Sweden is distributing a "Be Prepared for War" booklet to all 4.8 million Swedish households, urging all Swedes to be prepared for war or other major crisis in the near future. The 20-page booklet, entitled Om krisen eller kriget kommer (English: If Crisis or War Comes), explains how people can secure basic needs such as food, water, heat, and communications, explains what various warning signals mean, when and where to seek bomb shelters, and how to contribute to Sweden’s “total defense," among other topics.
The reason for the booklet's distribution appears to be Russia's recent repeated violations of Sweden's airspace and territorial waters (which have Sweden seriously considering joining NATO). But there has also been some speculation that the Swedish government may be growing concerned about a possible internal insurrection by Muslim migrants. Whatever the reason, I thought it would be interesting to examine what advice the Swedish government is giving it people. You can download a copy of the English version by clicking here (opens as a .pdf).
The booklet consists of three main parts: a) Emergency Preparedness, emphasizing household preparations, b) Total Defense, explaining military and civil defense, including the duty of Swedish citizen's to contribute to the nations defense, and c) Warning Systems, explaining what various warning signals means, and when/where to find bomb shelters and other safe spaces.
What would you do if your everyday life was turned upside down? The intro section includes this question, and gives the answer: "In just a short time, your everyday life can become problematic:
- The heating stops working.
- It becomes difficult to prepare and store food.
- The shops may run out of food and other goods.
- There is no water coming from the taps or the toilet.
- It is not possible to fill up your car.
- Payment cards and cash machines do not work.
- Mobile networks and the internet do not work.
- Public transport and other means of transport are at a standstill.
- It becomes difficult to obtain medicines and medical equipment."
Be on the lookout for false information. The booklet also expresses concern over false information being spread, either through unfounded rumors or as part of intentional misinformation campaigns. It gives this advice: "The best protection against false information and hostile propaganda is to critically appraise the source:
- Is this factual information or opinion?
- What is the aim of this information?
- Who has put this out?
- Is the source trustworthy?
- Is this information available somewhere else?
- Is this information new or old and why is it out there at this precise moment?"
Home Preparedness Tips. The booklet also gives various tips on home preparedness, mainly regarding food, water, warmth, and communications. "Your prerequisites and needs vary, for example, depending on whether you live in the countryside or in a built-up area, in a ho use or in an apartment. Here are some general home preparedness tips. Use that which is appropriate for you and those close to you. It is a good idea to share certain things and borrow from one another." It is interesting to see that they suggest cooperation (community) as a survival tactic. Specific recommendations can be found in the booklet if you download a copy, or in the two illustrations below.
The booklet also gives a website, Dinsäkerhet.se, where folks can get more detailed information. The website isn't in English, but several videos on the website have English subtitles. I'll include these videos below.
Emergency Preparedness - Food
Emergency Preparedness - Communications
Emergency Preparedness - Water
Emergency Preparedness - Warmth
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