Other information and services: www.belgium.be

Communication in an emergency

Start page of the ICMS portal on a laptop
In an emergency, various structures arise to manage the situation: an Operational Command Post in the field, a coordination committee in a municipality, province or at the National Crisis Center... It is important that all these people are in contact with each other. Special channels have been developed for this purpose.

National security portal ICMS

The National Security Portal ICMS (Incident & Crisis Management System) is an online platform to which all partners have access during an emergency. Through this platform they can quickly exchange information.

The platform includes:

  • A database with all the contact information that is useful in an emergency. This information is checked at least twice a year.
  • A library with contingency plans
  • A calendar to plan exercises
  • A library with all legal texts, guides and other useful documentation

In an emergency situation, the platform one can be used to

  • Create a logbook, both for all partners involved (multidisciplinary logbook) and one logbook per discipline
  • Create situational reports that reflect the situation at a single point in time
  • Share a map. On this map, all important areas or locations can be shown (e.g. the intervention areas or the location of the Operational Command Post)


Emergency services and partners are also in contact via radio communication. They use ASTRID radio communication for that. The capacity of the network is designed for emergencies.


Regetel stands for government ('REGErings-') TELecommunications network. The REGETEL network is an alternative communication system of the federal government. This way, governments can always communicate with each other, even if the telephone network fails.

There are two networks:

  • A federal network. Via this network, all federal ministers and the heads of the ministers' offices, the chairpersons of the management committees and the directors-general of the federal public services, the chairpersons of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate and the royal palaces can communicate with one another.
  • A crisis network. Via this network, all the provincial crisis centres, the permanent units of Civil Protection, the 112 centres, the 101 centres, the Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis (CUTA), the sites and crisis centres of Fluxys and Eandis, the dispatch centre of the Red Cross, the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Ostend and the Maritime Security Centre Belgium (MIK) can communicate with each other.


In a complex emergency situation, it is always a challenge to ensure that all partners have the most up-to-date information. However, a common operational picture and flow of information are crucial aspects in crisis management.

To assist emergency services and authorities with crisis management, a support team, the Crisis Support Team (CST), was set up. The Crisis Support Team is a team of volunteers who can support crisis management in a crisis cell and/or the CP-Ops. Members of the CST are trained to optimally support the flow of information and form a common operational picture.