Disaster prepardness & relief

An earthquake in Bucharest is not a hypothetical situation. There is a certainty that this will happen. In this context, more than 40 years after the earthquake of 1977, collective memory has deeply hidden the memories of that disaster in an attempt to stifle fear. But the reality is that, four decades later, Bucharest, like the rest of the cities with high seismic risk, would not face such an event, and the loss of human lives would be huge. Seism 2018, conducted by DSU, shows that at least 4,587 people would lose their lives and 8,585 would be injured, 6 hospitals destroyed, 23 partially destroyed hospital units, and 9 damaged but functional. An estimate, we would say, quite optimistic.

What can we do to become less vulnerable? How can we prevent unnecessary damage and accidents that fall out of ignorance How can we ensure that as many victims as possible benefit and timely care? The technology is here to help and to make us more confident, to support us in the moments when panic takes hold of us, to help us organize ourselves efficiently and respond to the need for help as quickly as possible.

Identified problems

Although there seem to be a lot of overall problems, the solution lies in a methodical and systemic approach. Using a triangulation system that relied on consulting the relevant available scientific literature, validation of the hypotheses through expert interviews or focus groups and the consultation of available public data. This allows us to have a list of problems that is both valid and validated.

Stakeholders - Disaster Prepardness and Relief

We have discussed with many organizations and specialists on the subject of earthquake preparedness, but also on the intervention procedures for such a major event. Rescue efforts will be the duty of everyone, a major disaster being devastating for both Bucharest and the rest of the country. We tried to map the main actors involved in seismic issues. This list will continue to be updated as we continue to research and develop solutions in this field.


For a thorough understanding of any problem one of the first necessary steps is consulting the scientific knowledge already available. The bibliography lists all of the major scientific sources used in building of the stakeholder maps, working hypothesis, assuring a nuanced understanding of the discovered problems but also of the available solutions. Open this document to see where we got knowledge from.

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Medical response

"A first estimate of the overload that the earthquake response will place on emergency services (no: at Bucharest level) shows that the number of potential injured who would need medical intervention is two to four times more than the number of ambulance and UPUs assisting them on a regular day. The majority, though not all, will reach the hospital immediately after the earthquake [...]. These would add to cases that would be assisted anyway on that day, unrelated to the earthquake. Which means we can expect the number of cases to exceed about three times the normal volume of activity. "(Public Health Analysis, 2017, Considerations on Medical Response in the Event of the Earthquake, Romanian Health Observatory)

Romanian media about the earthquake

Media plays a crucial role in informing and educating the population about earthquake preparedness. With the exception of a few short published briefing guides, the most common materials in the general press either just report events about earthquakes or statistical data, or play a critical role in the authorities. Here are some examples of how the media talks about earthquakes in the past 12 months.

Key role in consolidation

A key role in consolidation, as well as information, is played by the owners' associations. They are the ones who can help all the inhabitants of a building to keep up with the legislation in force, with data on the building they live in, with advice on disaster preparedness, them being those who come in contact very frequently with all the people who own or rent space in the building. Make Better has produced an educational material that helps associations keep their informed residents and guides them through the legislative hardship of consolidation, a guide you can download from here.

Stay with us!

Every year we meet with hundreds of people, experts, specialists, institutions, journalists, researchers, NGOs and citizens. We find out mountains of useful and interesting information which helps us identify the most pressing issues of the field, but - most importantly - the solutions to those issues. We want to open all this knowledge for the larger audience, so we would be very happy if you subscribed to our newsletter and we kept you up to date with the results of the research and the identified solutions.