Civil defence: Civil defence shelters and protection

Updated 4.3.2022

In many cases, seeking shelter in civil defence shelters is not the first measure; instead, the population is primarily moved to a safer area.

If it became necessary to seek shelter, the authorities would provide separate instructions on measures required for buildings and properties that do not have their own civil defence shelters. The measures may include seeking shelter indoors or building temporary shelters.

There are no public civil defence shelters in Espoo or elsewhere in Western Uusimaa. Protection is based on the civil defence shelters of large properties (residential buildings, schools, workplaces). A shelter may also be shared by several buildings.

Metro stations are not public civil defence shelters in Espoo

There have been preparations done and shelters have been built at metro stations, but in Espoo protection is based on the civil defence shelters of residential buildings, schools and workplaces. These shelters are sufficient for the residents of Espoo. 

What is a civil defence shelter?

Civil defence shelters protect the population against military threats in particular. They are located where people normally move, work and live. You can find information about the civil defence shelter of your housing company or workplace in the property’s rescue plan. There are usually no civil defence shelters in rural areas and detached-house areas, so the residents themselves are responsible for the protection, seeking shelter in temporary shelters – in practice, indoors at home.

Civil defence shelters are reinforced concrete shelters or rock shelters. They provide protection against explosions and shrapnel, collapses of buildings, shock waves, radiation and hazardous substances. The call to seek shelter and deploy civil defence shelters is made by the authorities. Deploying a civil defence shelter must be possible within 72 hours.

In the strategy for protecting the population, civil defence shelters are mainly seen as a reserve to be used in threatening situations in emergency conditions. In accidents in normal conditions, key means of protecting the population include seeking shelter indoors in residential and other spaces and evacuation.

A home emergency supply kit provides security in case of illness and disturbances

For various disturbances, such as long-term power outages, or in case of illness, everyone should have a home emergency supply kit. You should reserve a sufficient amount of food, drink, containers with lids for storing water, medicines, cash and other supplies needed in daily life for at least three days. The home emergency supply kit is also used when moving to the civil defence shelter, since residents must bring their own food and personal supplies, among other things.

Maintaining the civil defence shelter is the owner’s responsibility

Civil defence shelters are the responsibility of the owners and occupants of buildings. The Rescue Act regulates the construction and maintenance of civil defence shelters. It is a good idea to appoint a manager for the civil defence shelter. Civil defence shelter manager courses are organised in the region by Uudenmaan Pelastusliitto, for example.

If you wish to discuss your concerns, help is available.

The whole Espoo