The Rescue Board is distributing a combined €2.29 million in emergency preparedness support to local governments across Estonia for the purchase and hookup of alternative communication devices and generators.
Since applications opened this May, 77 of Estonia's 79 local governments applied for a total of €6.1 million in support, the Rescue Board said in a press release Wednesday.
Rescue Board crisis preparedness adviser Terje Lillo explained that while all of the projects submitted by local governments were necessary and justified, the agency nonetheless had to make choices, as the applied-for amount of support exceeded the budget this time.
"We decided to prioritize funding the purchase of alternative communication system units and the purchase and hookup of generators," Lillo said.
The Rescue Board also decided on principle to provide support to every local government to apply, as improving every local government's emergency preparedness is important and necessary.
"Electricity and communications are absolutely vital in a crisis situation, so we're sure that local governments' crisis preparedness will improve considerably after this project is implemented, and that is a good base level from which to proceed," the adviser said, adding that the Rescue Board hopes to provide further support to this end in the future as well.
The results of a study conducted by the Rescue Board last year indicated that while local governments' emergency preparedness has improved, local governments' continuity in emergencies, crisis management capabilities and crisis and emergency risk communication (CERC) to the public all still need work.
Click here (PDF in Estonian) for a full list of projects to receive support from the Rescue Board. The deadline for implementing supported projects is the end of this year.
Editor: Aili Vahtla