DG ECHO - Emergency Response Coordination

On the 19th of December 2019, Danai Kazantzidou-Firtinidou, Research Associate at KEMEA, coordinator institute of MEDEA network, visited the premises of Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) in DG ECHO in Brussels, hosted by the Seconded National Expert, Ms. Chrysa Gkountromichou, who serves in DG ECHO as Policy Officer.

Ms. Kazantzidou-Firtinidou had the chance to visit the operational room of ERCC, the meeting and coordination rooms and was explained the everyday on-duty operational occupation and policy-making role of ERCC officers. 

ERCC, being the heart of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, acts as coordination hub between all EU Member States and Participating States, the affected country, and civil protection and humanitarian experts, ensuring fast deployment of emergency support. It operates 24/7, in a fully staffed and trained duty system, monitoring any emergencies due to man-made threats and natural hazards worldwide, receives requests for support from national civil protection authorities of disaster-stricken countries and coordinates real-time exchange of information and deployment of assistance and assessment teams.

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service is a mapping service, provided  by the European Commission free of charge. Using satellite imagery and geospatial data, the Copernicus EMS supports the anticipation of natural or human-made disasters, and the response to such disasters or other humanitarian crises throughout the world.

Copernicus EMS may provide support during all phases of disaster management cycle: (a) with rapid mapping and operational chain of 24/7/365 through ERCC, for assessing and delineating the affected area by any disaster, to be used for operational purposes, during the response and the immediate post-disaster phase and (b) for risk and recovery mapping, providing risk maps, pre- and post-disaster maps, for supporting disaster risk reduction and recovery decision-making.

The MEDEA network wishes to thank Ms. Gkountromichou for guiding us in ERCC, in its every day operation and role in Civil Protection mechanism, as well as for the presentation of Copernicus EMS possibilities and activations.

MEDEA is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme, under grant agreement no 787111