Finland 🇫🇮 – prepared for crisis

This is Helsinki, Finland’s capital. A city of culture, statues and seagulls. But beneath the surface, Finland has one of
the most comprehensive disaster response systems of any country in the world, and is sharing
its expertise with international partners, including NATO. It is a country prepared for any crisis. We are prepared for natural disasters, floods,
forest fires. And man-made disasters, terrorist attacks,
even the worst-case scenario of war. And Finland’s attitude towards crisis response
is born out of experience. War planes darkening the sky of Finland… We lost 90,000 people during the Second World
War. That was a huge loss in this small country. So everybody understands why it is important
to be prepared in every possible crisis. After Helsinki was bombed repeatedly during
the Second World War, the authorities in Finland put measures in place to make sure that if
it happened again, the nation would be ready. Through these doors, down this elevator, is
what looks like a regular children’s play area, gym and sports centre. However, this is also a custom-built air raid
shelter designed to house 6,000 people for up to a week in a crisis situation. Overseeing it is this man, Jari Markkanen. This cave is 230 metres long. Blast-proof doors. Plenty of entrances. This kind of toilet facility. Beds for over 600 people. In Finland, every building with a floor area
of more than 1,200 square metres is required to have a shelter to protect citizens. But underground shelters are just one of the
civil defence measures. What we’re doing here is an exercise involving
police, fire department and emergency medical services in order to maintain and build up
the maximum effectiveness for real-time emergencies. At the end of the day it always comes to rescuing
people manually. We need to know our environment to be able
to function effectively. We are playing with time. Finland’s comprehensive approach to civil
security also involves training key decision-makers and business owners in what to do if a crisis
situation occurs. These resilience measures are a priority for
Finland, a NATO partner, and NATO Allies alike and they have long worked together to prepare
for crises and disasters. The opening, in Helsinki, of a European Centre
for Countering Hybrid Threats will further strengthen cooperation. NATO has great standards for civil preparedness
and we are following those and comparing with ours and sharing information in both ways
to improve resilience capabilities. While underground shelters and crisis response
measures are a last resort, in times of increasing uncertainty where cities across Europe are
on heightened alert, if a crisis does strike, Finland will be ready.


  1. Colonel Valtonen was my platoon leader in 2015-2016 during my conscription service, never met another so educated and up to task officer.

  2. Here in Finland we are ready to fight to the last man standing, for our liberty today and forever! Of'course we need help of the Nato, but if we have to, we can survive by ourselves!

  3. Gotta love those firefighters here in Finland and everywhere else in the world. Respect and love to them.

  4. peeps saying we have to join nato. if we do that russia will not like that. finland and russia are good partners….we have no need to join nato right now. maybe later if russia starts acting agressively…

  5. The air raid shelters are costly and their effectiveness is questionable. I for one have never seen one being exercised.

  6. Oh hey, maybe my country ain't so dull after all.
    Also! There's much more to Helsinki than seagulls!!!! There are–

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