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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; and
  5. An extremely widespread and dangerous infectious disease, the impacts of which correspond to a particularly serious major accident.

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

The rescue services have the preparedness required to operate during armed conflicts and other emergency conditions. The operation of the rescue services in emergency conditions is based on preparedness for normal conditions, which can be strengthened and expanded following plans and arrangements made in advance. Under the Rescue Act, rescue service authorities shall prepare for carrying out their operations in emergency conditions by drawing up adequate plans and by making advance preparations, as part of which they shall train and reserve personnel for duties carried out in emergency conditions and ensure that command, supervision and alarm systems are established and maintained.  Preparation shall also be made to protect the population from the effects of weapons by means of civil defence shelters and evacuations..


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