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Energy security: what to do if the power goes out?

Energy security: what to do if the power goes out?


Frequently asked questions

Status: 10/15/2022 10:06 am

Candles, hand crank radio and camping stove: if the power goes out, you should have emergency equipment in the house. In these times, that applies more than ever. How is the apartment kept warm? What inventories make sense?

The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) considers that “regardless of the current situation, it is sensible and advisable to generally think about the consequences of a power outage as part of your own precautions.” The private provision of each and every individual is also of enormous importance.

What to do if the power goes out?

The BBK advises to prepare for a power outage. The home emergency kit includes candles, matches, lighters, and flashlights. These work best with solar or battery power, here it is important to think about stock. There are also hand crank flashlights. It makes sense to have replacement devices ready to be prepared in the event of a defect.

Outdoor or camping lamps also provide light, and campers have them in their kit anyway. Some of these lamps run on kerosene, you need a corresponding supply here too.

The general rule of thumb is: An open fire presents a fire hazard, so it’s best to use candles in the lantern. Important: Do not forget to ventilate, regular renewal of the oxygen content in living rooms is necessary if you use candles as an alternative light source.

How do you keep the apartment warm?

Less than five percent of Germans heat with electricity. However, for gas or oil heating to work, electrical power is still needed, for example for the circulation pump or the control. That means: if the power fails, the heating no longer works.

If you have a fireplace, you should already stock up on charcoal, briquettes or wood in the summer. Anyone who now decides on an alternative heating source and wants to install it has to hurry, stove builders are quite busy.

Caution with gas heating sources: devices must activate an alarm if there is a lack of oxygen. “Only a few devices are approved for indoor use,” says Reinhard Loch, an energy expert at the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center. A CO alarm increases home security.

Even with warm clothes and blankets, according to the BBK, the heating can be replaced for a while. Normally it is enough to heat only one room and close the door so that the heat does not escape.

What about electrical devices?

Batteries for laptops, mobile phones and telephones should always be charged. Solar powered battery chargers or power banks are helpful in the event of a power outage. You can also play it safe with a battery-powered or hand-crank radio so you don’t miss out on news and authority information in the event of a prolonged power outage.

Anyone who expects their landlord to provide an emergency generator relies on goodwill. “If the landlord is not responsible for the power failure, for example if the power supply collapses,” says Rolf Gassmann, president of the Stuttgart Tenants’ Association, “then the tenant is not entitled to an emergency generator.” .

How do you cook without electricity?

Smaller meals can be prepared on a camping stove. Or you can use a garden or table grill, but only outdoors. Never grill in the apartment or in the house, there is a risk of suffocation. When stocking up, it makes sense to think about shelf-stable foods that can also be eaten cold. There are recipes “without light” on the BBK website.

How much stock should be accumulated?

The general rule is: eat and drink for ten days. In concrete terms, this means: two liters of water per day and person. 3.5 kilograms of cereals, cereal products, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice. Four kilos of vegetables and legumes, 2.5 kilos of fruits and nuts, 2.6 kilos of milk and derivatives, 1.5 kilos of fish, meat, eggs or whole egg powder, fats and oils as required. Sugar, salt, jam at will.

The “live stock principle” is recommended, that is, integrate stock into daily use so that nothing goes bad, and then replenish stock.

What to do with the freezer

Depending on the device, the food in the freezer will not spoil for 10 to 64 hours despite a power failure. Refrigerator manufacturers say stored food is still edible if the temperature in the freezer stays at least minus nine degrees.