Skip
Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Germany May Require Citizens To Stockpile Food And Water For Civil Defense

Is this measure pure fear-mongering? Or simply smart preparedness?

[Photo: Tom Marvin/Getty Images]

Germany’s government may require citizens to stockpile food, water, and other supplies, in case of catastrophe or attack. This requirement is part of a 69-page "Concept for Civil Defense" proposal due to be discussed by the government this week.

The document, from Germany’s Interior Ministry, found its way into the hands of German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine, and details the country’s first new civil defense plan since the end of the Cold War. It would require all German households to keep 10 days of food, and five days of water in case of emergency, as well as sufficient energy and cash to survive until the government sends help.

The plans also discuss the protection of "state bodies," that is, the government, police, and so on, and also a "reliable alert system."

[Photo: Bet_Noire/iStock]

According to the BBC, Germany still keeps regularly checked stockpiles of emergency food—beans, milk-powder, that kind of thing—in case of emergency, and still has plans in place to issue food stamps, implementing rationing in case of disaster.

The leaked document, then, is more of a sensible update for an already-prepared country, with a practical shift to address the issues most likely to be faced. For instance, the proposal says that Germany is unlikely to face an attack from outside i.e. a conventional invasion. Any threat is more likely to be internal. This year, Germany has experienced (or thwarted) several terror attacks. In Europe, the possibility of one country invading another is so remote it seems pointless to guard against it, whereas terror attacks, both domestic and international, are increasingly likely. This update to Germany’s civil defense preparation, then, seems like little more than a sensible relocation of resources.

Whether or not the government demands that its citizens stock up on food, water, and spare batteries remains to be seen. But given how many of my German friends have insurance for pretty much anything that can be insured, it seems unlikely that many people will complain if it does.

Have something to say about this article? You can email us and let us know. If it's interesting and thoughtful, we may publish your response.

ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?
Register now to make sure you have a voice in the election.
loading