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What do the other Nordic countries say about crisis preparedness?

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
What do the other Nordic countries say about crisis preparedness?
Denmark has released a checklist of emergency supplies. Do the other Nordic countries have similar guidelines? Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark has advised its population to have supplies ready in case a crisis occurs, but the same step has already been taken by both Sweden and Norway.

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The Danish Emergency Management Service (Beredsskabstyrelsen, DEMA) has issued advicefor the general public to have certain supplies at home so that they are prepared in the event of a crisis.

“We are recommending this because if people can get by for three days, authorities can focus on doing what needs to be done and work on normalising the situation as quickly as possible,” the director of DEMA, Laila Reenberg, said at a briefing on the recommendations.

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Swedish authorities in 2018 issued a brochure to all Swedish households, titled Om krisen eller kriget kommer. There’s a version in English, If Crisis or War Comes, available here.

A new version of that booklet was ordered earlier this year by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), while the general advice from Swedish authorities is always to have enough supplies at home to see your household through one to two weeks if needed – longer than the three days stated in the new Danish guidance.

Swedes are meanwhile advised to keep paper printouts of information such as insurance policies, bank details and registration certificates and the Swedish checklist (which, unlike Denmark’s has been produced in English) goes into intricate detail about the types of food and other supplies that are advised.

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No booklet has yet been issued in Denmark – the advice is so far only available in Danish on DEMA’s website. However, Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen has said that information will be sent to all residents in Denmark by secure email “after the summer”.

Folders will also be placed at libraires and other public institutions, he said.

The Norwegian Civil Defence also keeps guidelines of what residents should keep in their homes for emergencies.

The website sikkerhverdag.no – operated by the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection – recommends that households have enough supplies for seven days. 

This includes a small emergency reserve of essentials such as water, food that can be kept at room temperature, medicines, and heat sources like warm blankets and jackets (rather than an electric blanket).

Like Denmark, the Norwegian agency recommends three litres of water per person per day for cooking and drinking, as well as iodine tablets if you are under 40, pregnant, breastfeeding or have children living at home.

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