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Emergency Prevention

Suddenly without electricity and without telephone? The supermarkets closed due to a disaster? What can I do to be prepared for such situations?

Storms with catastrophic consequences, power outages, pandemic emergencies, cyber attacks or acts of war: In a highly technological world, disasters can occur at any time. The population's ability to help itself is, along with government preparedness, the central building block for being able to cope well as a society with such events.

A comprehensive overview of emergency preparedness, including practical checklists, is provided in the brochure  "Guide for Emergency - Preparedness and Correct Action in Emergency Situations" (opens in a new tab) by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK).

Read below to find out how you can take personal precautions.


To obtain vital information in the event of a temporary or prolonged power outage, a battery-powered radio with sufficient spare batteries is recommended.

Likewise, you should have personal medications on hand and regularly check your medicine cabinet for completeness and replace expired contents.

The BBK provides further information on this page:  Ready to go fast in an emergency:  The medicine cabinet (opens in a new tab)

The BBK also recommends keeping important documents handy at all times in a document folder and saving copies of documents digitally or storing them elsewhere.

The BBK provides further information on the document folder  here. (opens in a new tab)

Food and drink: Stocking up on emergency supplies

The BBK recommends stockpiling supplies. The goal should be to be able to get by for ten days without shopping. In the following checklist, the BBK provides an overview of what a person should stockpile in food and drink for ten days.

Drinks and food: BBK  checklist for downloading (opens in a new tab) (german language).

Further information on stocking up on food and drink is provided by the BBK  on this page. (opens in a new tab)

The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture provides, among other things, sample tables for stocks as well as vegetarian stocks. You can use a stock calculator,  which you can find here (opens in a new tab) (german language), to calculate your personal stockpile.

Laying out and storing food properly

An emergency supply is important, but food has a limited shelf life. Your food supply must therefore be stored and cared for properly. You can find tips on how to do this at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture:

Preparedness for storms and floods

The devastating consequences that extreme weather events such as flash floods and floods can bring were most recently demonstrated in July 2021 in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. Extreme storms can cause houses to collapse, destroy traffic routes and communications infrastructure, and disrupt electricity, gas and water supplies.

Preparedness for a power outage

A large-scale and prolonged power outage can bring public life to a standstill. Drinking water and food supplies can be interrupted, vehicles can no longer be refueled, heating, telephone networks and the Internet fail. Precautions should also be taken for such an eventuality. For example, it makes sense to have a supply of batteries and charged spare batteries, as well as solar-powered chargers. Also find out where your nearest point of contact in the city area is to report an emergency in the event of a telephone or Internet outage.

Information on  power outage preparedness (opens in a new tab) can be found at BBK.