Crisis Emergency Supplies: What Everyone Should Have at Home

“It definitely makes sense to have an emergency supply at home”: Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) gave this recommendation to the German population on Sunday in the context of the war in Ukraine. However, federal and state authorities have been advising private emergency preparedness for a long time, regardless of the current crisis situation.

The list of reasons why it is generally advisable to stock up on emergency supplies is long: if you have to isolate yourself due to a coronavirus infection, if you are forced to stay in bed for several days due to an acute illness, to disaster-scenarios such as a prolonged blackout or a bottleneck in the drinking water supply. #

Supplies for at least three, better for ten days

The Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry recommends privately stocking up on food for at least three days, but ideally a ten-day supply. The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief (BBK) also advises keeping food and drink at home for ten days. According to the authorities, the period should be enough to overcome difficult situations until state aid arrives or the emergency situations are overcome.

Home emergency supplies.

A sufficient supply of drinks is very important, because a person can survive for three weeks without food, but only four days without fluids. Although it is rare for tap water to fail, according to the website of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, it is vital to survival when in doubt. The general rules of the authority are two liters of liquid and 2,200 kilocalories of food per person per day.

What this means in concrete terms for your own household can be calculated individually with a supply calculator on the website of the Federal Ministry of Nutrition. There is also a separate table for vegetarians. The corresponding tips can also be found on the website of the Bavarian State Ministry of Nutrition.

The “smart box”: stock recommendation for one person and three days

The Bavarian State Ministry of Nutrition has, according to the motto “Whoever is smart, take precautions!” summed up his stock recommendation in a “smart box.” This box, which should be enough for one person and three days, contains: six liters of water, a packet of oatmeal or muesli, one liter of UHT milk, 750 grams of bread, 450 grams of spreadable cream, 400 grams of fruit , a package of sweet or salty cookies, 300 grams of nuts or dried fruits, 100 grams of butter or margarine and 1,200 grams of vegetables (peelable or raw). The fact that these recommendations do not include any foods to cook (eg pasta or potatoes) is intentional: this way you can have a reasonably balanced diet even without electricity.

Don’t buy everything at once

The Federal Office for Civil Protection recommends building the emergency stock piece by piece. For example, buying an additional pack of products with a longer shelf life and replenishing stock before the last pack is opened. By taking advantage of special offers, you can also save money.

This is stated by the Bavarian State Ministry of Nutrition. Of course, supplies should be checked regularly to make sure they’re still edible. Here the strategy of “living supply” helps, writes the BBK: Integrate the supply in the daily consumption of food so that it is exhausted and renewed over and over again.

Emergency supplies are not the same as “hamsters”

The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance expressly points out the difference between buying hamsters and creating an emergency supply. Hoarders impulsively and unthinkingly hoard food and other things that may seem scarce. It’s different with an emergency supply: here, essentials are bought very specifically when the weather is safe, to get you through ten days without a problem, for example.

Also think about medicines and documents.

In addition to an emergency supply, every home should also have a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Checklists for medicines and bandages or aids can be found on the websites of Stiftung Warentest and many health insurance companies.

It is also advisable to keep all important documents in a briefcase, bag or backpack within easy reach. On the website of the Federal Office of Civil Protection, there are recommendations on which must be included in original (for example, family certificates) and which must be certified or simple copies (for example, DNI, driver’s license).

Don’t Forget Pet Emergency Preparedness

Last but not least, you should also think about everything you need for dogs, cats and the like, i.e. food, bedding and medicine. Because in the event of a supply crisis, the State is responsible for the basic food supply of the population based on the Food Safety and Prevention Law. However, pets are not taken into account. Therefore, owners are asked to be sufficiently prepared for the worst case scenario.

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