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Evacuation is the transfer of a population or part of it from an area at risk to safe areas by the rescue authorities. At its narrowest, evacuation may concern the residents of one house, and at its broadest, the population of several districts. Evacuations are planned both for normal and emergency conditions.

Accident evacuation

In normal conditions, we may have to evacuate people due to fire, leakage of dangerous substances, a serious accident or other situation requiring evacuation. In such cases, by a decision of the authority directing rescue operations, a limited number of persons are removed from their permanent places of residence and stay. Accident evacuation usually takes place within Helsinki, relying on the city’s organisations.

Evacuation in time of war or threat of war

In emergency conditions, we may have to evacuate population from several districts at the same time. Such large-scale evacuation may result from the use or threat of military force against the area concerned. In this case, the decision on the evacuation is made by the Government on the proposal of the Ministry of the Interior. When the state of defence is in force, the decision to evacuate can also be made by a military authority with regional responsibility. Rescue departments carry out evacuations and communicate the evacuation arrangements in their area.