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DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN CROATIA

What follows is the proposal by the CCCP Disaster Management team to the Croatian government ahead of the Paris meeting on climate change.  As will be shown below, the proposal is for the government to enact a new law regulating disaster management activities on the lowest level of local self-government.

1. For the upcoming climate talks in Paris, the Croatian government should make disaster management (upravljanje kriznim situacijama) a legal requirement at the lowest level of local self-government (lokalna samouprava) in the country.  In particular, the lowest units of local self-government should have an office for disaster management (ured za upravljanje kriznim situacijama), which should make plans in preparation of the weather-related disasters that are most likely in the geographic area they occupy.

 

2. Each office responsible for disaster management should be trained in the disaster management cycle, which includes four phases: preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation.  This cycle should be repeated indefinitely.  The community facing disasters should continually learn in the process and adjusts to changing conditions it faces.

 

The most important aspect of disaster management is that it differs from one unit of local self-government to another.  Therefore, each and every unit of local self-government should address disaster management separately and independently.  Cooperation between neighboring units should be encouraged, but only at their own initiative.  The only common feature is the set of general principles of disaster management, which can be found on the World Wide Web in many languages including English and Croatian:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_management

 

http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upravljanje_u_kriznim_situacijama

 

3. In addition to the capital, Zagreb, there are 127 cities or towns (gradovi) and 428 municipalities (opcine) in Croatia.  City quarters (gradske cetvrti) and local boards (mjesni odbori) exist in some but not all cities or towns and municipalities.  In addition, there are 6757 settlements (naselja) in the country, which are organized within municipal borders.

 

The new law promulgated by the Croatian government should ensure the formation and continual operation of disaster-management offices at the lowest level of local self-government.  In particular, it should be instituted in each of 6757 settlements in the country with the assistance of 556 city or town and municipal offices that contain them.

 

4. The Croatian government should ensure that all disaster-management offices are properly trained and equipped for disaster management in their units of local self-government.  This obligation should be part of the proposed law.  For this purpose, the government of Croatia should establish a central office responsible for disaster management, which should coordinate, oversee, and support the operation of all offices in the units of local self-government in the country while simultaneously ensuring their independence.