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Are you prepared for the next emergency? Upcoming ISO standard for resilience and hardened shelters

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Historically, there has never been a harmonized standard for civil protection, but that could soon come to an end with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) preparations to standardize the industry.

Reinforced concrete dual-purpose underground parking garage and mass shelter.
Reinforced concrete dual-purpose underground parking garage and mass shelter.

"Just as a shelter is only as safe as its weakest point, a country's defense is measured by how it protects its civilians in an emergency," says Guy Zymann, an expert at Temet Group, who is moderating an international webinar on the new ISO standard for shelter protection.

 “It is only in Finland, Israel and Switzerland that civil shelters exist on a national scale.”

No global standard for civil protection – yet

There are currently no global guidelines for civil protection. Only Finland, Switzerland, Singapore, Israel, and Kuwait, as well as former Soviet countries such as Russia and Ukraine, have national regulations. In some cases, even these regulations are outdated or incomplete, as they do not take into account the various design, construction, and operational elements, nor the actual maintenance of the shelters built.

There is therefore a clear need for a common international guideline covering all elements of adequate protection.

"Requirements vary from country to country," says Zymann. "For example, in hot climates such as Israel, shelter occupants require more fresh air due to higher temperatures and humidity. Such differences make a global standard difficult, but the ISO should include some basic minimum requirements, which can be exceeded depending on local needs."

Shelters for dual use

The ISO guidelines can be used to ensure that disaster shelters are built properly. There is no need to build unnecessarily expensive civil defense shelters, but to use them frequently in daily life.

There are many examples of such "dual-use" facilities, from subway stations, hospitals, and schools to underground parking garages, storage facilities, and even sports facilities and swimming pools. Such a doctrine reduces construction costs and ensures that facilities are well maintained. "Preparation is always better than panic," says Zymann.

"Proper civil defense takes time, and since you cannot predict when and how quickly peaceful realities will change, we expect our leaders to prepare in advance. Look at Finland and Switzerland, both non-threatened countries that have been preparing since the middle of the last century," says Zymann.

Finland, with a population of 5.5 million, has had a civil defence decree since 1953.

Currently, Finland has some 50,000 shelters capable of protecting over 4.5 million civilians. Because of this status, Finland reduced the requirement to build shelters in 2011, meaning that only buildings larger than 1,200 square meters require a shelter. Shelters in Finland are designed for dual use and are used by residents on a daily basis.

In many other countries, only critical government infrastructure is protected. These include the command-and-control centres of the defence forces and first responders, data centres, parliament and government buildings, and other confidential facilities. These are important sites to protect but are not normally open to the public.

The new ISO 22359 is intended to provide guidance for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of civil defence shelters.

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Temet Group specializes in explosion protection and filter technology and will be holding an open one and a half hours webinar on 3 November 2021 at 15:00 EET. The webinar will be a panel discussion on the importance and direction of the newly formed standard, together with some members of the ISO 22359 work group. The webinar, moderated by Guy Zymann, is open to the public and will be accepting questions for the panel.

For registration and further details, please check https://www.temet.com/ or contact Guy Zymann.

For more information, please contact:

Jyrki Ronkainen, Senior Advisor to the Board
ISO 22359 WG Project Manager
Temet International
Tel: +358 50 381 8814
Email: jyrki.ronkainen@temet.com

Guy Zymann, Chief Business Development Officer
Temet Group
Tel: +358 40 626 6335
Email: guy.zymann@temet.com

About Temet. Temet is a provider of blast protection and special ventilation technology applied in protective constructions such as civilian shelters, hardened operative facilities and the chemical and petrochemical industry. 

 

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Reinforced concrete dual-purpose underground parking garage and mass shelter.
Reinforced concrete dual-purpose underground parking garage and mass shelter.
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