Latvia publishes essential state emergency guidelines

Latvia's Defense Ministry on June 3 released guidelines for the population on how to respond to disruptions caused by a crisis through the first 72 hours.

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AIZMIN_brochure_ENG.pdf

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The 15-page brochure, published in English, Latvian and Russian on the sargs.lv website, maps out preparation measures and steps every Latvian resident should follow in response to crisis-related power outages, interruptions in internet and communication services or closure of shops, fuel stations, and ATMs as a result of disaster, pandemic or military operations.

The brochure was created by the Defense Ministry and Latvia's State Emergency Medical Service, Fire and Rescue Service and Border Guard.

While it includes practical information, such as a crisis check-list and instructions for preparing an emergency bag, a salient part of the brochure is the section dedicated to military threats, stating firmly that Latvian armed forces would not surrender in case of military invasion. "Any information about surrender or non-resistance is fake news," the brochure reads.

It likewise encourages relocating to army-controlled territory and resisting the enemy in the event Latvian territory is occupied.

The publication of the brochure was accompanied by a letter of Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, who set out the reasons for publishing the brochure now, ahead of schedule.

"As we all see, the start of the 21st century has been a turbulent one. In 2008, the world was hit by global economic and financial crisis, and Russia started a war in Georgia. In 2011, we witnessed a horrible accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. In 2014, Russia started another war and attacked Ukraine. And now we are faced with Covid-19 pandemic. Going through these turbulences, we have realised that something unexpected may come any day and turn everything upside down. [..]

"These modern crises have shown that although we can rely on the established order and our membership in NATO and the European Union, security, first of all, begins at home. It begins with each and every one of us. That is why I believe it is the right time to release this message. [..] Although we initially planned to release the printed version of guidelines only in autumn, current circumstances and economic context are forcing us to speed up implementation of our plans and ‘act outside the box’."

"Follow these guidelines to quickly and easily prepare yourself for any potential emergency and create your personal crisis response plan, as well as basic survival kit. These steps will ensure that you know how to act and face any unforeseen emergency. Follow them to be emotionally prepared and avoid major panic."

Everyone is invited to share the guidelines and become a "72-hour ambassador", the Defense Ministry said. 

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