The Impact of Power Outages: What Can’t Run Without Electricity?


Power interruptions are a common occurrence in Germany, with the Bundesnetzagentur reporting thousands of power outages annually, resulting in lights being out for more than three minutes. However, it is important to determine whether these outages are merely temporary inconveniences or have become a habitual part of our daily lives.

The Impact of Power Outages: From Heating to Healthcare

A power outage not only affects the ability to charge your phone or turn on the lights, but also has a significant impact on everyday activities. Without electricity, heating, hot water, refrigeration, and computer usage become impossible or severely limited. Additionally, traffic chaos and a breakdown in medical services could occur due to affected traffic lights, supermarket cash registers, fuel pumps, and bank ATMs. Thankfully, many institutions and companies have backup power generators, and regulations exist to ensure emergency power supply in hospitals and animal facilities. The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance has also developed guidelines to establish and ensure emergency power supply.

Expert advice: Turn off all electrical devices during power outages

In case of a power outage, experts advise turning off and disconnecting all electrical devices from the power grid. Afterward, it is recommended to check if the power has been restored by turning on a device. If the circuit breakers are tripped or the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) switch has been flipped, they can be manually reset. Electrical devices should be reconnected one by one to determine if the power outage was caused by overload or a faulty device. If the power still does not come back, it is likely that the entire house or even the neighborhood is affected. In this case, the local power utility should be contacted to report the outage and obtain further information.

Minimize opening refrigerator door during power outage to preserve cooling

To maintain the cooling inside the refrigerator during a prolonged power outage, experts recommend minimizing the opening of the refrigerator door. Depending on the energy efficiency class of the appliance and the outside temperature, food can remain adequately chilled for approximately five hours.

During a longer power outage, it is advisable to confine activities to a single main living area and keep doors closed. For meal preparation, smaller meals can be cooked on a camping stove. Essential items such as flashlights, candles, lighters, matches, solar-powered battery chargers, power banks, and camping or outdoor lamps can prove invaluable. It is recommended to have a supply of cash on hand as ATMs will not function during a power outage. A solar, crank, or battery-operated radio and the NINA warning app can help stay informed and receive critical information.

Preparing for Power Outages: Stocking Up on Essentials

While it may not be necessary to stock up on food supplies for shorter power outages, experts recommend having a 10-day supply for those who want to be well-prepared. This should include two liters of water and food totaling around 2,200 kilocalories per day per person. The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance provides a checklist to help create a balanced food supply. Additionally, the BBK’s emergency cooking book offers practical tips for cooking without electricity.

Mit der richtigen Vorbereitung: Minimierung der Auswirkungen von Stromausfällen in Deutschland

Power outages are a common occurrence in Germany, but with proper preparation and measures, their impact can be minimized. Institutions and companies are supported by backup generators, regulations for emergency power supply, and guidelines. On an individual level, turning off devices, checking fuses, and stocking up on food and essential items can help navigate through a power outage.

Leave A Reply