Rescue Board: 5 percent of apartment building residents ready for crisis

Apartment buildings in Tallinn.
Apartment buildings in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Rescue Board experience suggests people are not prepared for emergencies. The latter can last for days or even weeks and people need to be able to cope without electricity, water and sewage at home.

Adviser at the Rescue Board's crisis preparedness department Jako Vernik says that people inhabiting large apartment buildings are the most vulnerable as many services are centrally managed and an extensive crisis could mean the loss of every single amenity.

A recent survey commissioned by the board found that just 5 percent of apartment building residents are prepared to weather emergencies. While this spring's healthcare crisis prompted people to procure supplies, the time has come to systematically analyze one's stockpiles and renew them as necessary, the Rescue Board suggests.

Vernik says that crisis preparation should include thinking through one's possibilities and obligations. For example, members of an apartment association should make sure the chairman is ready to drain the building's pipes, close the taps and order latrines for the building if necessary. People inhabiting villages should be up to speed on the location and condition of wells and places where one can cook outside. Everyone is responsible for their own households supplies and being able to eat, maintain hygiene and go to the toilet.

Expert with the board's prevention efforts department Mikko Virkala says that food and water needs to be stockpiled before a crisis. "The rules are simple. People should stockpile foods that are ready to eat or require little preparation, such as porridge, pasta, muesli bars, nuts, dried fruit etc. When stockpiling water, keep in mind that a person needs three liters of water per day or 21 liters a week," Virkala said.

He also suggests thinking about alternative communications, light sources, how to prepare food etc. One's equipment should definitely include a battery-powered radio, flashlights, charged battery packs, a primus stove or gas grill. People should also stockpile medicines and hygiene products and consider every family member's special needs. Pets should not be forgotten and their food stores looked after as well.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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