Finland always prepared for crisis
Stacks of emergency stocks lie in warehouses. Food, such as grain to make bread, but also fuel and medical devices, such as mouth caps. Where elsewhere in the world is a major shortage of medical protective equipment, they were in Finland the first weeks of the coronapandemic well prepared.
“No more than logical in the light of Finnish history,” says Guido Nuijten about the emergency stocks. The Dutchman has been living in the country for 19 years. “Finland has been occupied for centuries by neighboring countries from the west and east.” And so Finns are prepared for threat of a neighboring country, such as Russia at the time of the Cold War.
But that is not the only reason. The climate also plays a role. Nuijten: “Now the winters are no longer so cold, this year no winter here in Helsinki, but there have been winters who lasted six to nine months. Then you will learn to construct reserves.”
The Finnish Agency for Emergency Facilities must ensure that the supply of important goods is guaranteed. The different scenarios are regularly considered and the necessary things are then searched.
What exactly is stored and how much, that is state secrecy. The agency does say that it is a lot of things and they are stored throughout Finland. For example, there is sufficient fuel to keep it five to six months, and the grain stock is sufficient for a year.
Many stocks are stored underground. A whole underground infrastructure has been laid out to protect population and transport. There are civilian bunkers, a water supply, drainage installations, hospitals, just name it. The system is unique in Europe. In Sweden they had it until the 90s, but when the Cold War ended, the neighbor has stopped with it.
If not Finland. Here they find this kind of stocks pure necessity. And now it also turns out not to be unnecessary luxury: it is because of this coronacrisis that the doors of the warehouses have been opened for the first time to really use the stuff.
Yet there is also a weak place here. Some stuff is so much question that a shortage now also threatens. The demand for mouth caps, just like in many other countries, is a major problem. But the first few weeks there were enough in Finland.
In order to cope with the coronacrisis, strict measures have also been taken in Finland. But according to Guido Nuijten, it is all well arranged: “The Finnish government has started immediately energetically. This has occurred, without all showdown, as unfortunately very visible in some countries. They are leaning on science and THL, (Finnish Health Organization). “
Most measures are similar to the Netherlands, says Nuijten. “Schools are closed, but within two days the digital teaching was arranged. Very much was already done digitally, so technically it was a relatively small intervention.”