Govt. launches guide on how to survive Russian invasion, with tips including how to prepare for war and what to do if hostilities break out!
A new ‘guidebook’ giving Poles tips on what to do if they are captured by Russian soldiers in the event of invasion includes instructions such as ‘don’t beg’, ‘make eye contact’ and only run away ‘if you are sure you can make it’.
Entitled ‘Be Ready. Guidebook for Crisis and War’, the list of dos and don’ts was written by experts from the Government Centre for Safety (RCB), who say that "it pays to be knowledgeable and prepared for different situations."
The RCB posted the advisory on its website Tuesday, April 5, just a couple of days after news of images of Russian war crimes from Bucha emerged.
The 36-page manual consists of two parts. The first contains information about how to prepare for war, the second describes what to do if hostilities break out.
The material includes information on how to prepare for evacuation; how to behave in case of contamination, lack of electricity supply or being taken captive; how to give first aid; how to protect yourself from disinformation in order not to panic; how to behave during an alarm and what the various alarm signals mean.
“The reality around us has shown many times that it is worth having knowledge and being prepared for different situations,” said Damian Duda of the RCB.
He stressed that the ability to cope with threatening situations is an extremely important element of building a resilient society, and this translates directly into the resilience of the state.
The manual tells Poles to be ready to turn their homes into shelters by designating the safest places at home, usually the basement, away from windows.
“Prepare food products with long expiration dates that can be eaten cold - candy bars, canned goods, ready meals (bigos, meatballs, beans), dry bread.”
It also advises people to prepare 14 litres of water for each person in the home by filling up plenty of water bottles and even filling the bath full of water.
A further section tells people to prepare an evacuation backpack and what to put in it.
The list of essentials includes a whistle, matches/lighter, a can opener, a multitool pocket knife, elastic bands and string, a notebook, cash in small denominations, food for two days, a map and compass, passport, ID and birth and marriage certificates.
During evacuation, the RCB advises avoiding wearing brown and green coloured clothes and backpacks. “They might think you are a soldier!”
In a gunfight, the manual says: “The most important thing is to remove yourself from the attacker's line of fire. […] Take advantage of the terrain and available obstacles (walls, metal structures).”
“Run as far away as possible and, if possible, inform others of the location of the person who is shooting or might shoot. Avoid contact with armed people.”
If escape is impossible, “...fight back. Use all your strengths. Don't be afraid to hurt the attacker - he is the ‘bad guy’. Your passivity could decide the lives of many others.”
In the event of explosions, people are advised to fall to the ground and cover their head with their hands, then find shelter and help evacuate the injured.
If the enemy uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, people are advised to move in the opposite direction of the wind, protect their airways and skin, and when leaving a contaminated area, shower, put on clean clothes and put the dirty clothes in a plastic bag.
Perhaps the most chilling advice in the manual is what to do in what it calls “temporary occupation of terrain” by enemy soldiers.
People are advised not to approach unknown vehicles and not to look at military equipment. “They might think you’re a spy.”
Further guidelines say not take photos or record soldiers as it may provoke them to be aggressive.
“If an enemy soldier wants to inspect your documents, give them to him. Do not look away. Stand still. Follow his instructions. Do not look around or talk to others.
In the worst-case scenario of being taken captive, the manual is explicit: “You have one goal - to survive. Accept the situation you are in and be prepared to wait. Don't be nervous and don't and don't panic. The worst part is the first 45 minutes.”
During captivity, people are advised not to strike up a conversation, answer politely, don't argue, don't beg, explain, or make excuses.
Captives should not turn their back on their captors and maintain eye contact.
“Eat what they give you even if you don't feel like it; Get plenty of rest and sleep; Only run away when you are sure you're going to make it.”
Poland is not the only country in the region to provide this kind of advice to its citizens. In 2018. Sweden sent leaflets to every home in the country outlining how to behave in wartime.
Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, Switzerland and the United States have also published similar guidelines.
The advice issued by Poland is broadly similar to that published by these countries.
Be Ready. Guidebook for Crisis and War is available on the RCB website. At the moment, it is only available in Polish language.