Operational indications on the use of the IT-alert public warning system are online
Published the Decree of the Head of Department of January 19, 2024
The Decree of the Head of Department of Civil Protection of January 19, 2024, established the operational indications regulating the use of the IT-alert public warning system by the Civil Protection System, as required by the Directive of the President of the Council of Ministers of October 23, 2020, and subsequent amendments.
The operational indications are directed at defining the use of IT-alert for the following risks: earthquake-generated tsunami; the collapse of a large dam; volcanic activity of Vesuvius, Phlegraean Fields, Volcano, and Stromboli; nuclear accidents or radiological emergency; major accidents in industrial facilities subject to Legislative Decree No. 105 of June 26, 2015 (Seveso Directive). Operational indications have also been drafted to define the Italian profile of the "Common Alerting Protocol" (CAP) that, following international standards, aligns the protocol that enables cell broadcast messages to the necessities of the National Service of Civil Protection.
For each risk, the scenarios to use the warning system for the specific risk, the message's text, the procedures to send the message, the areas to be alerted, and the individuals responsible for sending the messages are defined.
Lastly, the operational indications describe the limits related to implementing the IT-alert system in general and for each specific risk. The public warning system is affected by some limits linked to the uncertainty of natural phenomena, imperfect scientific knowledge, and available technological skills.
Concerning heavy rainfalls, another risk covered by the Directive, it should be mentioned that the related operational indications are currently being developed considering that the inherent complexity of such phenomena and their evolution call for further technical and procedural investigation.
The operational indications are an essential milestone for making the IT-alert system operational. For the system to become operational, the Department is currently discussing a technical assessment of the testing phase with the territorial entities involved, telephone operators, and the Sector of the National Commission for the Forecasting and Prevention of Major Risks responsible for the type of risk.
Should critical issues arise in moving toward the operational phase, the Department, in agreement with the Unified Conference, may extend the trial period, also only for specific risk scenarios.