Portuguese Red Cross strengthens legal preparedness for disasters

Portugal training
The Portuguese Red Cross is working to strengthen its capabilities in legal preparedness for disaster with trainings led by IFRC’s Disaster Law Focal Point for Europe Tommaso Natoli, based at the Italian Red Cross.

“These trainings signify a step forward in our collective effort to understand and implement disaster law effectively. By sharing knowledge and best practices, we empower our teams to respond more efficiently to crises and uphold the dignity and rights of those affected,” said Tommaso Natoli.

The first training held in September at the Portuguese Red Cross headquarters was part of a national meeting for the Induction Training Pool of Trainers, focusing on equipping 36 trainers with vital knowledge. It delved into International Disaster Response Law, disaster response management, legal preparedness, and EU Disaster Law - all skills essential for new volunteers and staff at the Portuguese Red Cross.

In October, the training shifted to Lisbon, engaging 32 staff members from various Portuguese Red Cross departments. Discussions revolved around legal instruments and practices critical in disaster mitigation, assistance, and international cooperation. The training highlighted the significance of legal frameworks in disaster management scenarios.

Rodrigo Miguel Maria Cerdeira, an Emergency Response Coordinator with the Portuguese Red Cross said the training gave him tools to better carry out the humanitarian mission.

“Disaster law training is a useful tool for understanding the measures taken in the event of a catastrophe while maintaining order and dignity.”

These sessions not only strengthened the partnership between the Portuguese and Italian Red Cross societies but also laid a foundation for future collaborative efforts in disaster law and response.

Looking ahead to 2024, support for the Portuguese Red Cross will include  disaster law training for emergency staff, with a specific focus on the functioning of the EU Civil Protection System (UCPM) and how they can supported and contribute to it.