Germany at risk of ′catastrophic′ power shortages | News | DW | 27.11.2018
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Germany at risk of 'catastrophic' power shortages

According to an internal report by Germany's civil protection agency, prolonged power shortages would disrupt the supply of vital goods in the country. The country lacks the necessary contigency plans for such an event.

Prolonged, large-scale power shortages in Germany would cause a significant lack supplies, which could have "catastrophic" effects on the country.

The alarm was raised by Germany's Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) in an internal position paper, which was viewed by newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe – a group that includes local newspapers across Germany.

In the research paper, the BBK reportedly wrote that a big power failure would result in a "significant distribution problem for important, sometimes vital goods" in almost all areas of society.

Electricity supply safe, but citizens and services unprepared

According to the report, this is also due to a lack of contingency plans for the distribution of fuel, food and medicines, particularly at the state and local level.

"Most of the gas stations wouldn't provide any fuel. In a matter of hours, telephones and the internet could no longer be used. One would no longer be able to get a hold of any cash," says the BBK's paper.

Medical supplies could also only be provided for a short period of time, while critical infrastructure like the supply of energy, food and water, transport, telecommunications and finance would be affected.

But despite it ringing the alarm bell, the BBK believes such a catastrophic scenario in Germany isn't imminent.

In fact, in its report the agency writes that the country's electricity supply is "very safe," and praised recent measures that improved IT security and increased the number of emergency power generators.

The BBK's website advises that in case of a prolonged power shortage, citizens should wear warm clothes and light a fire with a supply of coal or wood to make up for the lack of heating.

It also advises to keep a stock of candles and flashlights, to prepare meals on a camping stove, and to have a sufficient reserve of cash in the house in case ATMs stop working due to the power failure.


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