How can peaceful civil defense duty, for young people aged 16-25, benefit the development of wisdom?

Being prepared, even for the worst, creates an inner peace


A country's crisis preparedness and total defense is a very complex subject area. It can be described in the form of statistics, organizations, structures, constitutions, ordinary laws, ordinances, government regulations, municipal regulations, checklists, and so on. Authorities have chosen this approach. Preparedness can also be reproduced by illustrating how the resilient social system is designed or what knowledge and skills the citizens possess that result in the same.

The concept of resilience is about society's ability to deal with external and internal disturbances. This means how well society can handle a variety of phenomena and events that threaten or can have detrimental effects on societal functions, physical assets and citizens, including the capacity to develop further thereafter. These events can be war, internet attack, fuel block, commodity shortage, transport disruption, earthquake, extremely strong solar storm, pandemic, financial crash, mass migration, terrorist attack, weapons of mass destruction, tsunami, crop failure, oil price shock, mass unemployment, fresh water shortage, ecosystem collapse, carbon collapse etcetera. These situations can be seriously exacerbated because the risk of domino effects is high as the global system is complexly interconnected. The chain reactions can either occur directly through an unusual event or indirectly by reaching a "tipping point". System risks are complex to analyze and predict due to, for example, negative and positive feedback loops, time shifts and so on.

In addition, Sweden and other countries are facing an unprecedented adjustment process, due to the fourth industrial revolution and the UN's 17 sustainability goals. This gigantic societal transformation also results in systemic risks and the need for increased resilience. These combined challenges require young people to be well prepared for adulthood.

Peaceful civil defense duty for young people aged 16-25

Based on Chapter Background and the current situation in society, it is relevant to give some views

  • authorities in crisis preparedness and total defense seem to have a well-developed decentralized organizational model and an adequate control / action system that probably works when the disturbances are quite limited (forest fire, local terrorist attack, nuclear accident, weekly power outage, major accident, drinking water shortage, mild pandemic, major influenza outbreak , shorter internet interruptions, temporary oil price shock, landslide, flood, extreme temperature, strong storm, shorter heat distribution interruptions, major fires in cities or on ships, locally poisoned drinking water, chemical accident)


  • crisis preparedness and total defense are likely to be completely inadequate if the disruptions are more extensive (war, ecosystem collapse, prolonged power or internet outages, long fuel block, more than two weeks of food shortages, severe global financial crash, extremely strong solar storm, severe pandemic, massive migration, prolonged commodity shortages). including NPK fertilizer), longer transport blocked, etcetera.
  • the majority of young people and adults are ill-prepared for serious crises and almost completely unprepared for war situations

Another important aspect is that the complexity of society is extensive, with production chains that are deeply integrated with other countries, which makes the risk of international domino effects great. Therefore, society should be designed to cope with even the most serious scenarios. In addition, Sweden needs to increase its ability and resilience to cope with the gigantic transformation that the fourth industrial revolution and the UN's 17 sustainability goals entail.

This means that Sweden should equip its young people aged 16-25, with a one-year compulsory peaceful civil defense obligation, to meet the challenges that await and may occur. Since future wars, which we will hopefully avoid, will hardly be conventional, it is more beneficial to train the skills needed:

  • in everyday life
  • in the event of extraordinary events
  • for survival after a societal collapse
  • to develop a sustainable and peaceful society

What young people should learn

Young people are often untrained in many of the challenges that adulthood entails. Admittedly, young people have received some education in school, but it is often quickly forgotten. Below are some areas where education, training, dialogue and reflection are needed.


  • Emergency care (cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, crisis support, etc.)
  • Work (accident risks, work relationships, work stress, leadership, etc.)
  • Democracy (political elections, opinion formation, political work, etc.)
  • Finances (budget, savings, pension, financing, etc)
  • Leisure (activities, mental strength, accidents, etc.)
  • Parenting (child safety, upbringing, family relationships, family support, etc.)
  • Sustainability (waste sorting, consumption, leisure, investments, transport, etc.)
  • Health (exercise, diet, hygiene, social relationships, etc.)
  • Partnerships (sex and cohabitation, relationships, law, etc.)
  • Personal development (wisdom / insight / knowledge development)

Extraordinary events

Crisis preparedness (forest fire, local terrorist attack, nuclear accident, weekly power outage, major accident, drinking water shortage, mild pandemic, major flu outbreak, limited tsunami, internet outage (several days), temporary oil price shock, landslides, floods, extreme temperatures, storms, lack of heating in building, larger fires on ships, locally poisoned drinking water, chemical accident, etc.

Survival after a societal collapse

Even though society has a great responsibility to ensure that electricity and telecommunications, water supply, transport and healthcare, among other things, function, a societal collapse can mean that neither works. In this situation, you as an individual have a great responsibility to be physically and mentally prepared together with family and neighbors to cope with a longer period without functioning public utilities. Valuable mental factors that have been shown to be crucial for survival in various crisis situations have been: knowledge, will to live, a positive attitude, self-control, ability to assess risk, rational working methods, unconventional thinking and consideration of time aspects.

A societal collapse can start with war, ecosystem collapse, longer internet outages, long fuel blockages, more than two weeks of food shortages, severe global financial crash, extremely strong solar storm, severe pandemic, massive migration, longer commodity shortages, longer transport blockages, mass unemployment, and so on. There are a number of aspects to consider in preparing for a societal collapse (drinking water, fuel, handling the deceased, crime, food, food production, medicines, injuries, cooperation, protection and safety, diseases, transport, care for the elderly and much more).

Develop a sustainable society

The UN's 17 sustainability goals are not only a matter of justice but also a matter of long-term survival for humanity. Therefore, it is crucial that young people gain deep knowledge and insight about the goals, and how these can be achieved. Education, training, dialogue and reflection are the main tools in this process.

How to design a peaceful civil defense duty?

Crucial to the success of peaceful civil defense duty is that it is appreciated by young people and that few want to miss this offer. This probably means a suitable combination of:

  • camp accommodation
  • challenging and unusual activities
  • positive mood
  • time for dialogue and reflection
  • build self-esteem
  • creativity
  • practical activities
  • meaningfulness
  • nature stay
  • social interaction
  • relaxed environment

Who can organize a peaceful civil defense?

Between 100-120 thousand young people per year may be included in peaceful civil defense duty. It requires a staff organization that takes a basic responsibility for planning, finances, training, activities, etcetera. The recruitment base could be from the non-profit sector, both for permanent employment and temporary activities. The non-profit sector currently has 150,000 full-time or part-time employees and a total turnover of SEK 150 billion per year. Here is great competence in the areas that are needed. The Scouts, the Civil Defense Association, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and thousands of other non-profit associations have valuable knowledge and experience. In addition, authorities for crisis preparedness and total defense are a natural part of the desired competence.

How can a peaceful civil defense duty be financed?

In addition to staff, there are costs for, among other things, administration, vehicles, accommodation, premises, equipment, clothing and other activity costs. We believe that the state should be able to create its own digital money to finance peaceful civil defense duty. From a national economic perspective, we believe that peaceful civil defense duty is self-financing in the long run, as the positive effects in the form of reduced costs for societal problems, increased resilience and sustainability will by a margin exceed the costs.

Additional information


  • Contingency alarm: Means that the special statutes specified in § 13 FTH are immediately applied in their entirety (the power of attorney laws, including the Disposal Act and the Rationing Act) .1
  • The Swedish administrative model: The paragraphs in the form of government that regulate the ban on ministerial government in question. The Swedish ban on ministerial rule means that the government must make its decisions collectively, and that the authorities may decide independently on matters concerning the exercise of authority and application of law. To help govern the country, the government also has about 400 central authorities, committees, state-owned companies and central agencies that are subordinate to the government and that fall under the various ministries. 2
  • The hierarchy of norms and the form of government: The constitutions and the form of government are the starting point for all other legislation. Simply put, all legislation is placed in a hierarchy of norms where the constitutions, ordinary laws, ordinances as well as government regulations and municipal regulations are included in descending order. 3
  • Constitutional preparedness: Refers to the rules that are mainly found in ch. The form of government (RF) on war and the danger of war. It is thus about how the legislator has tried to think through in advance how central decision-making needs to be structured in the event of war or danger of war. 4
  • The war delegation: In ch. Section 2 RF contains the basic rule concerning the war delegation. The war delegation can take the place of the Riksdag in the event of war or danger of war if circumstances so require. 5
  • Social disturbance: Refers to phenomena and events that threaten or have harmful effects on what is to be protected in society. 6

Some organizations in crisis preparedness and total defense

  • BN Beredskapsnämnden för psykologiskt försvar
  • Civilförsvarsförbundet
  • CTSS Centrum för totalförsvar och samhällets säkerhet
  • MSB Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap
  • EBA Enheten för beredskap och analys
  • ERCC Emergency Response Coordination Centre [EU-organ]
  • FFO Frivilliga försvarsorganisationer
  • FHS Försvarshögskolan
  • FM Försvarsmakten
  • FRA Försvarets radioanstalt
  • FRG Frivillig Resursgrupp
  • JRCC Sjö- och flygräddningscentralen [Joint Rescue Coordination Centre]
  • KBM Krisberedskapsmyndigheten
  • MUST Militära underrättelse- och säkerhetstjänsten
  • Nato Nordatlantiska fördragsorganisationen [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]
  • NCT Nationellt centrum för terrorhotbedömning
  • SIKA Statens institut för kommunikationsanalys
  • SIS Statens informationsstyrelse
  • SPF Styrelsen för psykologiskt försvar
  • SRV Statens räddningsverk
  • SSK Enheten för samordning av samhällets krisberedskap

Source: Prerequisites for crisis preparedness and total defense in Sweden (2019) 7

Secondary material

Selected sources predominantly consist of books, articles and reports from well-known Swedish institutes, universities and newspapers. NOTE! Paragraphs in the "Background" chapter have in all cases been copied directly from sources without quoting, footnote only. Text has been copied and merged into a relevant whole, based on the purpose of this document.


Civil defense

The term civil defense was coined in 1944, when Luftskyddsinspektionen and Statens utrymningskommission merged. When the law (1994: 1720) on civil defense came into force, the state organization Civilförsvaret disappeared. The law gave the municipalities the total responsibility for civil defense at the local level, including provisions on home protection, plant protection and population protection. At the same time as the Riksdag adopted the Act on Civil Defense, the Act (1994: 1809) on general conscription was also adopted.8

The term civil defense is no longer used in Sweden. Today, the same type of activity is called rescue service during heightened preparedness and population protection. However, the term remains in the sense of international law where civil defense personnel (ie those who on duty in the municipal rescue service, or perform tasks in civil protection) must be marked with the international sign for civil defense in order to receive international law protection.9

The goals of the Swedish Civil Defense are:

  • to protect the civilian population
  • to ensure that society and the population can be provided with vital resources
  • to ensure that the most important societal functions work
  • to contribute to the Armed Forces' ability to solve its task in the event of an attack on Sweden and / or the outside world
  • to contribute to peace and security in the outside world
  • to strengthen society's ability to prevent and deal with severe strains on society in peace.10

The civil defense in Sweden is not an organization. The activities are conducted by state authorities, municipalities, county councils, private companies and voluntary organizations.11

Civil Defense Association

The Civil Defense Association (Civilförsvarsförbundet) is a voluntary defense organization with the aim of setting security both in everyday life and in crises in society. 12 Since its inception, the Swedish Civil Defense Association has been a civilian part of the Swedish crisis preparedness.

The activities of the Civil Defense Association:

  • Opinion formation and other advocacy work for a safer society in everyday life and in times of crisis. They participate in the debate and are involved in several organizations such as Forum - Idéburna organisationer med social inriktning, Svenska rådet för hjärt-lungräddning, Svenska Förstahjälpen-rådet och Centralförbundet Folk och Försvar och deltar i Frivilliga försvarsorganisationers samarbetskommitté, FOS.
  • Information for citizens.
  • Target group-adapted courses in how to prevent, prepare and manage vulnerable situations and crises.
  • Courses in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, crisis support and more.
  • Information about and placement of defibrillators outside healthcare for a safer heart in Sweden.
  • Educates and develops voluntary reinforcement resources: Voluntary Resource Group (Frivilliga Resursgruppen FRG), emergency groups, search groups.

Membership in the Civil Defense Association provides opportunities for personal development and increased competence. It is also an expression of social responsibility: by helping each other, we help ourselves. The Civil Defense Association has strong local roots with local associations that include about 200 municipalities. The organization is based on values ​​such as, among other things, responsibility and respect for each other. Everyone can participate regardless of gender identity, age, sexual orientation, ethnic and religious background and more. You are also not required to be a Swedish citizen and you do not have to carry a weapon.

Members: 16,597

Proportion of men: 58%

Proportion of women: 42%

Associations: 184

District: 21

Instructors: 170

Employees: 6

The Voluntary Resource Group (FRG) is located in approximately 165 municipalities. 13

In 2016, the Swedish Civil Defense Association received heavily withdrawn grants due to changed grant rules. The Swedish Civil Defense Association publishes "The book on home preparedness" (Boken om hemberedskap).

Center for Total Defense and Society's Security

The following is an excerpt from parts of the well-written report "Prerequisites for crisis preparedness and total defense in Sweden" (2019) produced by Centrum för totalförsvar och samhällets säkerhet (CTSS) within Försvarshögskolan, and intends to give the reader an understanding at system level for Sweden's crisis preparedness and total defense.

Centrum för totalförsvar och samhällets säkerhet (CTSS) vid Försvarshögskolan was established in 2018 and brings together the Swedish National Defense College's (Försvarshögskolan) unique competencies and meets society's knowledge requirements within total defense and society's security. The renewed total defense planning is particularly important in order to be able to plan for, counteract and deal with the serious strains that modern society may face in the event of accidents, crises and wars. The system perspective increases the conditions for acting effectively and for adapting plans and routines to unexpected events. In the long run, the possibilities of achieving the goal of the system increase; a safe and resilient Sweden where everyone and everyone is included and takes responsibility based on their ability. "New agreements have been signed between MSB and Sweden's municipalities and county councils (SKL) that municipalities and county councils will begin active work with civil defense during the period 2018- 2020. Targeted efforts have also been made against the individual citizen and during the early summer of 2018, all households received the brochure "If the crisis or the war comes" .14

Swedish crisis preparedness and total defense 1930s - 2018

The Swedish total defense was developed as a response to the Second World War where military and civil defense would cooperate and be coordinated for maximum defense effect. Voluntary defense activities have arisen spontaneously through people's willingness to support the defense and have their origins in the mid-19th century. During the 1930s, tensions increased in Europe. Democracies gave way and by the end of the 1930s more than half of Europe's countries were dictatorships. During the Second World War, the Swedish defense capability was then developed to meet the threat picture. In August 1939, Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson gave a radio speech in which he claimed that "our preparedness is good". However, the defense decision from 1925 had led to a major disarmament of the defense during the interwar period, and defense preparedness was poor. One month later, World War II broke out and Sweden introduced ration cards. Hemvärnet was established by a parliamentary decision in 1940. Younger volunteers who had not yet completed their military service training and older men over the age of 47 were then given the opportunity to serve in emergency units that guarded Sweden's borders. As early as the autumn of 1940, 90,000 men had joined Hemvärnet. There was a clear threat and a fear of a German invasion of Sweden in the spring of 1940. Sweden was in need of a powerful defense - both mentally and materially. The Government therefore decided to establish the Statens Informationsstyrelse (SIS). The authority had the task of informing, reviewing, mapping and directing Swedish opinion formation and to some extent also public opinion. SIS used the so-called "gray slips", which were sent to the media with requests about what information should not be disseminated in newspapers and radio. The Swedish military rearmament and preparedness needed to be financed, and in April 1940 the Minister of Finance, Ernst Wigforss, appealed to the Swedish people to subscribe for bonds called "people's loans". In 1941, the campaign "a Swedish tiger" was launched. The vigilance campaign and the silence of the people would make it difficult for spies to operate in the country. The tiger was spread in 400,000 copies to cafes, train compartments, restaurants, companies and staff rooms and it was also found on the back of, for example, registration books, on suitcases and on stationery and envelopes. The Defense Decision of 1942 entailed greatly increased allocations for the Swedish defense. In 1943, "If war comes - guidance for Sweden's citizens" was published, a booklet with detailed information on how the civilian population would act in the event of war. The military mobilization was extensive and affected everyone. Sweden bought aircraft, cannons and ships and defense lines were built consisting of bunkers and artillery fortifications. Everyone knew someone who was called in and the will to defend was strong. During World War II, Sweden was dependent on external supplies to secure food supplies. Both 1940 and 1941 were bad crop years and during 1942 the situation worsened. Crow and magpie went by the name forest bird and in Enskede slaughterhouse 2000 foxes were approved as edible. Petrol and oil were acute shortages during the war, but a large part of the traffic (and parts of agriculture) could function with the help of producer gas units that were fired with charcoal. Lubricating oil was also in short supply, but in 1943 the first deliveries of Swedish-made tar lubricating oil could take place. In 1943, Sweden had enough resources to be able to cope with a "complete blockade and or at least six months". In the same year, the Swedish defense was also strong enough to dare to say no to German demands for, among other things, the transport of soldiers on Swedish railways.

During the latter part of the 1950s and until 1966, the civil defense was planned to be able to handle a nuclear attack. Physical protection was no longer possible and the expansion of shelters that had been going on since the war years seemed overplayed. Instead, cities must be emptied of most of their civilian population, which would spread to remote areas. This threat picture diminished in 1966 when Sweden was included in the "western nuclear umbrella". In the 1961 edition of "If the War Comes", the scope had increased to just under 50 pages. The 1968 defense decision entailed political demands for several cost efficiencies of Sweden's military defense. The 1977 defense decision came to constitute a continued reduction of the defense. By the end of the 1970s, a new oil crisis had once again created international unrest. The 1982 defense decision came to constitute a further continued reduction of the defense. In the mid-1980s, the Swedish Armed Forces' war organization included a total of about 850,000 people, including the Home Guard. Emergency stocks during the Cold War were scattered throughout the country in order to reduce vulnerability. In stores were stored, for example, alloy metals, coal, oil and fuels for e.g. agriculture as well as preserves, cooking oil and inputs to secure food security. Well into the 1990s, there were huge stocks of coffee that could only be used if the war came. Eventually, work began on dismantling these huge stocks of (from a contingency point of view) important goods - from oil, staple foods, components, etc. Among other things, 1.2 million cubic meters of oil were sold. When inventories decreased, the state was also able to sell warehouses. In November 1989, the Berlin Wall was demolished and less than a year later, West and East Germany were reunited. Two years later, in September 1991, the Soviet Union and then the Warsaw Pact were dissolved. The bill ahead of the 1992 Total Defense Decision dismissed the threat of a large-scale attack on Central Europe. At the same time as the military tension in the world decreased, the demand for rescue operations increased. SRV received new and extensive international information in connection with major earthquakes, refugee flows and forest fires in other countries. In 1994, the number of military and civilian areas was reduced to three: the Northern, Central and Southern military / civilian areas. The army's number at mobilization at the end of World War II was about 600,000 people. This number had increased to about 700,000 people in the early 1980s due to demographic developments. At most, it was estimated that about 850,000 people, including about 110,000 Home Guard soldiers, that could be mobilized for the military defense by Sweden. Defense decisions during this decade led to sharp reductions and until the year between 1990 and 2000, the estimated mobilization number decreased by about two thirds. The defense decision in 2000 came to be a clear step away from the defense structure built up during the Second World War. The assessment was that in principle there were no military threats against Sweden in the early 2000s. Following the changes made in 2002, Swedish crisis preparedness has been tested at all levels. A selection of events, for example, the murder of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in 2003, the floods in Småland in 2004, the tsunami disaster in Asia in 2004, the storm Gudrun in 2005, the chemical discharge in Helsingborg in 2005, the bus accident in Arboga in 2006, the road and railway landslide (E6) in Bohuslän, 2006, the evacuation of Swedes from Lebanon 2006, the storm Per 2007, the "new" flu A (H1N1) 2009, the helicopter robbery in Västberga 2009, the suicide bomber on Drottninggatan in Stockholm 2010, the tsunami and the nuclear accident in Japan (Fukushima) 2011, the evacuation of Swedes from Libya 2011, the terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utöya 2011, the oil spill at Tjörn 2011, the Greek debt crisis 2011-2012, the riots in mainly the Stockholm area 2013, the Ukraine crisis and the annexation of Crimea 2014, the forest fire in Västmanland 2014, the terrorist attacks in Paris 2015, the school attack in Trollhättan 2015, the refugee situation (starting) in 2015, the terrorist attack on Drottninggatan in 2017 and the forest fires in the summer of 2018.

In 2014, NATO introduced the new in-depth partner format Enhanced Opportunity Program (EOP) to which Sweden joined. The delegation is responsible for Sweden's cooperation with NATO within the framework of the Partnership for Peace (PFF) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPR). Sweden has also signed a host country agreement with NATO that aims to increase the Armed Forces' ability to provide and receive civilian and military support from NATO countries. After 2013, the external situation and thus the conditions for Swedish security policy changed. The military threat in the immediate area was judged to be higher after Russia's annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine, as well as after more pronounced Russian great power ambitions and incidents in the Baltic Sea region. The threat from terrorism was judged to be higher. The dormant conscription was resumed, the total defense planning was resumed and the Armed Forces formulated a new doctrine focused on territorial defense. The crisis preparedness system continued to be developed to deal with peacetime crises, but also began to adapt to the demands placed on civil defense in war and heightened preparedness. On 8 January 2017, the government published the national security strategy, which is a focus and framework strategy for the work required of all actors and levels in society to safeguard Sweden's security. Its purpose is to strengthen Sweden's ability to coordinate prevention and meet immediate and long-term threats. In the last week of May 2018, MSB sent out community information in the brochure "If the crisis or the war comes". The brochure was last published in 1961. The new edition will increase people's knowledge to be better prepared for the consequences of serious accidents, extreme weather, IT attacks, terrorist attacks or war. The national security strategy from 2017 is based on protection values ​​such as life and health, democracy and the judiciary, the economy, the freedoms and rights of the inhabitants and the sovereignty of the state. It describes threats that are both structural - such as natural disasters, migration, the spread of conflict - and antagonistic - such as the actions of foreign states, terrorist organizations and organized crime.

Swedish current crisis preparedness and total defense

Ordinary administrative structures mean that no special laws come into play in a crisis situation. The laws that apply under normal conditions also apply in a crisis situation. According to the Government's letter (2009/10: 124), the principle of responsibility means that those who have a responsibility for an activity under normal conditions have a corresponding responsibility even in crisis situations. During serious events and crises, there is a forum for information exchange between the Government Offices, authorities and the Crisis Management Council. The council includes the following heads of authorities: the National Commissioner of Police (Police Authority), the Commander-in-Chief (Armed Forces), the Chief of Police (Security Police), the Director General of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, the Director General of the National Board of Health and Welfare, the Director General of MSB. The council also includes a governor who represents the county administrative boards. It also includes representatives of the relevant government departments, i.e. The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Social Affairs. So far, the Crisis Management Council has met in extraordinary meetings on five occasions. This has happened in 2010 (the ash cloud from the volcano Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland), 2011 (the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan), 2015 (the refugee situation in Sweden and the EU), 2016 (IT attacks that affected several large Swedish media houses) and the last time was in connection with forest fires which took place during the summer of 2018. In addition to being the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister is also the head of the Prime Minister's Committee and of the entire authority, the Government Offices. Thus, the Prime Minister is ultimately responsible for the Government Offices' organization for crisis management.

Authorities with special responsibility for crisis preparedness

  • Affärsverket Svenska kraftnät
  • Elsäkerhetsverket
  • Finansinspektionen
  • Folkhälsomyndigheten
  • Försäkringskassan
  • Kustbevakningen
  • Livsmedelsverket
  • Luftfartsverket
  • Länsstyrelserna
  • Migrationsverket
  • Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap
  • Pensionsmyndigheten
  • Polismyndigheten
  • Post- och telestyrelsen
  • Riksgäldskontoret
  • Sjöfartsverket
  • Skatteverket
  • Socialstyrelsen
  • Statens energimyndighet
  • Statens jordbruksverk
  • Statens veterinärmedicinska anstalt
  • Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten
  • Säkerhetspolisen
  • Trafikverket
  • Transportstyrelsen
  • Tullverket

The authorities that have a special responsibility for crisis preparedness in Sweden are divided into six so-called areas of cooperation (SO):

  • Technical Infrastructure (SOTI)
  • Transports (SOTP)
  • Hazardous substances (SOFÄ)
  • Financial Security (SOES)
  • Geographical Area Responsibility (SOGO) and
  • Protection, rescue and care (SOSUV).

As of January 1, 2017, MSB is chairman of all collaboration areas. Civil society consists of various organizations, foundations, church activities or associations that gather on a voluntary basis, but it is not part of the public activities. The voluntary defense organizations (FFO) conduct activities that include defense information as well as the recruitment and training of volunteers for tasks within crisis preparedness and total defense. They have a specially designated position according to the Ordinance (1994: 524) on voluntary defense activities. There are currently 18 voluntary defense organizations:

  • Flygvapenfrivilligas Riksförbund
  • Frivilliga Automobilkårernas Riksförbund
  • Frivilliga Flygkåren
  • Frivilliga Motorcykelkårernas Riksförbund
  • Frivilliga Radioorganisationen
  • Försvarets Personaltjänstförbund
  • Insatsingenjörernas Riksförbund
  • Sjövärnskårernas Riksförbund
  • Sveriges Bilkårers Riksförbund
  • Svenska Blå Stjärnan
  • Svenska Brukshundklubben
  • Sveriges Civilförsvarsförbund
  • Svenska Fallskärmsförbundet
  • Svenska Försvarsutbildningsförbundet
  • Svenska Lottakåren
  • Svenska Pistolskytteförbundet
  • Svenska Röda Korset
  • Svenska Skyttesportförbundet

MSB and the Swedish Armed Forces offer financial support to the defense organizations in the form of organizational support. The Act (2003: 778) on protection against accidents specifies the responsibilities of individual citizens. According to the law, anyone who discovers or otherwise becomes aware of a fire or accident that involves danger to someone's life or serious risk to someone's health or the environment is obliged to warn those who are in danger and, if necessary, call for help. The same applies to anyone who becomes aware that there is an imminent danger of fire or such an accident. The law also deals with the duty of service. The duty means that everyone between the ages of 18-65 is obliged to participate in the rescue service as long as the person's knowledge, health and physical strength allow it. Conscription means that the rescue leader for an operation can request extra support from private individuals. All Swedish citizens and those who live in Sweden in the age range 16-70 are obliged to do total defense. The duty means to serve in the total defense to the extent that the person's physical strength and state of health allows. If the government has decided on increased preparedness, general service (not to be confused with "duty" according to the Act (2003: 778) on protection against accidents) can be activated if it is deemed necessary to maintain a certain type of activity that is important for the total defense.

MSB and several other central authorities recommend that citizens have home equipment to cope with at least 72 hours. For three days, everyone should be able to cover their basic needs for water, food, heat and information. In the Defense Committee's interim report from December 2017, it is proposed that the target for individual citizens' home equipment be extended to seven days, ie 168 hours. Only then can individuals expect public support in crises and wars.


1 Prerequisites for crisis preparedness and total defense in Sweden (2019) % C3% B6rsvar% 20i% 20Sweden% 202019.pdf

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.


10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

12 The Civil Defense Association was formed in 1937, changed its name in 1951 from the National Air Protection Association.


14 Prerequisites for crisis preparedness and total defense in Sweden (2019) % C3% B6rsvar% 20i% 20Sweden% 202019.pdf

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