Civil protection is organized at all levels, from local communities to the state, as a reserve operational force of a single protection and rescue system. It consists of personal and mutual protection, command, units, commissioners and shelter managers. Establishment, development (equipping and training) and the engagement of civil protection is the responsibility of the heads of local and regional self-government units, and the director of the National Protection and Rescue Directorate (in national language: DUZS) at national level.
At national level, along with the activities determined in the Act on the Structure and Scope of Activity of the Central State Administration Authorities, the DUZS also conducts the following duties, and especially:
- Conducts risk assessment of the occurrence of disaster and major accidents according to region, cause or subjects, therefore the responsible person of the threat assessment and protection and rescue plan of the local and regional self-government unit.
- Issues obligatory instructions for risk management to all participants in protection and rescue.
- Monitors and analyses the status in the area of protection and rescue and proposes measures to the Government of the Republic of Croatia for improving the status and guiding the development of the protection and rescue system.
- In the unified information system it collects, analyses and directs data about risks and consequences of disasters and major accidents.
- Keeps a unified information database on operational forces, resources and measures undertaken in the area of protection and rescue.
- Proposes a threat assessment and a Protection and Rescue Plan of the Republic of Croatia to the Government of the Republic of Croatia.
- Directly conducts the mobilisation of directorate services and units, and protection and rescue operational forces.
- Coordinates, manages and directly commands operational forces in disasters and major accidents.
- Directs and coordinates the activities of operational forces in the area of protection and rescue.
- Conducts activities in the notification and alerting of the population and coordinates the unified alarm system in the Republic of Croatia.
- Conducts inspections of operational forces.
- Passes programs for training and further education, and trains and further educates participants in protection and rescue.
- Organizes and conducts exercises of participants in protection and rescue for the purpose of checking their competency level.
- Proposes the type and quantity of state commodity reserves necessary for protection and rescue.
- Tests equipment and resources for protection and rescue, determines needs and submits proposals for the passing of Croatian standards in this area.
- Cooperates with economic and scientific institutions in the development of technology and equipment for protection and rescue.
- Cooperates with the competent authorities of other states and international organizations in protection and rescue.
- Conducts promotion and publishing activities in the area of protection and rescue.
- Also conducts other activities determined by the law.
At ministerial level the Central State Administration Authorities within the framework of their scope of activity and competency stipulated by law ensure the efficient functioning of protection and rescue systems, and especially:
- For their own needs, plan and secure resources and equipment for protection and rescue needs.
- Draft and forward a threat assessment to the DUZS in the segment applying to the region of their competency.
- Are obliged to secure an appropriate competence level of workers and must undertake measures and activities necessary for efficiently carrying out the services of a central state government authority in disaster and major accident situations.
- Also carry out other duties stipulated by law.
The heads of Central State Administration Authorities are responsible for implementing the provisions of the Act on the Structure and Scope of Activity of the Central State Administration Authorities which apply to the obligations of state government authorities, and especially for:
- Timely preparation and giving information to the DUZS about the importance of protection and rescue.
- Timely and expertly carrying out duties which are within their competency and are directly related with protection and rescue.
- Determining legal persons in the region of competency of the Central State Administration Authority participating in protection and rescue.
- Timely and expertly conducting other protection and rescue duties determined by the law and other legislation.
Inter-ministerial cross-cutting coordination has been recognized as a necessity, but still insufficiently accepted. Unfortunately, it still does not form part of their everyday activities.
Inter-agency division of responsibilities in the area of protection and rescue coincides with the functional level- and individual competencies in organizations whose activities involve those pertaining to protection and rescue.
At regional and local level, in the realization of the rights and obligations in the area of protection and rescue, representative bodies of regional and local self-government units shall:
- At least once annually, or upon passing their budget, consider the status of protection and rescue and pass guidelines for the organization and development of a protection and rescue system in their area.
- Determine the sources and manner of financing protection and rescue systems in each area.
- Adopt threat assessments and draft protection and rescue plans.
- Pass general acts which stipulate measures, activities and activities in carrying out protection and rescue.
- Also carry out other protection and rescue activities stipulated by the law.
The relations between national Civil Protection (CP) authorities and operational organizations are governed by the Protection and Rescue Act and other regulations on the principle of obligatory response of protection and rescue operational forces to call-ups and orders of CP authorities for them to participate in protection and rescue activities in case of disasters and major accidents. In these cases only actually incurred expenses are recognized.
Bodies responsible for harmonizing operations of protection and rescue operational forces at all levels of responsibility, ranging from local to national ones and depending on the type and other specifics of the emergency, consider the structure and size of protection and rescue operational forces that are to be engaged.