The risk of a power outage in Germany this winter is low. But a blackout cannot be completely ruled out either. The head of the Medical Disaster Relief Agency therefore advises preparing for a possible blackout.

Concern about a possible power outage is growing. It is important that citizens deal with the issue, said the head of operations and President of the Medical Disaster Relief Organization (MHW), Robert Schmitt, on Saturday at a self-help course with around 80 participants in Tuntenhausen, Upper Bavaria.

“Anyone who is prepared and can perhaps help their neighbors relieves us emergency services. We don’t have to worry about him.” The state “cannot make provisions for everything”.

But how can you prepare? According to Schmitt, there are three things everyone should have:

Because if the electricity stays off, nothing works: no running water, no flushing toilets, no stove, no elevator, no telephone and no internet. Not only the energy shortage could trigger a blackout, but also natural disasters or extreme weather, sabotage or cyber attacks.

“We live in very turbulent and challenging times,” says Schmitt. It’s no use “if we turn the sirens back on – if we don’t explain to the citizens what they have to do then,” said Schmitt. Since 2009, the Medical Disaster Relief Organization has been offering such training courses. Demand has increased massively since the beginning of the Ukraine war. Nationwide, however, there are no comparable courses offered by aid organizations.

According to MHW spokesman Matthias Fischer, politicians have repeatedly called for such crisis preparation courses to be offered nationwide after disasters. However, there were never any concrete plans for implementation; there is also the question of financing. The MHW runs the courses with volunteers.

Topics on Saturday included cooking without electricity, alternative sources of drinking water and stockpiling for emergencies, but also initial wound care and firefighting.