The Austrian government made known to its population that the country faces the risk of a large-scale blackout which, according to experts, could occur within the next five years, and advised to stock up on food, water, candles, batteries and fuel given the possibility of not having basic services for a while.
“The question is not if there will be a big blackout, but when”, said the Minister of Defense, Klaudia tanner, which led a campaign that includes a strong presence in the media, plus some 6,000 posters on public roads. Tanner say that it is “a real danger, though underestimated”.
The Army prepared reports in which it points out that the blackout is the second biggest threat facing the country after the pandemic in terms of security. What could cause the massive power outage? Experts allege that the system is exposed to both a cyber attack and a terrorist attack, as well as an overload or peak demand. That could lead to a blackout, which is “a large-scale power failure over several days or several weeks,” according to the Defense portfolio. “All the power grids in European countries are interconnected in the European power grid, so if there is a blackout, the lights could go out across Europe.”, the technicians pointed out.
“Among the technological risks, blackout, a supra-regional and long-lasting blackout, occupies a prominent place”, says the text of more than 370 pages. “In the opinion of the experts, the probability of this happening in the next five years is now very high”, alert. The Defense Ministry agrees that “a blackout is extremely dangerous and it is necessary to prepare the population for that eventuality”, therefore “We urgently recommend storing essential food, drink and medicine at home for at least 10 days. A well-stocked pantry is definitely not harmful in daily life and in an emergency it can be vital.
Authorities put together “tips and advice on how to prepare for a multi-day blackout, with concrete information on mobile power generators, generation accessories, water and food supply, how to cook without electricity and how to communicate without electricity, in addition to basic knowledge about first aid, prevention and medical and civil safety in the event of a blackout “.
“What to do when everything stops” is the slogan of the posters, which warn that a blackout would mean that traffic lights, computers, ATMs, telephones, Internet and other services would stop working. A precedent is the blackout that affected Quebec in 1989. Much closer in time, floods in Germany last July left thousands of people without power for several days.
Austria already plans that from 2025 there will be self-sufficiency in at least one hundred military barracks, in terms of energy, food, water and fuel. As explained, these barracks would function as support for firefighters and doctors in the event of an emergency due to a blackout. The Austrian army spent the last year and a half, during the pandemic, with rehearsal maneuvers.
“A blackout is a threat with a great impact on society. And it is important that all emergency services, such as the Police, ambulances or firefighters, continue to function. In the event of a blackout, the main task of the Armed Forces is to supply and support other emergency organizations, “he said in that line. the Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Kugelweis.