Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS)

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) provides all actors involved in the management of disasters, man-made emergency situations and humanitarian crises, with timely and accurate geospatial information derived from satellite remote sensing and complemented by available in-situ or open data sources. It is funded by the European Commission and implemented through framework contracts.

Types of Users

The service can be activated only by Authorized Users. Authorized users are entities and organisations at national, regional, European and international level which are active in the field of crisis management within the EU Member States, the participating states in the European Civil Protection Mechanism, the Commission's Directorates-General (DGs) and EU Agencies, the European External Action Service (EEAS), as well as international humanitarian aid organisations.

A second type of users, Associated Users, can also benefit from the service, but have to go through the Authorized Users to trigger it. Associated Users include local, regional and other public entities, international governmental organizations, national and international non-governmental organizations, EU delegations, and others.

Conditions for activation

Only large scale emergency situations and humanitarian crises caused by disasters of natural origin or man-made emergencies are within the scope of GIO EMS-Mapping. The request has to reflect the definition of the services as defined in the product portfolio and has to fall within the GIO-EMS Mapping scope (e.g. the request to map an entire continent will be rejected). The request should not be related to an existing on-going conflict or crisis with EU military operations or in politically sensitive areas.

User Request/Point of Contact

Authorized users may activate the service by sending a Service Request Form (SRF) directly to the Emergency Response Centre (ERC/MIC) of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) of the European Commission. There are two activation modes: the Rush Mode when there is a need for the fast provision (within hours or days) of geospatial information in support of emergency management activities immediately following an event. The Non-rush mode when there is a need for the provision of geospatial information to support activities not related to immediate response. This mode is applicable during the prevention, preparedness, and recovery phases. Authorized Users trigger the mechanism by contacting the service or by email (echo-mic [at] Rush-mode activations can also be submitted through the website ( Every request must be followed by a telephone call to the ERC/MIC (+32-2-292-2222).


Products are available to the requesting Authorized User free of charge. The generation of space-based information is carried out by framework contract partners.



The Authorized User will receive satellite-derived information that is GIS compatible. The products are standardized and depend on the set of parameters which the user has chosen when placing the service request. For Rush Mode there are three categories of products offered: Reference Maps, Delineation Maps (providing an assessment of the geographic extent of the event) and Grading Maps (providing an assessment of the damage grade and its spatial distribution). For Non-rush Mode there are three broad product categories: Reference Maps, Pre-disaster Situation Maps and Post-disaster Situation Maps.

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