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Well-made plans

The authorities plan their actions to safeguard the essential functions of society. The purpose of civil defence is to protect people during an armed conflict. The international symbol of civil defence is an equilateral blue triangle on an orange background.
Civil protection emblem, blue triangle on an orange background

The authorities draw up plans for safeguarding the essential functions of society.

A civil defence shelter is a space or building intended to protect the population from a possible gas or poison leak, armed attack, nuclear fallout or some other similar threat. The civil defence shelters in Finland have only been designed for use during an armed conflict. Under normal conditions, shelter facilities can be used for such purposes as storage. Deploying a civil defence shelter must be possible within 72 hours. A housing company may have its own civil defence shelter or a shared shelter with other housing companies. A public civil defence shelter is intended to protect local residents and those who find themselves outdoors when the need to shelter arises. No civil defence shelters are usually built in rural areas and residential areas with single-family homes. In single-family houses, the residents are themselves responsible for their protection.

Independent preparedness

The owners or occupiers of buildings, agencies, institutions, companies and organisations have an obligation to prepare for incidents and emergency conditions through independent preparedness measures. A rescue plan must be drawn up for the sites specified in the Rescue Act and Decree. The rescue plan must take into account the prevention of hazardous situations and provide clear operating instructions.

Independent preparedness is a way of keeping safe!

How should I prepare myself and what do I need?

When going to a civil defence shelter, you should bring

  • Food and drinking water for two to three days (72 hours)
  • plates, cutlery and a tin opener
  • warm and comfortable clothing, a camping mattress, a blanket or sleeping bag and a pillow
  • personal hygiene supplies
  • a torch, batteries, paper towels and plastic bags
  • pastimes: books, magazines, games and toys
  • DO NOT FORGET your medicines!


Evacuation means activities led by the authorities in which the population or part of the population is moved away from an area at risk, the reception and placement of the population in a safe area, and safeguarding the living conditions of the population and important functions of society in a situation where evacuation is necessary.

As a first choice, shelter indoors – only go to a civil defence shelter if the authorities tell you to do so.

Keep the radio on all the time, follow the media, and listen to bulletins and news. Always check the origin of news or bulletins, especially when using social media channels.

Read more:

The authorities cooperate in the event of a radiation hazard situation - stuk-en - STUK 
Instructions for pet owners in civil defence situations
Preparedness is the rescue services’ basic task
Civil defence protects the civilian population
Civil defence shelters are used when there is a military threat