The Role Of Citizens In Emergency Management Systems In The Czech Republic
Free (open access)
157 - 168
J. Rehacek, J. Dlabka, B. Baudisova, P. Danihelka
Safety is one of the major priorities in European society. In order to ensure a better quality of life and to remain proactive even during emergencies, effective risk management is needed. Current trends clearly indicate a shift from a passive role of citizens as recipients of help to empowerment and effective self-protection. This paper aims to provide insights into the present state of citizen engagement in the risk management systems within the field of civil protection in the Czech Republic. An analysis of citizens’ roles has been conducted and the deficiencies of the current system are discussed along with the identification of possibilities for improvement. Results indicate that the citizen’s role within the Czech Republic emergency management system is rather ambiguous. On a theoretical level, stated in the strategy policy guidelines, citizens are perceived as an integral part of the system and, as such, should be empowered to self-protection. But practical implementation leads us to the conclusion that citizens are rather subjects of rescue, passive recipients of help from the side of trained professionals and the major focus is still concentrated on the public authority bodies rather than on citizens. This ambiguous state is particularly visible within the risk communication efforts and the future implications should be discussed further.
emergency management, risk communication, civil protection, disasters