Germans to be told to stockpile food

Germans to be told to stockpile food

Berlin’s stockpiling advice is reminiscent of the Cold War. Source: Flickr



Berlin is planning to tell people to stockpile food and water to prepare for a possible terrorist strike.

The “Concept for Civil Defence”, which is yet to be released, will call on citizens to stockpile enough food for 10 days, according to Frankfurter Allgemmeine Sonntagszeitung (FAZ). Five days of water are also required, or two litres per person per day.

Measures have been announced during August to invest more on police and security forces, including creating a specialist team to fight cybercrime and terror. Citizens are called on to keep supplies of medicines, blankets, coal, wood, candles, torches, batteries, matches and cash at home.

The authorities are to boost stocks of the smallpox vaccine and antibiotics in case of biological attack, and set up reserves of petrol and oil at 140 sites to ensure a supply for 90 days. Other provisions include decontamination centres outside hospitals in case of a nuclear, biological or chemical attack.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said the plan would be discussed by cabinet. Germany remains on high alert after two Islamist strikes and a mass shooting in Munich by a mentally unstable teenager last month.

Opposition MPs condemned the plans, saying a call to stockpile food “could completely unsettle people”, according to Dietmar Bartsch of the Left Party. FAZ said the report was first commissioned by a committee of MPs in 2012.

The 69-page report did not say an attack by conventional military forces as probable.  The report, according to the paper, advised citizens to have a reliable alarm system, construction firms to introduce better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system.

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen recently said that the country was in the “crosshairs of terrorism” and called for the military to train with the police in preparation for large-scale attacks.

West Germans lived with the repeated sound of siren tests that would warn of a Soviet strike. After the reunification of Germany in 1990, many civil defence measures lapsed but a review was first ordered after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and severe flooding in Germany in 2002.

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