The only real way that people can protect themselves from hazards is by being aware of them. For seven years the National Civil Protection Department has been taking its volunteers to piazzas around Italy to explain to citizens of all ages about what they can do to protect themselves from natural hazards. This year the campaign “Io non rischio” (I won’t risk it) will be taking place in 103 provincial capitals on Saturday 14 October 2017.
This year’s campaign is set to be a special edition. The earthquake in central Italy in August 2016 and the severe weather emergency in Marche and Abruzzo in January 2017 left a lasting impression on the Italian population. For the first time, in addition to the distribution of a handbook and provision of advice about good practices, the campaign will include initiatives such as urban trekking, sporting events and treasure hunts that are linked to local area knowledge and the actual risks present in each territory.
“Recent events have brought the problem of prevention and management of emergencies back into the news. Unfortunately these are no longer sporadic events, so educating the public is fundamental, beginning with the younger generations,” explains Franco Gizzi, Head of Protection and Civil Defence at Enel, the most important private company on the committee for the national coordination of Civil Protection.
Our Group has a special relationship with the National Civil Protection Department. “Since 2014 when Enel signed the first agreement with Italian Civil Protection, the way of managing emergencies and of collaborating with the varied world of civil protection organizations has changed,” continues Gizzi. This world includes voluntary organizations, small and large councils and private companies. There will be almost 750 organizations present in Italian piazzas on 14 October and around five thousand volunteers.
“The fact of producing and distributing electric energy, a key resource, especially in the management of emergencies, has a particular significance: we are the most important component in the area of essential services,” continues Gizzi. “We are one of the first to be contacted in moments of crisis and at other times, during so-called peaceful moments, we work tirelessly to perfect the procedures, streamlining them and making them more effective. Our role within the Italian Civil Protection system is growing constantly and this is a source of pride for us because it means that we have made important progress with an organization that sets the standard in the sector".
The themes at the heart of the 2017 campaign “Io non rischio” will be earthquakes, floods and, for the very first time, tsunamis.
“The aim,” explains Angelo Borrelli, Head of the National Civil Protection Department, “is to make the culture of prevention a shared asset for all citizens, making them more aware and, therefore, more demanding of their own administrations. Being aware of the risks in their own territories, knowing the safe areas and those at risk and the planned measures in case of an alert, means transforming preventative measures into habitual behaviour and daily actions that can avoid the loss of human life.”
Another of Enel’s central tasks is the training of the Civil Protection Department’s volunteers. “So far in 2017 we have trained around one thousand people, a figure that is unrivalled among service providing companies both on a national and European level. For us being able to work alongside the Italian Civil Protection Department, which is the envy of the world, is an opportunity for continuous improvement.”