being exposed to the dangers of storms. In the past 30 years, there has been a 192% increase in the proportion of the world’s population living on tropical-storm-exposed coastlines. 

The EU believes it is important to help governments and communities prepare and take early and preventative actions. That’s why it allocates more than €75 million of its annual humanitarian funding to targeted preparedness actions. This includes early warning systems, satellite monitoring of weather conditions, and building national and local capacities. 

In 2021, the EU invested €76 million in 101 disaster preparedness actions in 30 countries.

Discover more stories

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When fires broke out in Slovenia in July 2022, the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism sprang into action. EU satellite mapping determined the progression and direction of the fires and Austrian helicopter pilot Josef Samonig used this to decide where to focus his firefighting efforts.

Man on the left in pilot's uniform in front of a firefighting plane and man on the right working at a computer

When wildfires broke out in Germany’s Harz National Park in September 2022, German authorities called on the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to help save the forest. Aided by EU’s satellite data, Italian pilot Martino Franchini flew in to help fight the blaze.

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When floods in Pakistan washed away roads and made travel treacherous, authorities asked for help from the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Guided by the EU’s satellite maps, Finnish logistics expert Juuso Nummela helped ensure life-saving aid arrived where it was needed most.