Self-preparedness means the ways by which residents, single-family home owners, housing companies and businesses prepare for disturbances and emergencies, including discussing and communicating on best practices and material preparedness. Disturbances include power outages and disruptions in water and heating supply. Preparing in advance will help you cope with disruptions and emergencies.

The recommendations for preparedness vary for single-family home owners, housing companies and businesses.

Preparedness and civil protection of residents living in single-family homes

Authorities and NGOs have issued a 72-hour preparedness recommendation, according to which households should have provisions for at least three days in the event of a disturbance or emergency. Households should keep in stock food, drinking water, medicine and other basic necessities to last at least 72 hours.

By law, buildings used for living or working or as a permanent residence with a floor area of at least 1200 m2 must be equipped with a civil defence shelter. If the building or housing company does not have its own civil defence shelter, the residents themselves are responsible for seeking temporary shelter. In practice, this means sheltering in your home. If the situation calls for it, the authorities will issue separate instructions to the population.

However, even in many serious emergencies, taking cover in civil defence shelters is not the only option as the city’s population can also be evacuated to a safer area. The Finnish Government is responsible for deciding on the areas to be evacuated in the event that circumstances so require. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for overseeing evacuations.
The instruction to shelter in place is given by the authorities by means of emergency warnings and alarm signal. If no other instructions are provided, you can follow the general guideline for sheltering in place:Go indoors and remain there.

  • Close doors, windows and vents and turn off ventilation.
  • Turn on the radio and calmly wait for instructions from the authorities.
  • Avoid using the phone to avoid congesting the network.
  • • Do not leave the area unless instructed to do so by the authorities to avoid danger.

Preparedness and civil protection in housing companies and businesses

Civil defence shelters are intended for protection during wartime. The authorities will issue orders to ready civil defence shelters for use if the situation requires. Civil defence shelters must be made ready for use no later than 72 hours after the authorities have issued the order.

The owners and occupants are responsible for the building’s civil defence shelter. A housing company is represented by the company’s board. A company is represented by the company’s management or the property owner. Responsibility for the civil defence shelter includes maintaining and renovating the shelter and managing the operations of shelter. It is recommended that a manager is appointed for the civil defence shelter. Regional rescue associations organise training for civil defence shelter managers.

If the authorities require the shelter to be used for civil protection, the owner and users of the property must clear out the shelter and ready it for use. When sheltering in a civil defence shelter, the actual persons in the shelter, in other words people living and working in the building, form the operating personnel of the shelter. Instructions on the use of the shelter must be available at the shelter and included in the building’s rescue plan.

There are no longer any mandatory regulations on the type and amount of safety and protection materials of civil defence shelters, such as tools and personal protective equipment. However, it is recommended that civil defence shelters are kept stocked with the materials needed for readying the shelter and civil protection.