Civil Protection throughout history
The history of Civil Protection in Italy is closely connected to the calamities that have struck the country. Earthquakes and floods have marked the history and the evolution of Italy, contributing to creating that conscience for civil protection, for protecting lives and the environment that has led to the creation of a civil protection system capable of reacting and acting in the event of an emergency and of providing actions of forecasting and preventing them. In the phase immediately after a great catastrophe, innovations, decisions and choices are favoured by the climate of strong emotions which involves public opinion and the institutions after each disaster.
The concept of civil protection – as an expression of solidarity, spirit of collaboration and civic sense – has distant roots. History tells of organisations of solidarity and volunteers involved in providing help for disaster management as far back as the religious orders of the Middle Ages and with the first lay structures, like “le Misericordie” established in Florence between 1200 and 1300 or the fire brigade which has been present in the Alpine Valleys for centuries.