Major cities prepare for X-Day: emergency plans and shelters in place

After Vilnius City Council presented its defence plan last week, representatives of other major cities said they had been preparing for possible threats for some time. Kaunas City Municipality recently focused on installing additional shelters to strengthen its defence. At the same time, the port city of Klaipėda, has prepared an emergency management plan. Although municipalities also have mobilisation plans, the latter are classified and not made public.

Klaipėda.<br>Photo: A. Ufartas (ELTA)
Klaipėda.<br>Photo: A. Ufartas (ELTA)
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Jul 9, 2024, 1:03 PM

„The city has emergency management and mobilisation plans and annexes. These documents are regularly updated in response to changes in infrastructure, ongoing development, works and the current situation“, – Tadas Metelionis, Director of Kaunas City Municipality Administration, said in his reply to the press.

However, he stressed that the mobilisation plan needs to be publicised. According to the Director of the administration, the possible directions of retreat, the actions of services and other units, the evacuation of the population, and the intermediate meeting points will depend on the specific situation. Residents would be informed promptly of actions relevant to them as and when required.

According to Metelionis, Kaunas Municipality has approved a programme and is ready to finance the installation of shelters in apartment blocks from its funds.

„Up to 100% of the city's support can be allocated for the reinforcement of existing protective structures or the construction of new ones, the installation of additional emergency exits from shelters, drinking water supply, storage and sewage disposal, air filtration systems and emergency lighting. At the same time, the electrical installation will be able to be upgraded with the possibility of connecting an autonomous power supply“, explained the Director of the Administration.

„The shelters would currently accommodate 110,000 inhabitants, while the collective protection structures would accommodate 150,000 Kaunas residents. All new buildings are also being designed with such spaces in mind,“ he added.

However, Metelionis made it clear that he was sceptical about the municipality's organised public presentation of the plan.

„Kaunas consistently prepares for various scenarios of possible threats without speculating and without causing unnecessary panic at such a geopolitically sensitive time. We do not make a public relations campaign out of it,“ explained the Director of the Administration.

Klaipėda Municipality has prepared an emergency management plan

Meanwhile, Klaipėda City Municipality has prepared an emergency management plan. According to the city authorities, the plan is constantly updated.

„Klaipėda City Municipality has prepared an emergency management plan, which describes how to behave in similar cases, provides algorithms of actions, which are regularly tested during various exercises, identifies their shortcomings, and identifies areas for improvement,“ said Rūta Baltrušaitė, Chief Specialist of Civil Protection and Mobilisation of Klaipėda City Municipality, in a reply to Elta.

„The plan describes in detail the actions in case of various emergencies, provides the main routes, and indicates the preliminary assembly points for the population, which may change depending on the situation. Please note that the plan is regularly reviewed and updated in the light of changing risks and the latest legislative requirements,“ she added.

According to Ms Baltrušaitė, eight hazardous facilities in the port city of Klaipėda have internal emergency plans that describe the actions to be taken in the event of an emergency.

„Klaipėda State Seaport Authority has its separate emergency management plan, which also describes in detail all the mandatory actions to be taken in case of various emergencies. In addition to the emergency management plans of the municipality and its institutions, which provide for the evacuation of the population, the municipality's mobilisation plan also provides for certain actions. Still, the latter is classified, and the actions provided for in the plan are not made public,“ she emphasised.

ELTA recalls that Vilnius City Municipality presented the defence policy plan last week.

It provides for the acquisition of counter-mobility equipment, the installation of an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) training area, assistance to the commandant's offices and the hosting of a German Brigade.

The capital also plans to update its evacuation plan, search for shelters, develop a network of warning sirens and develop a mobile app.

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