Preventing crises and disasters
The tasks of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) are to prevent disasters and crises and to minimise their impact. At national level the NCTV is responsible for the Netherlands' security.
Security risks in the Netherlands
The following disasters or crises, among others, may occur in the Netherlands:
- pandemics, for example due to a flu virus;
- failure of the internet or telephone network;
- terrorist attacks;
- major accidents, such as air crashes or rail disasters;
- natural disasters, such as flooding, extreme rainfall or drought and wildfire.
NCTV responsible for dealing with crises and disasters
The NCTV, which falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Security and Justice, is the sole party responsible for dealing with crises and disasters. The NCTV ensures that regional authorities are given enough information to take a harmonised approach.
The NCTV uses the National Safety and Security Strategy to identify security risks at national level, for example the chance of flooding. Then it determines what approach to take. This includes not only preventive measures, such as reinforcing and securing dikes, but also emergency measures if a disaster does in fact occur, such as disaster plans and evacuation strategies.
Public information on crises and disasters
It is important for people to know what to do during a crisis or disaster. The government may use the website Crisis.nl (in Dutch) as an information channel during a disaster or crisis. It will contain information on the incident and on ways for people to reach safety. The government will also provide people in the immediate vicinity of an emergency (or impending emergency) with information in the form of an 'NL-Alert'. This is a text message that people receive on their mobile phones.
Regional cooperation during crises or disasters
In the event of a disaster or crisis, it is the job of the fire brigade, the police and the medical services (such as ambulances) to provide rapid assistance and to prevent incidents from escalating. Effective cooperation between emergency services and municipalities in the region is crucial. Since most municipalities are too small to handle a major fire, flood or a terrorist attack on their own, safety regions have been set up in order to facilitate cooperation among the emergency services.
The NCTV takes measures to protect internet users against damage due to misuse (cybercrime) and technical problems related to the internet. This is referred to as . Cybersecurity is vital, since more and more people depend on the internet in their daily lives, for example to do their job, banking, etc.