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On 9-10 May 2019 in Venice at Palazzo Zorzi, in the premises of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe an International Workshop was organized as part of the EU funded project “Improving Resilience to Emergencies through Advanced Cyber Technologies” (I-REACT). The overall goal of this project was to develop European-wide platform with a capacity of integrating emergency management data coming from multiple sources, including that of provided by citizens through social media and crowdsourcing. In doing so, I-REACT platform can produce information faster whilst allowing citizens, civil protection services and policymakers to effectively prevent and/or react to disasters.

One of the particular topics discussed during the Venice conference were the issues related to the awareness and understanding among relevant stakeholders of the potentialities offered by the common use of integrated ICT-based systems and tools for monitoring, forecasting, alerting, and reporting within the entire disaster risk management cycle. In that sense, a dedicated panel was organized to discuss “citizen awareness and engagement with the participation of end users” where one of the panellists was Mr. Krunoslav Katic on behalf of the Institute for Security Policies from Croatia.

Photo: Mr. Katic of Institute for Security Policies at UNESCO International Conference in Venice, 9-10 May 2019

Mr. Katić has shared his long-term experience in regards of developing and implementing awareness-raising campaigns in the region of South-east Europe particularly reiterating common misconceptions people have in understanding alerts and warnings sent by Civil Protection authorities and also discussing added values for the local level authorities as first-time responders in terms of raising awareness and explaining the contents of alerts to the citizens.

I-REACT International Workshop was participated by the wide audience of stakeholders from the Civil Protection field and successfully closed with the completion of the in-field simulation exercise covering the Flood/Fire risk scenario with inclusive use of tools and functionalities of I-REACT as part of operationalising solutions in emergency response.