Procedures of Rescue Organizations in Flood Operations UNified in the Danube Region

Flood rescue activities are supported for more than a decade by the Hungarian, Serbian and Romanian river rescue NGOs and volunteer fire brigades in the Danube Region. These volunteer organizations have been working together side by side throughout these years fighting floods and emergencies. These organizations are in cooperation with their respective national authorities providing rapid response to disasters, for this reason their capacities are designed for national and cross-border deployment. Based on existing examples and their self-assessment of capacities, the standard operating procedures will be developed. The volunteer organizations will adapt their procedures to the international standards, which eventually ensure interoperability by meeting the requirements of the UCPM. The training of trainers ensures sustainability of trained team members as an effective knowledge transfer. The results of the preparation period are field handbook and full version of Standard Operating Procedures for flood response operations in the Danube Region. The thorough planning and preparations ensures that the exercise will be based on well-defined specific learning objectives. The results and the readiness of the units will be tested in multiple location-based full-scale field exercise, simulating parallel flooding in Tisza and Danube rivers at the same time but in different tributaries and sections of the rivers. This setup will greatly challenge the participants, also the general learning objectives of the exercise can be achieved, including Host Nation Support and coordination of volunteer assets, common understanding of procedures and effective cooperation. Throughout the preparation, planning and execution of the exercise, the constant monitoring of the activities will be conducted by using self-evaluation designed for the different actors.

Floods are identified as a common European challenge. As rivers often form borders and run across countries, floods have cross border nature. Cooperation is a key for the European Union, while solidarity among member states is one of the base goals of the Union. The project is based on the values of EU, and supports the fundamental goals, speciality with promoting well-being (enhanced resilience with well prepared rescue teams), and enhance solidarity between the member states.

As a general objective of the project the aim is to improve coordination, cooperation and interoperability between response organizations to provide assistance in the countries affected by heavy floods. Hungary, Serbia and Romania and their neighbouring countries are involved with EU Strategy for the Danube Region. This macro-regional strategy has a strong Environmental Protection pillar, with a priority area which concentrates on Environmental Risks (PA5). One of the actions from the Action Plan of PA5 is fully in line with the aims of the UCPM and the project: to strengthen the cooperation between disaster management organizations. By developing better and more reliable response assets and exercising their cooperation, some gaps in the response system can be filled.


Project Duration: 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022

Project Budget: 510,166.17 EUR

Lead partner: Budapest Firefighter Association (HUN)

Number of partners: 4 partners (HU, RO, SRB)

Submitted to: DG ECHO Union Civil Protection Mechanism Full-scale Exercises