The Czech Republic is not sufficiently prepared for crises and extraordinary events. Who is to blame and how should it change?

The Czech Republic is not sufficiently prepared for crises and extraordinary events. Who is to blame and how should it change?
The Czech Republic is not sufficiently prepared for crises and extraordinary events. Who is to blame and how should it change?

The preparedness of the Czechs for potential crises or extraordinary events is dismal. Many people do not know what to do in the event of a chemical spill in their vicinity or where there is a permanent shelter to hide in if threatened. This follows from the annual report of the Supreme Audit Office for last year. In the light of the aggravated situation in the east of Europe and the constant rattling of weapons, it would be more than advisable to deal with the situation seriously.

According to its president Miloslav Kala, the Supreme Audit Office conducted a survey among 48,000 respondents, who were asked whether they knew how to behave in crisis situations and whether they knew where there was a shelter. “The result amazed us, maybe paralyzed us, because 80 percent of the respondents have no information at all about the location of the permanent shelter. Almost half of the people did not know how to behave in the event of a chemical spill, which can happen in an ordinary winter stadium or in a factory. We also saw that the state invested a lot of money, but the result is that we have real shelter for three percent of the people,” Kala told Radiožurnál. If we translate it into real numbers, that three percent is less than 330 thousand people. But what about the others?

At a time when Europe lived in peace, any reminder of such situations would have reeked of raising an alarm, spreading alarmist reports or discovering scarecrows that (after all) do not exist. But Europe has not lived in peace for more than two years. News from the “Eastern” front became an integral part of the newspaper’s content. In recent months, news about the movement of the front line and the events in Ukraine and Russia have already been supplemented by materials about real threats to the conflict between Russia and NATO, including the use of nuclear weapons.

This fact alone should be enough of a wake-up call for our society to start taking this eventuality at least a little bit seriously. People read mass reports about the war and information from both sides, which properly try to edit the propaganda, both domestic and foreign. While many people are able to argue bitterly about whether to continue supporting Ukraine or whether the Ukrainians should back down and make peace with Russia at the cost of losing territory, there is no discussion of what would happen if the potential threat reached us. No one is solving it. As in the past when we were dealing with other current issues. Their chaotic solution had a common denominator: we were not prepared and we improvised. While smart companies should learn from the crises, we are floundering and pretending that it will not affect us in the end. Let’s hope so. But what if not?

Czechs are experts in debates when it comes to the price of food, petrol and gas or whether Fiala is better than Babiš. They know everything, understand everything and are clear about everything. But to think about what to do when trouble occurs is not very appealing to them. It seems distant to them. It’s not entirely their fault. The media and political representation, from the highest level to the municipal, have their share in this. It is therefore high time for these entities to stick their heads out of the sand and begin to perceive the current scenery as a potential threat. Again, this threat may not materialize, but it is good to be prepared for it. The best materially and spatially. But that’s just wishful thinking at the moment. At the very beginning, it would be enough for people to be informed and instructed about what they should do in crisis situations and what is expected of them.

When defining measures, we should not see it as a shame to draw inspiration from abroad. On the contrary. Pressure for this information should also come from below from ordinary people. Because they are always the ones who bounce off any misfortune. Therefore, they should not only be concerned about whether they will have a full fridge or where they will go on vacation, but also where they will hide when disaster strikes. Regional politicians should also take up the topic. They will get their first such opportunity this autumn in the regional elections.

The article is in Czech


Tags: Czech Republic sufficiently prepared crises extraordinary events blame change


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