In May 2023, the Italian region Emilia-Romagna was hit by intense rainfall, which caused extensive floods in densely populated areas. On May 4, 2023, a 12-month state of emergency was declared in the region with the activation of response and recovery plans. This field report provides an overview of the health response to the floods, paying particular attention to the measures put in place to ensure care for displaced populations and raising interesting points of discussion regarding the role of the health system during extreme weather events (EWEs). The considerations that emerge from this report underline the need for a primary care approach to disasters, especially when these occur in areas with a high prevalence of elderly resident population, and underscore the importance of integration of different levels of care.
Keywords: Emilia-Romagna; disaster response; extreme weather event; floods; health system.