Gallery: Estonia installs first public emergency shelter signs in Tallinn

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New signs indicating a public shelter were installed in Tallinn on June 13, 2022. The first were hung on Freedom Square above an underground carpark.
New signs indicating a public shelter were installed in Tallinn on June 13, 2022. The first were hung on Freedom Square above an underground carpark. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The first signs indicating a public shelter for emergencies were hung in Estonia's capital city on Monday (June 13) by the Ministry of Defense, Rescue Board and Tallinn. Twenty-three shelters will be marked in June.

The plaques are orange, feature a blue triangle and the phrase "Avalik varjumiskoht" (public shelter). They are the first such signs installed in Estonia.

The signs were hung on Tallinn's Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square) and direct residents to the underground parking lot below.

Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform), Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) and Director General of the Rescue Board Kuno Tammearu gave a press conference in the parking lot on Monday afternoon and a plaque was then installed at the entrance.

Over the next year, signs will be installed in major cities across Estonia, such as Tartu, Pärnu and Narva, the Rescue Board said in a statement.

The government asked the agency to map places that could be used as shelters after Russia launched its full-scale war on Ukraine in February.

While several Ukrainian cities have subways that can double as safe places to hide underground, Estonia has none and so spaces must be identified and signposted.

A network of warning alarms will also be set up across the country over the next 12 months.

The government has said the situation in Estonia is safe.

Twenty-three shelters to be marked in Tallinn in June

The carpark under Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square) has been designated as a public shelter in case of emergencies. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Rescue Service said 23 shelters will be signposted in Tallinn this month.

There will be nine in Kesklinn, three in Mustamäe, two each in Lasnamäe, Põhja-Tallinn, Pirita, Nõmme and Kristiine and one in Habersti.

The full list with addresses is republished below.

Twenty-three public shelters will be marked in Tallinn during June 2022. Source: Rescue Board.

A list of public shelters in Tartu and other cities will be available later this month, a spokesperson for the Rescue Board told ERR News

"Ole valmis!" (Be prepared!)

The NKK's "Be Prepared!" app is available for Android and iOS and includes information in Estonian, English and Russian. Source: Naiskodukaitse

Women's voluntary defense organization Naiskodukaitse has developed a free app that shares tips about how to behave in potentially dangerous situations.

These include what to do in the event of a power outage; if you are lost in the woods or how to provide first aid. You can also find information about fire and water safety, natural disasters, disruption of vital services, cyber security and different security threats.

The app includes a list of home and evacuation supplies with what you should be able to cope independently for a week. You can test your supply level and call different useful numbers directly from the app.

It can be downloaded from the Google Play and Apple App Store.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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