Preventive civil protection

All planning work should promote civil protection. This duty is imposed by, among other pieces of legislation, the provisions of the Planning and Building Act. As the local planning authority, a municipality has the responsibility and legal power to prohibit the use of land that is or may be exposed to danger. This applies both to individual buildings and larger schemes.

In practice this means, among other things, that residential buildings, schools or other institutions should not be sited in areas liable to floods, landslides, avalanches or other events that may endanger human life or health. In addition, alternative means of supplying drinking water and electricity should be provided in case the usual supply lines are disrupted. Residential areas, schools and other institutions should also be protected to the greatest possible extent when plans are being drawn up for major new transport routes.

Risk and vulnerability assessments (RVAs) are used to establish the probability and potential consequences of a disaster (e.g., a flood or major power outage) occurring in a particular area. Municipal civil protection planning must be based on comprehensive risk and vulnerability assessments.

Relevant links:

  • The Planning and Building Act
  • The Civil Protection Act
  • Regulation no. 894 of 22 August 2011 : Regulation on municipal duties in respect of emergency preparedness
  • Royal resolution of 17 February 2006: Preparedness for nuclear disasters – central and regional organisation