RIVM has joint responsibility for a number of national crisis management functions. Providing a rapid response to a crisis, or a potential crisis, is clearly a task for national government. It is essential to analyse the situation as quickly as possible and to take appropriate measures. There are various types of crisis, for example an outbreak of an infectious disease, a food safety incident or an environmental accident.

An effective response demands a suitable infrastructure of knowledge, laboratories and agreements regarding the action to be taken. One of RIVM’s official crisis management functions is the administration of the Environmental Accident Service, which will be deployed in the event of a major incident involving chemicals or biological hazards. RIVM does not undertake crisis management tasks alone: we work alongside many other organisations. Full-scale practice exercises are regularly held with these partners.