Desarrollando ciudades resilientes 1 Millón de Escuelas y Hospitales Más Seguros











By André Luis Fujiwara

At the beginning of his first term, in 2009, Mayor João Fattori faced floods, storms and landslides risks. There were homeless people and material losses. Fortunately no lives were lost. Just over three years later, even before joining the Global Campaign "Making Cities Resilient: My City is getting ready", areas of high and very high risks in Itatiba were extinct, as indicated by the IPT (Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas).

This victory for the people from Itatiba had two work fronts. Firstly the emergency aid to the population, then the execution of works and preventive actions. For the first time Civil Defense actually existed in the city. A group was created, trained and equipped, which also included the support of men, machines and equipment from all departments of the city.

In 2010, when the rains came, Itatiba was already prepared and the aid to the homeless was immediate, reducing material losses. The city removed the homeless to shelters mounted in public spaces, while still ensuring supply, monitoring health and even education and job training. These locations were considered model shelters. At the same time the city started the works of a retaining wall in Ribeirão Jacaré, galleries and others works.

The following year the city was already facing much smaller problems. And Itatiba’s Civil Defense continued to train and equip. So much so that since 2011 Itatiba is the training headquarters of Civil Defences across the region, in part because of its strategic location, in part by the success of local Civil Defense, now a reference for many neighbor cities.
Although in 2012 and 2013 the city has not faced problems with flooding and others, the administration continues to have resilient vision and to create a increasingly secure city.

For more information please visit












By Marcio Moura Motta

Since the beginning of the 20th century the disorganized land occupation of Rio de Janeiro with houses being built on landplaning high risk areas (slums) allied to the geological and geographical special characteristics of the city, transformed Rio in a very susceptible place to disasters related to landslides during heavy rains.

With the goal of protecting the people living in those slums, especially the ones living in the risky areas, the Civil Defense of Rio de Janeiro has created the Community Protection Program focusing on three subjects:

(i) Training of Local Agents, (ii) Community Alert and Alarm System, and (iii) Simulation exercises at public schools. Local Agents live and work in the community and their training is of a huge importance mainly because these residents know about the vulnerabilities and they are great multipliers, advising other people about the danger.

Currently there are almost 6,000 trained Local Agents acting in the community. The Alert and Alarm System for rainfall consists of sending SMS messages (Alert) and activation of sirens (Alarm). The alert is rung when the meteorologists identify the possibility of rain and the Local Agents and Community Leaders, registered to receive these messages on their cell phones, are ready to support the community.

Afterwards, the Alarm (sirens) is triggered when the rain gauge indicates that rainfall has reached critical levels, what can provoke accidents - sirens were installed in 103 communities, receiving also Simulation Exercises. The Simulation Exercises at public schools consists of training for the evacuation of the community in case of heavy rains.

The students from the 5th grade act as monitors, helping the younger students and playing the role of Public Officials and volunteers. This whole mise-en-scène has been helping a lot of communities to overcome the challenges raised by the rains in Rio de Janeiro. For more information please visit:

For more information please visit