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Operation in emergency conditions

Emergency conditions are defined in the Emergency Powers Act (1552/2011). Under section 3 of the Act, emergency conditions are: 

  1. Armed aggression against Finland or an attack of comparable severity and its immediate aftermath
  2. Significant threat of armed aggression or an attack of comparable severity against Finland, where the immediate activation of the powers under this Act is necessary in order to prevent its impacts
  3. A particularly serious incident or threat to the population’s livelihood or the foundations of the country's economic life, which puts activities essential for the functioning of society at a significant risk
  4. A particularly serious major accident and its immediate aftermath
  5. An extremely widespread and dangerous infectious disease, the impacts of which correspond to a particularly serious major accident and
  6. Such affects
  • the decision-making capacity of public authorities,
  • the maintenance of border management or public policy and security,
  • the availability of essential social, health care or rescue services,
  • access to energy, water, food, medicines or other essential goods,
  • access to essential payment and securities services,
  • the functioning of socially critical transport systems, or
  • the functioning of ICT services or information systems operating the functions listed in points (a) to (f) a threat, action, event or their combined effect, as a result of which functions essential for the functioning of society are substantially and extensively prevented or paralysed, or which in some other comparable manner particularly seriously and substantially endangers the functioning of society or the living conditions of the population.

Emergency conditions enter into force when the President of the Republic together with the Government declare a state of emergency.

Preparedness obligation

The Government, state administrative authorities, independent state institutions governed by public law, other state authorities and state-owned enterprises, as well as wellbeing services counties and joint welfare authorities, municipalities, joint municipal authorities and other associations of municipalities must, by means of contingency plans, advance preparations for operations in emergency conditions and other measures, ensure that their duties are carried out as well as possible also in emergency conditions.

Service level of rescue services

The service level of rescue services in the wellbeing services counties must correspond to national, regional and local needs, accident threats and other threats. When determining the service level, account shall also be taken of operations in emergency conditions referred to in section 3 of the Emergency Powers Act (1552/2011) and preparedness for them.

Rescue services shall be planned and implemented in such a way that they can be carried out in the most efficient and appropriate manner possible and so that the measures required in accident and dangerous situations can be carried out without delay and efficiently.


Evacuation plans that cover the entire country have been drawn up. They include gathering people up as well as transporting, accommodating and looking after them. Detailed plans have additionally been made for sites with specific risks and their surroundings. Evacuation plans can be applied flexibly and implemented to the extent required by the situation.

Read more:

Preparedness is the rescue services’ basic task
Civil defence protects the civilian population