Three split photo: soldiers in camoflage, first aid kits and a scene from a hospital
Sweden needs to strengthen its civil defence, according to the parliamentary defence commission. Credit: TT

Swedes "have responsibility" to cope for a week in times of crisis

5:15 min

If a crisis like a natural disaster or war hits Sweden, you should be prepared to manage on your own - without any help from the authorities – for at least a week, according to a new report by the Swedish Defence Commission.

The Commission is a working group where all political parties in parliament are represented. On Wednesday, it presented a plan to the defence minister for how Sweden's civil defence should look in the future. The civil defence is the part of society that ensures that Swedish healthcare, transport, and mobile-phone networks, for instance, stay up and running, even in case of a crisis or war. 

"We propose that individuals should be prepared to get by for at least a week, without support from society," said Björn von Sydow, chairman of the Defence Commission.

Radio Sweden spoke to Kristina Smith at the civil contingency unit at the county administrative board in Uppsala, who has been waiting for this report as eagerly as if it were tickets to a rock concert.

"Oh yes indeed. It is really turning the corner when it comes to pointing at every citizens' own responsibility when it comes to planning for their own survival. It is also taking the focus from adding money for the military defence to looking at what civilian agencies need to get better at contingency planning," says Kristina Smith.

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