Many people are afraid of widespread power outages this winter. But what would happen in a blackout? How are the authorities prepared and what do citizens absolutely need to know? Crisis researcher Frank Roselieb provides answers.

Some speak of “scaremongering”, others seriously warn of dark hours or even days in Germany. This means widespread power failures in winter 2022/23.

In fact, concerns about blackouts have never been greater. In the midst of the energy crisis, many people are afraid of suddenly sitting in the dark and freezing for days.

FOCUS online asked the Kiel crisis researcher Frank Roselieb which scenarios are conceivable, which measures would then take effect and how citizens should best prepare for such a case. The expert differentiates between three phases when a longer-lasting “blackout” occurs:

When it comes to personal provision, in view of a possible “blackout”, people should again rely more on analogue instead of digital provision – i.e. have drinking water supplies, flashlights and candles at home, advises Roselieb. “Even a bag or two of gummy bears or a bar of chocolate can’t hurt and help through dark times.”

If you know which devices at home use how much electricity, you can make targeted savings. Our e-paper shows which devices consume how much electricity for all common household appliances, from ovens and hobs to refrigerators and washing machines to TVs and WLAN routers. There are also a number of instant power-saving tips.

The crisis researcher is convinced that Germany is well prepared for “blackouts”. In a scenario that has always been considered the “worst case” of all disasters in civil protection, the worst case. While the infrastructure is largely preserved in a pandemic, everything collapses in a “blackout”. No electricity, no water, no heat, no communication.

Energy revolution now! Mobility, housing, green electricity and hydrogen: What will get us out of the climate crisis – and what won’t?

The preparation is correspondingly extensive. “Here we distinguish between three ‘lines of defence’,” explains the expert.

Frank Roselieb can understand the fear of many people of “blackouts” in Germany, although he considers the risk of such incidents to be rather low. The transmission system operators in Germany, who have run through various scenarios for the security of the power supply for the coming winter on behalf of the federal government, see it in a similar way. They don’t expect a blackout either.

Overall, Roselieb recommends citizens to remain calm. “With the experience of a quarter of a century in a top position in crisis research in Germany, I recommend a solid mixture of personal provision on the one hand and a robust basic trust in the state and society on the other.