A round table held in the framework of the EMBER project

A round table was held within the EMBER project in Vukovar on 21 February 2017 with the aim of presenting the Analysis of the protection, rescue and operation of task forces during the floods in June 2013 and May 2014, which were made by the working groups from Serbian and Croatia.

The Analysis of the protection, rescue and operation of task forces during the floods in June 2013 refers to the historical water level of the Danube River which reached a height of +725 cm then in Vukovar, while the Analysis of the protection, rescue and operation of task forces during the floods in May 2014 relates to the disastrous floods that occurred in the border area of Croatia and Serbia, where the Sava River reached the historical maximum and a thousand-year-old water level of +1191 cm at the measuring station Županja in Croatia. The most important conclusions of the round table were the need to work together to achieve better communication between the states in emergency cases, assemble and prepare models of hazards caused by high water levels, develop an early warning system on the Danube and Sava, so that the task forces and the civil protection sector could have time for efficient preparation of the defence.

One of the suggestions would be to establish a centre of early warning at the international level that would bring together civil protection forces and inform about all emergencies using the latest technology, from meteorological reports to the use of modern information technologies and projections of water levels. The analyses of floods in 2013 and 2014 are the basis for the next project activity, which is the preparation of the Joint Action Plan that will contain all the necessary steps to be taken in emergency situations and disaster prevention. It is important to note that the value of the project on the Serbian side is EUR 441,069.23, which will allow the procurement of necessary equipment. The command headquarters will have an all-terrain vehicle at their disposal, a command tent for operational use in the winter and summer, and IT and radio telecommunication equipment. Moreover, the procurement will also involve tent equipment, beds and sleeping bags for over 200 people. The civil protection services in the region of Srem will have equipment and clothing for such situations at their disposal. Likewise, two boats to rescue people from the water will be procured. Electrical generators, water pumps and lighting will allow an effective prevention of greater damage when it comes to emergency situations during the floods. Heavy machinery will also be procured to prepare the walls and embankments of sand.

The participants in the round table on the Serbian side were Gordana Jakovljević, Project Coordinator and Jano Puškar, Public Procurement Officer of the European Affairs Fund of AP Vojvodina, as well as members of the working group of the PWMC “Vode Vojvodine”, PC “Vojvodinašume” and the town of Sremska Mitrovica. Zvonko Matin of PWMC “Vode Vojvodine” presented the operational procedures in case of floods in Serbia, as well as provided a SWOT analysis of the floods that hit Serbia in 2013 and 2014. The Vukovar-Srijem County was represented by Danijela Barišić, Project Manager, Zrinka Čobanković, Deputy Head of the administrative department for international cooperation and EU affairs, Ivan Kubiček of the Civil Protection Headquarters of Vukovar-Srijem County. Zdenko Dujmić and Tomislav Lovrić of the National Protection and Rescue Directorate gave a presentation and SWOT analysis of floods that occurred in 2013 and 2014 in Croatia. On the Croatian side the meeting was also attended by the representatives of the company “Hrvatske vode”, Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and the Red Cross.