The Role and Importance of Citizens in Emergency Preparedness : Case Finland
Bourdache, Kaci (2017)
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Bourdache K., (2017). The Role and Importance of Citizens in Emergency Preparedness : Case Finland. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference Crisis Management Days, May 24-26, Terme Tuhelj, Croatia, p. 413-421, Veleučilište Velika Gorica. URN:ISBN: 978-953-7716-77-6
In a well-organized society, citizens expect public service response in case of emergencies so that life and property is sufficiently protected. However, in truth, the limitations of even the most efficient public services are not always recognized among citizens, and this might lead to undervaluing personal safety and security awareness and self-preparedness. Examples are: assuming that fire prevention is not relevant because of the existence of rescue services; that preparedness for long-lasting power outages is unnecessary since energy production is constant and uninterrupted; and that acquiring first-aid skills is not necessary because of the existence of emergency medical services. This paper describes the Finnish emergency preparedness system but highlights the role and importance of citizens and their immediate community while promoting the idea that they are by far the most important element of emergency preparedness. Realizing this, we can finally discuss on what the society and public authorities should do so that regular citizens can achieve the required level of awareness, knowledge and skills so that the most important element is as efficient as it can be. Though Finland is used as a case, the aim of the paper is that it can also be applied internationally.