Emergency preparedness of state
The state must always be ready for emergencies. An emergency is an event or a chain of events that endangers the life or health of many people (for example, one where dozens of people are injured). It might also be an event that causes major proprietary damage (for example, one that amounts to more than one million euros), major environmental damage (a situation, where human intervention is necessary for restoring the previous status of nature) or extensive disruptions in the operation of vital services.
An emergency differs from a traditional disturbance in that:
- it has a wider extent, longer duration and its consequences are more severe;
- it requires more resources than usual for resolving it and, if need be, also those of foreign countries and international organisations;
- it requires cooperation to resolve it.
Resolving emergencies is based on emergency response plans and special laws. In case an emergency is extensive or with severe consequences, the government may declare an emergency situation in a certain area or in the entire country.
Preparing for emergencies is based on risk assessments and emergency response plans. Risk assessments are prepared to analyse the most probable emergencies and their causes, the probability of their occurrence, and possible consequences. Emergency response plans describe, among other things, ways to resolve such situations, include and use necessary resources, and notify the public so that their safety is ensured.
Depending on the situation, either ministries, agencies, inspectorates or public servants coordinate the resolving of emergencies. Permanent crisis committees of the local government, crisis committees of the regional government and the crisis committee of the Government of the Republic led by the Minister of the Interior are formed to prevent emergencies. Crisis committees coordinate the activities of authorities in preventing emergencies, preparing for such, and ensuring the continuous operation of vital services. Crisis committees do not coordinate the resolving of emergencies, but assist, if need be, authorities resolving emergencies.
An emergency situation is a situation that is more serious than an emergency. An emergency situation is declared to enhance resolving an emergency. For that, the management of resolving the situation is centralised into one location and certain measures are used which cannot be used in an ordinary situation. In that case, the head of an emergency situation or, if need be, heads of emergency situation work are appointed. An emergency situation is declared by the Government of the Republic.