Emergency preparedness and operational response: a Spanish case study within the European Union Framework

A. García-Miravete
2012 Risk Analysis VIII   unpublished
The primary emergency response to a particular disaster will only minimize its overall impact when two factors operate efficiently: rapidity and proportionality. After a thorough threat assessment on the level of risk that Spain faces regarding natural or man-made disasters, TRAGSA's emergency management system can be recognized as an effective and efficient solution for immediate response. (TRAGSA is the Governmental Agency (Public Company) in charge of rural development, environmental
more » ... on and emergency management.) Within the context of limited resources and the need for an operationallyoriented policy mainly focused on the identified priorities, our emergency management system for environmental disasters does offer reasonable satisfaction in terms of rapidity and proportionality. We intend, therefore, to explain how to achieve the best possible results (quick and proportionate) in a crisis scenario with environmental impact (from those identified within the National security strategy) occurring in any territory of a country 500,000 square kilometres wide. To that end, we will show how the model has behaved in real scenarios. The involvement of the civil agency for environmental catastrophes (TRAGSA) is providing adequate answers to the incident regardless of the magnitude and place of occurrence, as it will be shown in the case studies. The specific interest of this paper is to consider and communicate the idea of a "non stand-by approach and multifunctional team", that is to say, the way in which TRAGSA operates during emergencies. The main strengths of the system are: a) Rapidity of the response regardless the emergency location. b) Proportional deployment according to the magnitude of the incident. c) Accurate expertise and knowledge on the main emergency categories. d) Effective and efficient use of "scarce" resources. In conclusion, the purpose of our work is to present a tested and proven case study on emergency response management based upon recent real scenarios occurred in Spain, namely BOLIDEN (toxic waste in Guadalquivir river), ARENAS (severe forest wildfire) and ARRIONDAS (case of floods in Asturias) to demonstrate how the system offers rapidity, proportionality, expertise and economy, taking into account, in addition, the EU wider scenario that new regulations and strategy are shaping in Europe.
doi:10.2495/risk120191 fatcat:wdhepsd22rbhlmurz2mijqdx7q