The IT-alert system is not operational yet for all scenarios provided for in the regulations. The underlying reason is that additional examination and testing are necessary for some of these, requiring the extension of the testing phase for another year. More specifically, the scenarios for which the prolongation of the testing phase was set are the following:

•  Earthquake-generated tsunami;
•  Stromboli volcanic activity;
•  Heavy rainfall.  


For these scenarios, tests will be conducted with messages tailored to the specific risk and the area involved, aiming to verify the system's functionality and continue to spread awareness of IT-alert among the general public. 

The IT-alert system was tested for the first time in an operational context during the Exercise "Vulcano 2022", which took place on the island of Vulcano from April 7 to 9, 2022. During the exercise, two messages were sent to the devices located on the island: the first with information on the upcoming simulated eruption event and the rules of conduct to follow (to reach the emergency areas provided for in the Civil Protection plan); a second message alerting citizens to the end of the exercise activities.

From 4 to 6 November 2022, the national Civil Protection exercise "Sisma dello Stretto 2022" occurred in Calabria and Sicily. In this context, the IT-alert public system for the tsunami risk was tested for the first time with over 500,000 people who, during the earthquake simulation, were located in the 22 coastal municipalities involved in the exercise, for which a 6.0 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in the province of Reggio Calabria was simulated, possibly triggering a tsunami that could have hit some coastal municipalities in the province of Reggio Calabria and Messina.

During the exercise, this website - which gathered answers to an information questionnaire - was reached by more than 4.5 million users, mostly through the use of mobile devices. Accordingly, 96 per cent of the 20,000 users who answered the questionnaire stated that they had correctly received the IT-alert message.

Starting from June 2023, the first regional tests for sending the message have been carried out in Tuscany, Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria and Emilia-Romagna, by the Civil Protection Department, the Regions involved, the Civil Protection Commission of the Conference of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces, and ANCI. 

In September 2023 the following tests have been carried out:

  • September 12 in Campania, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Marche
  • September 14 in Piemonte, Puglia and Umbria
  • September 19 in Basilicata, Lombardia and Molise
  • September 21 in Valle d’Aosta, Veneto and Lazio (postponed)
  • September 26 in Abruzzo and in the Autonomous Province of Trento
  • September 27 in Lazio and in Liguria
  • October 13 in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano

The aim of such tests is to introduce IT-alert as a new public warning system that could reach the territories concerned in the event of major emergencies and imminent catastrophic events. The risks and the behaviour to adopt are not detailed in this phase.

During the National Civil Protection Week 2023 a series of tests for sending the IT-alert message in the areas of the Brenta River basin in Valsugana, and in the Autonomous Province of Trento has been carried out. The exercise took place between 9:30 AM and 11:50 AM of October 13, with the aim of testing the system in small areas.

On December 19 and 20, 2023, tests were conducted in part of the territories of five regions on two specific risks: the collapse of a large dam and a major accident at industrial facilities subject to the Seveso Directive. The activity had a two-fold purpose: to test the use of IT-alerts on small and limited portions of the territory and to take a step forward in the process of familiarization with the national public warning system and allow people to gain more confidence in receiving the message for specific risk scenarios, with text tailored to the risk and the affected site.

Test activities were completed on:

December 19, 12 p.m. - Major accident at industrial facilities

  • Apulia Region - LyondellBasell Facility, Brindisi
  • Veneto Region - FIS - Fabbrica Italiana Sintetici S.p.A., Montecchio Maggiore (VI)

December 20, 12 p.m. - Collapse of large dams

  • Emilia-Romagna Region - Conca Dam (Municipalities affected: Misano Adriatico, San Giovanni in Marignano and Cattolica)
  • Lombardy Region - Pagnona Dam (Municipalities affected: Premana, Pagnona, Casargo, Sueglio, Valvarrone, Bellano, Dervio)
  • Sardinia Region - Nuraghe Arrubiu Dam (Municipalities affected: Orroli, Escalaplano, Goni, Silius, Siurgus Donigala, Ballao, Armungia, Villasalto, San Vito, Villaputzu, Muravera.

Following the experimentation of December 2023, tests dedicated to specific risk scenarios in small portions of territory restarted in 2024. 

From January 22 to February 6, IT-alert test notifications were sent to part of the territories of 15 regions and Autonomous Provice: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Marche, Piedmont, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Valle D'Aosta, and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.
The testing activities covered three potential risk scenarios: the collapse of a large dam, a major accident at industrial facilities under the Seveso Directive, and a nuclear accident.   

More specifically, the tests followed the following schedule:  

January 22, 12 p.m. – Nuclear accident  

  • Piedmont Region - Metropolitan City of Turin  

January 23, 2:30 p.m. – Major accident at industrial facilities

  • Tuscany Region - TOSCOCHIMICA, Prato (PO) and Campi Bisenzio (FI)  

January 24, 12 p.m. –  Major accident at industrial facilities

  • Calabria Region - BUTANGAS, Montalto Uffugo, Luzzi, Rende, Rose (CS)  
  • Campania Region - GAROLLA S.R.L., Naples  
  • Emilia-Romagna Region - SCAM S.P.A., Modena   
  • Sardinia Region - FIAMMA 2000 S.P.A., Serramanna (SU) and Villasor (SU)  

January 25, 12 p.m

Major accident at industrial facilities

  • Basilicata Region - ENI S.P.A., Viggiano, Grumento Nova (PZ)  
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region - RIR-GALA LOGISTICA S.R.L., Visco, Aiello del Friuli, Palmanova, San Vito al Torre (UD)  

Collapse of large dams  

  • Campania Region - Presenzano Dam - Amorosi, Dugenta, Faicchio, Limatola, Melizzano, Puglianello (BN); Ailano, Alife, Alvignano, Baia e Latina, Bellona, Caiazzo, Capua, Castel Campagnano, Castel Morrone, Dragoni, Gioia Sannitica, Piana di Monte Verna, Pietravairano, Pontelatone, Pratella, Presenzano, Raviscanina, Ruviano, Sant'Angelo d'Alife, and Vairano Patenora (CE)  
  • Autonomous Province of Bolzano - Monguelfo Dam - Brunico, Chienes, Perca, Rasun-Anterselva, San Lorenzo di Sebato, Valdaora, Vandoies e Rodengo.  

January 26, 12 p.m.

Major accident at industrial facilities

  • Abruzzo Region - GPL SODIFA S.R.L., L'Aquila a  

Collapse of large dams  

  • Sicily Region - Ancipa Dam - Centuripe, Troina (EN); Cesarò, San Teodoro (ME); Adrano, Belpasso, Biancavilla, Bronte, Catania, Motta, Paternò, Randazzo, Sant'Anastasia (CT)  
  • Valle D'Aosta Region - Beauregard Dam - Arvier, Valgrisenche and Villeneuve

January 30, 12 p.m.  – Major accident at industrial facilities  

  • Liguria Region - IPLOM, Busalla, Mignanego, Ronco Scrivia e Savignone (GE)  

January 31, 12 p.m. – Collapse of large dams

  • Marche Region - Rio Canale Dam – Massignano (AP), Campofilone (FM)  

February 6, 12 p.m  – Collapse of large dams

  • Lazio Region - Collemezzo Dam – Ceprano, Arce, San Giovanni Incarico (FR)

In addition, as part of the testing activities, technical-functional tests were carried out on January 31, February 1, and 2 throughout Italy, affecting 913 limited areas within a 2 km radius near industrial facilities at risk of major accidents.

In collaboration with VIE - Valorizzazione Innovazione Empowerment S.r.l., a spin-off of the University of Genoa, CIMA Foundation conducted an experiment to test the effectiveness of IT-alert message language. 

IT-alert will potentially reach everyone with no geographical, age, or educational limits. The message language was simplified to foster the broadest possible understanding by making the text's accessibility a key consideration. 

A group of researchers, Ph.Ds, and freelancers in psychology and the human factor drafted several messages, varying slightly in content, language register, and terms to be submitted to a sufficiently significant audience. Then, they analyzed the feedback received to see which messages were best understood. Through a call on the It-alert website and the Cima Foundation website, a sample was thus constituted, to which the participants joined voluntarily and anonymously. They were first offered a survey necessary for profiling based on each person's knowledge of civil protection. 

More than 3,000 volunteers throughout Italy took part in the trial. Through a Bot on Telegram, IT-alert messages have been sent, without scheduled timetables, day and night, from Monday to Sunday. After sending the message, a short survey was submitted on practical understanding and the behaviors to adopt. 

The testing also involved the development of specific tests with all smartphone producers. Although all mobile phones have the same broadcast message-receiving capability, minor modifications to the software have been made to customize the user experience according to emergency communication needs. 

To improve the IT-alert system, a survey to collect voluntary feedback from people involved in regional tests from June 2023 onwards has been provided. 

The survey is created using Microsoft Forms technology. 

During the process of filling out (before the person concerned selects the "submit" button), Microsoft (the owner of the technology used to create the survey) does not display the IP address of the person who fills out or stores the filling-out data. However, it could do so. Any data related to the contents of the survey and the IP address of the person concerned neither persists nor is stored in Microsoft systems. 

The Civil Protection Department receives the contents of the survey once the person concerned has confirmed by clicking the "submit" button, without any reference to the IP address of the person concerned or any other item making the person identified or identifiable. The Department further collects the data and processes them for statistical/system analysis purposes, always in an anonymous form. 

The data collected through the IT-alert test survey are, therefore, anonymous from the outset, as they do not allow the person concerned to be identified and are used for the sole purpose of analyzing the system to improve it and integrate it about the reports. 

For further information or clarification, please write to responsabileprotezionedatidpc@protezionecivile.it.

The dashboard shows data collected anonymously and voluntarily from surveys completed by users during IT-alert tests conducted from June 2023 to February 2024 in entire regions and limited portions of the territory on specific risk scenarios.

The sample is generated from users who agreed to participate in the activity by filling in the survey (self-selected sample) and giving feedback on the test of the warning system.

A total of 2,692,417 surveys were completed. Data analysis showed that more than 93 % of the respondents received the IT-alert message on their phones, and in most cases, they reported being in the test's target area. On average, there was only 1.6% overshooting, i.e., messages received outside the target area, but this percentage increased when testing in more limited areas.

About 97% of those who received the message reported that it was clear and understandable, and 89% reported that they immediately understood it was an institutional message. Another important finding concerned trust and a sense of security: for more than 91%, IT-alert is a significantly helpful tool.

About 90% reported that they had no problems interacting with the system, while the remaining 10% had trouble with messages disappearing instantly. 

The most experienced emotion upon receipt of the message was the positive feeling of calm and tranquility (on average, about 30% of those who received the message). Still, respondents also experienced negative emotions such as anxiety, agitation, or fear (20%).

All these answers were cross-sectional and unrelated to the demographic characteristics of the respondents (gender, age, education title).

The findings represent, therefore, the view of a segment of the Italian population that received the information of the IT-alert experimentation and was inclined to fill in the questions in the survey. The average response rate was 5,1% of potentially involved citizens, which is a remarkable result. This figure, however, fails to allow generalizations about the entire Italian population.

Data are shown both globally, considering all stages of the experimentation, and by single testing date.

The Department of Civil Protection analyzed the data collected through the surveys in cooperation with CIMA Foundation and VIE - Valorizzazione Innovazione Empowerment S.r.l., a spin-off of the University of Genoa, which evaluated the efficacy of IT-alert message language.