If War Comes? Stock Up on Tortillas and Wet Wipes, Sweden Suggests

STOCKHOLM — It’s not that Sweden’s authorities is nervous. Officials simply need the four.eight million Swedish households to be ready for rising seas, cyber sabotage, pretend information, terrorist assaults, meals shortages and even conflict with a sure large neighbor to the east.

“What would you do if your everyday life was turned upside down?” reads the introduction to “If Crisis or War Comes,” a newly revised emergency handbook from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.

The revised handbook, in Swedish and English, was posted on the company’s web site on Monday. It is the primary vital revision of the handbook because the midst of the Cold War a half century in the past, and displays an evolving variety of threats that embody flooding from local weather change and the vulnerabilities of the web and social media to hackers and malcontents.

“Although Sweden is safer than many other countries, there are still threats to our security and independence,” the handbook asserts, with out figuring out exactly which different international locations or teams harbor hostile intentions.

But Sweden and different Scandinavian international locations have expressed elevated concern about what they view as provocative actions by Russia, notably because the Russians annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine 4 years in the past.

The Swedes and their Scandinavian neighbors have continuously complained about territorial infringements by Russian warplanes and submarines, grievances that Russia has dismissed as Western propaganda.

Reversing a pattern, the Swedish authorities started spending extra on its navy in 2016, and final yr determined to revive conscription after a seven-year break. While not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Sweden carefully coordinates its defenses with the alliance.

The final time Swedes obtained this type of sensible ideas from their authorities on how one can cope if conflict involves their nation was in 1961, when emergency officers distributed a handbook titled “In Case of War.”

Back then the main target was on how one can react if Sweden have been invaded, stated Christina Andersson, the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency official who produced the revised handbook.

Ms. Andersson stated in a phone interview that the revised handbook emphasised safety from peacetime disasters like these linked to local weather change and failures in info expertise.

“It is much more likely that we have a storm, or flooding, or an I.T. attack, than that we have a military attack,” Ms. Andersson stated. For anybody who “really wants Sweden to come to a standstill,” she stated, info expertise is a weak space.

“We are extremely dependent on IT systems and the electrical grid,” she stated. “If something happens to these systems we will have problems.”

The revised handbook provides lists of emergency conditions. On meals, for instance, it recommends stocking up on tortillas, spreadable cheese, on the spot mashed potatoes, precooked lentils, tins of Bolognese sauce and fruit purée, amongst different issues.

Other requirements embody buckets with lids, a automotive radio, moist wipes and an inventory of essential cellphone numbers on paper.

The revised handbook additionally features a particular part on how one can detect “false information,” a reference to propaganda or what has additionally turn out to be often known as pretend information.

“States and organizations are already using misleading information in order to try and influence our values and how we act,” the handbook states. “The aim may be to reduce our resilience and willingness to defend ourselves.”

Among the questions to protect towards false info, the handbook states, are: “What is the aim of this information? Who has put this out? Is the source trustworthy?”

Christina Anderson reported from Stockholm, and Rick Gladstone from New York.

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