“The elements of fire, water and air are now turn­ing against us because we are throw­ing the planet out of balance,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhu­ber, Direc­tor of the Insti­tute for Climate Impact Research in Pots­dam.
2016 was a year of prepa­ra­tion, train­ing and vigi­lance for @fire, but rather a quiet year in terms of oper­a­tional queries. How quickly this can change has now been demon­strated by the ongo­ing
year - and it is not yet over as I write these lines. No matter from which perspec­tive one looks at climate change and argues about its causes:
The effects are there. And call for, among other things, rescue and relief services not only at the national and munic­i­pal level, but also at the inter­na­tional level due to the size and scope of the impend­ing disasters.

When the forests in North Amer­ica, Australia and South­ern Europe are burn­ing in the summer and the helpers on the ground are “running on fumes” by August at the latest, where are the inter­na­tional resources that can support the fire brigades and fire fight­ers on the ground with­out much fric­tion and with­out neglect­ing basic protec­tion at home? We are aware that @fire is not a univer­sal solu­tion here, but one will also look into the areas not yet covered by
coun­tries affected by cata­strophic forest fires need to be prepared to provide assis­tance to other coun­tries and, if neces­sary, to shift the zone of exten­sive forest fires.

The same applies to inter­na­tional emer­gency aid after floods and storms. It may only be a depress­ing fantasy today, but what would be the conse­quences if a hurri­cane of the magni­tude of “Irma” were to pass right through France and Germany? Here it is impor­tant to prepare - with­out scare­mon­ger­ing, but also with­out blink­ers - for scenar­ios that may still be consid­ered unthink­able today.
As a small but very agile aid organ­i­sa­tion, we are happy to contribute our share. Less in the form of mass and more in the form of food for thought, the further devel­op­ment of new concepts and the support of exist­ing structures.