Preparedness Week engages the entire country
The nationwide effort to strengthen Sweden's preparedness for crisis and war – Preparedness Week is ongoing. A majority of the country's municipalities, several government agencies, companies and non-profit organisations will participate and highlight this year's theme in different ways – Practice!
The municipalities, which are closest to the residents and have a significant responsibility for preparedness for crisis and war, will take a leading role during the week. Based on this year's theme, many municipalities will practice various activities, such as preparing school lunches without electricity and handing out local crisis brochures.
The greater the participation, the greater the preparedness
Many municipalities will also be collaborating with voluntary defence organisations to carry out various activities aimed at the municipality's residents. There is a high level of commitment and creativity among municipalities, all to address questions about preparedness for crisis and war and highlight the importance of practicing among their residents.
As MSB's Director General Charlotte Petri Gornitzka states:
- It is gratifying that interest in the Preparedness Week is increasing, and particularly important in light of the global situation. I really want to emphasize the importance of this year's theme. We cannot prepare for every specific situation, but everyone can strengthen their general ability by practicing. The more different parts of society participate and take the opportunity to talk about preparedness, the stronger our ability to build preparedness together.
Practice strengthens ability
It is fundamental to society's preparedness that authorities, organisations and companies regularly practice their skills. For the first time since Preparedness Week started, MSB is focusing on the importance of practice among individuals and households. By practicing some basic skills such as cooking without electricity, you become aware of your own abilities and what you need to do to strengthen preparedness in your home. Encouraging practice is also a way to get people to move from thought to action.
Increased interest in preparedness
After the pandemic and Russia's large-scale war against Ukraine, the public’s interest in home preparedness and Sweden's preparedness as a whole has increased. This can be seen, among other things, in the fact that many people have joined the Home Guard or voluntary defence organisations.
MSB's surveys also show that more people state that they can manage a week without support from society in the event of a crisis. In 2021, 26 percent answered that they had enough supplies at home to last a week. In 2022, the corresponding figure was 37 percent. As Christina Andersson, risk communication strategist at MSB states:
– Many understand the importance of good self-preparedness and think that the state's expectations that households should have enough supplies to last a week is reasonable, but at the same time, significantly more people need to take concrete steps and actually pack their emergency box. With this year's theme, Practice! MSB wants to motivate more people to go from thought to action and to make it easier for the public to get directly involved in our joint preparedness.
A nationwide week
MSB's ambition with Preparedness Week is to involve the whole community, and follow-up has shown that more and more actors are participating in the week in different ways. A majority of the country's municipalities (around 200 out of 290) are involved in the week to varying degrees.
Many municipalities take the opportunity to practice in their own organisation and carry out external activities aimed at the municipality's residents. About half of the county administrations and an increasing number of state authorities, non-profit organisations and local entrepreneurs do something during the week based on what suits their own operations and mission. Many take the opportunity to train their own staff in home preparedness.
Resilient local communities
As Christina Andersson puts it:
– Building preparedness for crisis must become part of our work to create sustainable and resilient local communities and needs to become a kind of popular movement at a grassroots level. Preparedness is not a separate activity in the event of an extraordinary situation but must be built up and incorporated into a broader and ongoing community building perspective.
To highlight the theme Practice!, MSB has produced the material Seven Days, which corresponds to the week that the public is expected to manage without the support of society in the event of a crisis.
The material includes a folder with simple exercises for seven days and tips for good self-preparedness. Seven Days is also the name of a digital exercise for individuals, which turns the spotlight on home preparedness in the event of a longer power outage. The material is published on mbs.se and can be used freely by anyone who wants to participate in the week.
Facts about Preparedness Week
Preparedness Week is part of the work to strengthen Sweden's crisis preparedness and total defence, and brings together a wide range of actors, such as municipalities, civil society, industry organisations, authorities and the business community.
Preparedness Week (formerly Crisis Preparedness Week), which is week 39 (this year 25 September to 1 October), is arranged annually by MSB. Year 2023 marks the seventh year in a row it has been held. The aim is to get more people to strengthen their own preparedness for crisis and war and to motivate municipalities, state authorities, companies and non-profit organisations to get involved in Sweden's preparedness.
Latest reviewed: 27 September 2023