Contingency plan, United States, Embassy of Finland, Washington

Be prepared in advance

It is important to prepare in advance for possible crisis situations. A reasonable supply of drink and food, medicines and first aid supplies are important in any emergency situation that might cause operational difficulties to distribution systems. In addition, it is a good idea for each individual to make sure that the following equipment is available:

  • Identity documents and passport
  • Cash
  • Food and drink stocks deemed necessary at one’s own discretion
  • Personal medicine and prescriptions as well as first aid supplies, including first aid kit in car
  • Candles, matches, flashlight
  • Vehicle documentation
  • Fuel for vehicle
  • Maps and a spare tire in the vehicle
  • Battery-powered travel radio with shortwave
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Contact details of the Embassy
  • Take care of the security arrangements in your home (locking, lighting, guarding, fire-extinguishing equipment)
  • Find out safest routes between home, work and the meeting place

Degrees of preparedness

The preparedness levels in this evacuation plan are indicative and may differ from actions needed in real-life situations. The preparedness guidelines presented under preparedness levels are general recommendations that should be followed together with local authority guidelines and with consideration for general situational awareness.

Enhanced readiness I “stay at home”

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs informs tour operators of a deteriorating security situation. The Embassy announces this on its website and on social media channels.

Enhanced preparedness II “proceed to the meeting place”

Meeting places should be negotiated between other EU and Nordic countries in order to avoid overlap and to ensure necessary coordination. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs may, based on a proposal of the Mission or after consulting it, issue a recommendation to leave the crisis area and/or an instruction not to travel there (travel bulletin). Even in these cases, each person makes their own decision and bears responsibility for its consequences.

Repatriation and / or evacuation

Evacuation should only be carried out if it is technically possible and moving does not substantially increase risks compared to staying in place. In contingency planning, it is advisable to outline alternative operating models in advance, collect contact information, plan the division of labor, etc. A person can only be evacuated or repatriated based on their consent. As a rule, Nordic and EU countries negotiate before making an evacuation decision at both local and ministerial level. Opportunities for cooperation between these delegations should be explored on a situation-specific basis. Evacuation is decided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on the basis of negotiations between the Ministry and the mission and assessments of the situation. If the situation so requires (e.g. in cases of rapid and sudden deterioration of the security situation or loss of communication), the Head of Mission or their deputy may have to make the evacuation decision independently. The Mission's duty to provide assistance will be limited to its actual operational capacity. Even in crises, one usually operates in the sovereign territory of another state. Persons residing in the territory of a foreign state are subject to the legal and administrative executive powers of that state and must comply with the laws, regulations and official instructions of that state. In the event of an evacuation, the Mission may arrange transport, evacuation of the waiting area or assist in other possible ways.

Moving to a safer area within the country or to a neighboring country

When only a part of the country is considered a crisis area and/or the crisis is estimated to be relatively short-lived, an option is to evacuate to an area that is considered safe. Sometimes moving within the country to a safer area can be dangerous. In this case, or when the whole country is considered to be in crisis, can a decision be made to evacuate to a neighboring country deemed safe.

Evacuation elsewhere (e.g. to Finland)

If neighboring countries are considered dangerous or difficult to move to, it is possible to move temporarily to another country. If the crisis is expected to continue for a long time, it is worth trying to organize an evacuation to Finland together with the Ministry.

Personal property

The purpose of the mission's assistance activities is to ensure the safety of individuals. Baggage is usually restricted and pets are not allowed. Everyone is responsible for their own property in the country. Make an accurate list of the goods left in the country and their value for possible compensation issues.

Evacuation costs

The costs of repatriation and evacuation shall be borne by the person concerned. In cases of extreme urgency, the delegation may pay the costs against an enforceable repayment undertaking.

Contact information in a crisis

General emergency number