How to Prepare for a Power Outage

Reading time: 4 min

It’s late at night, and outdoors the storm is raging. Suddenly, there’s a bang outside and a second later the lights inside go out. A look to the window and we see the apartments across the way have gone dark as well and even the streetlights are out. A tree has been blown over and taken out the power lines. Lamps, refrigerator, stove, heat, TV … in a power outage like this they are all out for the count.

Though a situation like this doesn’t happen very often, it’s still a good idea to be prepared for unexpected situations and to know what needs doing. With a little preparedness you’ll get through the outage without trouble.

Let There Be Light

When the lights indoors fall dark, a flashlight is the simple tool you need. Lamps powered by a hand crank or by a solar cell are ideal. For traditional flashlights, it’s important to have enough replacement batteries on hand.

Candles are another alternative. To use the candles, you only need a lighter or matches as well.

Candles should always be used in fire-safe holders due to the fire hazard. We also recommend regularly ensuring fresh air influx to reduce the risk of possible health hazards from materials in the air resulting from the burning of the candle.

Have Cash on Hand in the Home

If the power goes out, ATMs and card payment machines will also not work. In case of a longer power outage, you should be sure to have sufficient cash reserves in the home in order to be able to buy food and other necessities.

What to Do in a Power Outage? More Tips & Information.

If the power goes out, the electric stove and heating will of course also not work. To find out more on how to cook and heat without electricity, see the articles below:

In the article “How to prepare for disasters?” (only available in English) put out by the German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance you will find numerous other tips and additional information on power outages and other emergencies.

Click here for a checklist on preparing for a power or gas outage to download and print.

Checklist For A Power or Gas Outage

pdf 0.06 MB

This is a checklist that explains how to heat, cook or provide lighting in an emergency without electricity or gas and what precautions should be taken.