Preventing crises and disasters

The National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) is tasked with preventing disasters and crises and minimising their impact. At national level the NCTV is responsible for security in the Netherlands.

NCTV responsible for dealing with crises and disasters

The NCTV, which is part of the Ministry of Justice and Security, 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.

National security

The NCTV uses the National Safety and Security Strategy to identify security risks at national level, for example how great the chance of flooding is. Then it determines what approach to take. This could include preventive measures, such as reinforcing and securing dykes,  but it might also mean putting emergency response and evacuation plans into action if a disaster does occur.

Public information on crises and disasters

It is important for people to know what to do during a crisis or disaster. The authorities can 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 authorities 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 service, the police and the medical services (such as ambulances) to provide rapid assistance and to keep situations from getting worse. 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 where emergency services can work together.

Cybersecurity

The NCTV takes measures to protect internet users against damage due to misuse (cybercrime) and internet failure. This is referred to as cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is vital, since more and more people depend on the internet in their daily lives, for example for work, banking, etc.