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You are part of Sweden’s civil defence

Sweden’s civil defence is made up of everyone who lives here, and society as a while. If our freedom and democracy are threatened, we all need to do our part to protect and defend our way of life.

Authorities, municipalities, regions, companies, voluntary organisations, and religious groups are all part of Sweden’s civil defence. As is everyone who lives here. The civil defence system also includes all of society’s important operations that need to keep functioning, even at times of heightened readiness or in wartime. These include the health and medical care system, transportation, care of children and the elderly, food supplies, and the emergency services.

Everyone is needed

The military defence, including the Armed Forces and the Home Guard, defend Sweden’s territory and borders. Together, the civil defence and the military defence form the total defence. A strong and resilient civilian society is vital in enabling the military defence to function for an extended period. Total defence refers to everything we do to enable us to counter a military attack.

In Sweden, we have something called total defence service. This means that everyone aged between 16 and 70 can be called up to help out in a variety of ways in the event of war. This total defence service requirement applies even if you are not a Swedish citizen. If you don’t have any military training, you can still help where necessary with the civil defence.

Get involved

Peace, freedom, and democracy must be protected and defended daily. You can get involved in a variety of different ways – by joining a voluntary defence organisation that has specific duties as part of the total defence for example. There are also a number of other non-profit organisations that work with security- and readiness-related issues.

You can also ensure you have a week’s worth of home preparedness, so that you and your household can cope if services and facilities don’t work in the way we are used to them doing. Access to both water and food can, for example, become problematic during crises or a war, the electricity supply could be cut off, and the Internet could stop working. If you’re prepared, you will be helping make sure that the whole country is better able to handle a period of severe stress.

Willingness to play your part

The security policy situation is uncertain and difficult to predict. Talk to your neighbours, your colleagues, and your friends about what you can do together in your everyday lives to ensure you are prepared if something happens. If Swedish society suffers a crisis, or if we are subjected to an attack that threatens our way of life, we all need to come together, to draw on our inner strengths, and to stand up for one another and the values we want to protect.

Our ability to work together and help one another when something threatens us is one of our most important assets when we come under threat.

Latest reviewed: 4 November 2022

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