Nine out of ten Finns consider civil defence necessary for security
According to the 2023 survey, the attitudes of Finns towards rescue services have remained positive. World events, such as Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, are clearly reflected in how Finns perceive the likelihood that potential risks may materialise. Similarly, Finns see civil defence as more necessary than before.
According to the 2023 report, Finns continue to have a positive attitude towards rescue services. Rescue services are seen generally as reliable, professional and efficient. Men and young people have a slightly more negative attitude towards rescue services than women and older respondents.
The study examines, among other things, risk experiences of Finns, preparedness, safety expertise, views of rescue services and experiences of rescue personnel. Commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior, the study by the Emergency Services Academy Finland was carried out as an online panel survey. Respondents consisted of approximately 3,000 people from all over the country. The survey has been conducted every three years since 1992.
Finns consider the risk of war of aggression more likely to take place than three years ago
Due to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, an aggression against Finland was also considered clearly more probable than before. This was also reflected in questions concerning the need for civil defence: nine out of ten Finns consider civil defence necessary for security. Civil defence refers to actions taken by the authorities to protect civilians in armed conflicts. Already in 2020, the perceived need to protect population doubled, and this year the trend continued to become stronger.
By a clear contrast, respondents considered a pandemic less likely to take place than in 2020. Experiences of the probability of different risks varied according to the respondent's age, type of housing and gender. Male respondents regarded the probability of all risks as lower than female respondents did.
Nearly all Finns know the emergency number – there is still much room for improvement in security-related competence
According to Finns, the most important preparedness measures include smoke detectors and first aid packages or equipment. The popularity of emergency supplies as a precautionary measure increased, but at the same time, only one in six Finns can define what emergency supplies mean. For example, only one in four Finns knew that they should be able to manage with emergency supplies for 72 hours without outside help.
Almost all Finns know the emergency number. On the other hand, only 10 per cent of Finns know what to do when hearing a public warning signal. After hearing the public warning signal, one should stay indoors and close doors and windows, turn on the radio and wait for more detailed instructions.
The use of traditional communication channels is emphasised in how people want information about possible hazardous situations. About 50 per cent of Finns would like to receive emergency warnings via SMS.
Oliver Saal, Researcher, Emergency Services Academy Finland, [email protected]
Alisa Puustinen, Senior Researcher, Emergency Services Academy Finland, [email protected]
Teija Mankkinen, Ministerial Adviser, [email protected]