Civil protection

Safe Communities Portugal’s legal basis in support of Civil Protection

Safe Communities Portugal basis for undertaking its Civil Protection role is defined in:

  • Our recognition as a Civil Protection Voluntary Organisation under Portaria n.º 91/2017 de 2 de março (Ordinance 91/2017 of 2nd March).
  • As a utilidade pública declared by the Council of Ministers (Diário da República n.º 96/2018, Série II de 2018-05-18).
  • Member of the Observatory for the European Project FirEUrisk
  • Our National protocol signed between the President of the ANPC and President Safe Communities Portugal 10th December 2015.
  • Our Regional Protocol signed between the Commander ANPC CDOS Faro and President Safe Communities Portugal, 31st July 2014.
  • As a Registered not for profit organisation.


These recognitions give us the mandate to work officially with government in the area of civil protection and, in the case of our CPVO status, to develop activities in the field of civil protection and which are recognized under the terms of this ordinance.

Our Role in civil protection
Safe Communities Portugal’s role includes helping to create public awareness in areas such as rural fire prevention and others areas involving public safety. Setting fire to rural areas such as forests, shrub lands and agricultural areas, whether deliberately or through negligence, can result in a major disaster with possible loss of life, injury and destruction of infrastructure, land and property. Much of this is preventable

The specific roles of Safe Communities Portugal in such circumstances is to support the work of the authorities such as the ANEPC (National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority), ICNF, Bombeiros, GNR and other agencies, by helping to disseminate information to all communities and visitors to Portugal through this website, our newsletter and various seminars and displays.

To keep up to date with matters concerning forest fires, the UV index, fire risk, earthquake activity and weather click the bars to the right of this page. We have also, in liaison with the ANEPC, added links to some of the best meteorological websites sites on each our pages so you can obtain quality information and maps showing current and forecast conditions.

Everyone has a role to play, ranging from helping to prevent rural fires, removing leaves from guttering to help prevent flooding to checking on the elderly neighbours to see if they are OK in very hot weather! Learn more in our specific pages and help keep you community safe.

If you need to contact the Bombeiros for any reason (except emergencies when you should use 112) then click here for the full list of stations.

Role of the ANEPC
Civil Protection is the activity carried-out by the State, Autonomous Regions and Local Authorities, by citizens and by all public and private entities, with the aim of preventing collective risks that causes serious accidents or disasters, to attenuate its effects and to protect and help people and property in danger, whenever those situations occur. This is coordinated by the ANEPC.

Known previously as the ANPC, it became known officially as the ANEPC on 1st April 2019, the “E” denoting its coordinating role during emergencies.

Civil protection objectives are to: rescue and to assist people in danger; protect cultural and environmental assets and other assets of high public interest and to support the re-establishment of normality in the life of people living in the areas affected by serious accidents or disasters. Its responsibilities are:

  • Survey, forecast, evaluation and prevention of collective risks;
  • Permanent analysis of vulnerabilities facing risk situations;
  • Information and training of the population in order to raise awareness for self-protection measures and for the necessity of collaborating with the authorities;
  • Emergency planning, search and rescue, providing aid and assistance, as well as evacuation, lodging and population supplies;
  • Inventory of resources, availability of means and the most suitable way to mobilise them, at the local, regional and national levels;
  • Study and dissemination of adequate forms of protection of buildings in general, monuments and other cultural assets, infrastructures, archival patrimony, essential services facilities, as well as environmental and natural resources;
  • Forecast and planning of actions concerning the eventual isolation of areas affected by risks.


The ANEPC produces daily information on its website concerning the location and details of rural fires and other major incidents in Portugal. It is important especially during the dry season to check this information to ascertain the location of such fires and occurrences to avoid travelling to these areas. If you are in these areas these pages also keep you up to date with developments concerning the deployment of emergency services. Simply click “Rural Fires” and “Other occurrences” to obtain the daily information.

The IMPA is also provides extensive weather information including daily air temperatures in your area; this can be found here.

Windfinder specializes in wind, waves, tides and weather reports and forecasts for wind related sports like kite surfing, windsurfing, surfing, sailing or paragliding.
These are the real-time measurements from weather stations in Portugal. Check the current wind and weather observations when travelling to Portugal or during a vacation or sailing trip. The wind report map for Portugal gives you an overview to find the best conditions before heading to the beach, surf spot or launch site to go kiteboarding, windsurfing, surfing, sailing or paragliding.

Natural and Man Made Disasters
Natural and man-made disasters affect the lives of European citizens, the European economy and the environment every year. Whether of natural or man-made origin, disasters are becoming increasingly extreme and complex, exacerbated by the impacts of climate change in our interlinked economies, and are by nature irrespective of national borders. There is a need to support the improvement of European capacities to assess risk, as the first step towards the development of disaster prevention and emergency plans, while allowing European countries to assess their levels of preparedness and capabilities to manage disasters. In the context of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM)1 , the European Commission has established a cross-sectoral overview of natural and man-made disaster risks the Union may face. this can be downloaded here.

Emergency planning
Since 2008 all ANEPC District and Municipal emergency plans that have been approved have been available in the Emergency Planning Information System for the public and can be downloaded here.

In May 2015 we produced a comprehensive newsletter about forest fires, the critical fire period, how and when to clean your land and contacting the emergency services. Download here to obtain your copy.
All prevention and protective information is from official sources.

Resource Centre Downloads

Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere, atmospheric phenomena, and atmospheric effects on our weather. Meteorology is important because of the impact of air conditions on life.

First of all weather forecasting has a vital role in preparing for extreme weather conditions such as high temperatures, heavy rain in order to prevent disasters.

Second, long term weather forecasting is important for agriculture. Drought can cause starvation. Meteorology is important for farmers since crops need water to grow up.

Meteorology is also important for both air and marine transportation. Windy weather effect planes and ships. Lightning can be dangerous for planes. High seas can impact on shipping. Airports may stop their operations and ships stay in harbours in extreme weather conditions.

It is also important so we can determine our daily activities and go about these in safety.

Safe Communities Portugal and the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere have therefore collaborated together in order to promote the importance of the IPMA’s work in our day to day lives. The purpose of this page is to provide an introduction to their work and where more detailed information on their excellent comprehensive website can be found.

Simply click on the tab on the right of this page to link to the relevant pages of the IPMA website.