In the beginning of 2018, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) issued a leaflet entitled ‘Om krisen eller kriget kommer’, or „ If crisis or war comes“ giving instructions for action in the event of a crisis or war, where daily routines may no longer work.
This type of guide has also been published in Sweden in the past. Following the Second World War, information materials for „If there is a War“ was distributed to the inhabitants until 1963. Officials of the State and local governments were given similar information up until 1991.
One of the motivations for the leaflet could be the incident in Swedish waters in 2014 with a Russian submarine, which created a lot of debate in society about the need and ability of the country to defend itself. At the end of 2017, a report by the Swedish National Defence Development Task Force also concluded that military aggression against the country could no longer be ruled out.
The leaflet, which had 4.8 million copies printed in a paper format, has been published electronically in PDF format as well as audio files in 17 languages.
The contents of the leaflet are based on the concept of total defence in Sweden and summarizes information for coping with emergencies and gives an overview of the principles of national defence. There are also practical guidelines for storing food, water and warm clothes as well as other vital necessities. It also reminds people that it is every citizen’s duty is to protect their country.
In the 2018 leaflet, current topics are included, such as guides for identifying false information and what to do in case of a terrorist attack.
In Estonia, volunteers from the Women’s home defence section of the National Defence League have come up with a similar initiative. To simplify things they have come up with a mobile phone app. The Women’s home defence have introduced their app as follows: „Mobile phone application“ Be Prepared!“ providing guidance on how to deal with different situations. For example, what to do if the electricity is gone or you are lost in the woods or how to give first aid. Information is also available, for example, on fire and water safety, natural disasters, breakdowns of vital services, cyber security and various security threats. „
Propastop considers it necessary to publish similar material as was done in Sweden and calls on the State to deal with it in the near future.
Photo: from a screenshot of the leaflet and the Women’s Home Defence app.