Bulgaria’s European Commissioner for international co-operation and crisis response has said that hurricane Sandy, which continues to batter north-eastern United States, was proof of the need to improve existing mechanisms for disaster response in the 27-nation European Union.
“Hurricane Sandy is yet another example of the increasing intensity and frequency of natural disasters to which even the best prepared are not immune. It’s also yet another reason for us all to work on preparedness and better disaster response,” Georgieva said in a statement.
“The European Commission’s proposal for upgrading the EU Civil Protection Mechanism aims precisely at strengthening the European preparedness and response capacity in the face of large disasters,” she said.
Georgieva said she was saddened by the death and damage that the storm was causing in its path, conveying her condolences to the American people and the families of those who lost their lives.
“The EU Monitoring and Information Centre continues to monitor the evolution of the hurricane. The Commission’s experts in civil protection are in regular contact with FEMA, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency. I want to commend FEMA on their great work on disaster response together with the other federal, local, state authorities, relief organisations and volunteers,” Georgieva said.
“Their reaction to Hurricane Sandy is showing once again the merit of appropriate preparedness measures and the importance of early warning systems and pre-established disaster management plans.”
(Georgieva speaks during a panel discussion at the EU Dev Days conference in Brussels earlier in October. Photo: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/flickr.com)