CASCADE’19 is a European civil protection exercise held in Portugal between 29 May and 1 June 2019, organized by the Portuguese National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection in collaboration with the Directorate-General of the Maritime Authority, financed by the European Commission under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

In the exercise participated teams from Spain, France, Belgium, Germany and Croatia, globally mobilizing more than 6000 participants. It aimed to test and train the response to multiple emergency situations that may occur in cascade (earthquake, floods, chemical accidents, dam ruptures and marine pollution, among others) in Portuguese territory. It’s a LIVEX (Live Exercise) with over 60 different scenarios, in the districts of Lisbon, Aveiro, Évora and Setúbal.

Organizing Entities

Portuguese National Authority for Civil Protection

The Portuguese National Authority for Civil Protection is a central service of the direct administration of the State, endowed with administrative and financial autonomy and its own patrimony. Its mission is to plan, coordinate and execute the civil protection policy, namely in the prevention and response to major accidents and disasters, the protection and relief of populations and oversight of firefighters’ activities, as well as to ensure the coordination of civil emergency planning to deal with crisis or war situations.

It pursues assignments in the scope of risk forecasting and management and emergency planning, protection and rescue activities, firefighter activities, civil protection resources. It supervises protection and rescue activities in the Portuguese mainland, with a central service in Carnaxide and eighteen district services.

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it maintains cooperation with various public services, other ministries and private sectors from a wide range of sectors, responding to the great objective of the Integrated Protection and Relief Operations System, regulations and procedures on which the figure of the Single Command contributes to an articulated protection and relief, fully respecting the internal organization of all who contribute to this mission.

At the international level, it actively contributes to the European Civil Protection Mechanism, both as a provider of solutions to affected populations and as recipient of additional resources, bearing in mind the principle that no one is individually prepared for everything.

Portuguese Directorate-General of the Maritime Authority

The Directorate-General of the Maritime Authority is a public service, integrated in the Ministry of National Defense, endowed with administrative autonomy, being legally committed to directing, coordinating and controlling the activities carried out by its organs and services to be developed in the spaces under its jurisdiction. In particular, it is the duty of the DGAM to support, in technical, legal, logistical and financial terms, the action of the Port Authorities.

In order to carry out its mission, it has the support of the Navy in terms of human and material resources. As Directorate-General for Public Administration, under the direction of which a wide deconcentrated structure is exercised – Maritime Departments, Port Authorities and Maritime Delegations, is legally entrusted with the direction, coordination and control of the activities carried out by those bodies, as well as directing the activity of its technical directorates – Direction of Lighthouses, the Institute of Reliefs to Shipwrecks, the Direction of Combat to Marine Pollution and the School of the Maritime Authority.

Co-financing Entity

European Comission - EU Civil Protection Mechanism

The overall objective of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is to strengthen cooperation between Participating States in the field of civil protection, with a view to improving prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. Through the Mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond.

When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the Mechanism. Once activated, the Mechanism coordinates assistance made available by its Participating States.