The information society depends on electricity and ICT networks. A disruption in the electricity grid will quickly upset routine life. It is important to get correct information during a disruption—the problem is that many media require electricity to operate. Do you know all the things that a power outage impacts? And, do you know how and from where you can get accurate information during an emergency?
As long as communications keep functioning and batteries keep working it is possible to search the internet for information. However, when auxiliary power runs out there might be regional outages in information and communication networks. For this reason a good old battery-powered radio might come in handy. Reliable sources of information include Finland’s national public service broadcasting company, YLE, also MTV3, Nelonen Media, the information channels of your municipal electric and water services as well as relief organisations such as the Finnish Red Cross. These are committed to providing truthful information in all circumstances.
You might not be able to go shopping for a number of reasons. You could suddenly run short of money or the situation in society might prevent the distribution of goods. Do you have enough food at home if you can’t make it to the store for a couple of days?
During a disruption you should first use any fresh produce and food stored in the refrigerator. If there is no electricity, you should avoid opening the freezer door so as to prevent the frozen items from thawing. Are you able to prepare food even during a power outage?
Rest & warmth
Most homes are heated by electricity. Especially in the winter homes will soon get cold. Do you have access to an extra source of heat at home? If not, do you know how to keep one room in your home warm enough to stay in?
This is what you need to do to stay warm:
Close the doors and windows, ventilate rapidly and insulate
Have enough warm clothes and bedcovers for everyone
Eat well and get plenty of rest
Remember that alcohol will not warm you up
If you use an open fire, take care of fire safety
Rescue is the most important thing in an emergency. Think ahead and plan two different evacuation routes and make certain that everyone in your family knows how to use the exits. Teach your children how to exit through the routes and emphasise that they must never just curl up and hide.
When in danger
- Rescue those in danger and warn others
- Isolate the thing that causes the danger, if possible
- Call for help from a safe place
If there is a fire you must never go into the smoke. If there is smoke in the stairway, stay in your apartment and prevent the smoke from entering your apartment. Call for help!
Do you know how the general alarm signal sounds? If you hear a minute-long signal that goes up and down, go inside and follow the authorities’ communications (radio, television, emergency warning).
The basic skills of sheltering inside are
- Closing down ventilation
- Closing windows, doors and vents
- Protecting food and water
- Following the authorities’ instructions
- Avoiding using the telephone
Home emergency supply kit
In many life situations a home emergency supply kit may come in handy, that’s why having one will make your life easier.
A home emergency supply kit includes:
- Water containers
- Radio and batteries
- Cash (money)
- Hygiene products
- Food that is easy to prepare and which all family members can eat
Also remember your neighbours and pets! Refresh your safety skills:
- First extinguishing
- Emergency first aid
- ‘Spot the PAD”, i.e. locate the Public Access Defibrillator
- Know how to call 112
A human being needs approximately 2 litres of clean drinking water each day. Water is also needed for cooking and for personal hygiene. A toilet can only be flushed once after a water outage. How long can you manage without running water?
If a disruption in water distribution lasts long, the municipality will organise emergency water distribution. Bottled water sold in stores will soon be sold out. Do you have sufficiently large, clean containers, with lids, at home in which you can store and transport water for the needs of your whole family? And do you know whether any of your neighbours might need help?