How to prepare for a blackout? Energetyka guide 24 [KOMENTARZ]

The risk is increasing

A long-term and sudden interruption in electricity supply (i.e. blackout) is a very dangerous situation for an individual recipient. Dependence on a stable power supply has so deeply seeped into the lives of modern people that most of them would have had huge trouble even in a relatively short outage. Meanwhile, the ongoing energy crisis in Europe increases the risk of interruptions in energy supplies, even lasting several days.

Dangerously low levels of filling European gas storage facilities, resulting from Russia’s political actions, as well as restrictions on the supply of blue fuel to European markets implemented by Vladimir Putin’s state may lead to power supply problems in the heating season that is already underway. If this year’s winter is frosty and windless (which will increase energy demand and reduce RES production), and Moscow does not change its approach (and this can be counted on only after the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is launched), then – in an extreme situation – in some countries In the European Union, there may be deficiencies in the supply of fuel for gas-fired power plants and, as a consequence, disruptions in the operation of the power system. A problem in one country can spread to others due to the interconnection of EU systems. Moreover, at the peak of the winter demand for power, any failures in generating units (and such failures are happening more and more often in Poland) may be a key factor that will determine the country’s energy security. Therefore, it is worth getting ready for the possibility of even long-term interruptions in electricity supply.

Blackout – what to have with you?

The degree of preparation for a blackout varies depending, for example, on the place of residence – a person living in a Warsaw block of flats will be exposed to other risks, but will also have different possibilities than a resident of a single-family house in a village in the Podkarpacie region. However, it is possible to distinguish a certain pool of universal preparatory measures useful in the event of a blackout.

It is worth starting with the items you should have with you. It’s good to keep them in one place (box, bag, cupboard), which will be easily accessible in the absence of power, i.e. in the absence of lighting. This place should include:

  • first aid kit with first aid, latex gloves, scissors, painkillers and anti-diarrheal drugs
  • candies in a small package with a long shelf life, e.g. hard candy
  • pens and a small notebook
  • whistle
  • handheld and headlamps and lamps for universal alkaline batteries, as well as a large supply of batteries
  • city ​​or neighborhood map
  • charged powerbanks and a universal branched cable for portable devices (e.g. phones, navigation sets)
  • battery radio
  • good quality pocket knife or multitool
  • candles and matches or lighters, which should be used only after the power supply has been exhausted, due to the risk of starting a fire
  • cash supply for 2-3 days

The above items are small in size, so they can be packed into a small container so that you can have them all at hand when needed. In addition to them, it is also worth having (already in a different place):

  • thermal blankets and warm clothing
  • a tourist stove with a set of gas cartridges
  • ice cubes in the freezer
  • crowbar
  • range
  • gel compresses
  • gel hand warmers
  • supply of water and dry provisions (i.e. food that does not require heat treatment) for two or three days

The items on the list above will help you function without electricity for a long time.

How to behave in the event of a blackout?

A power outage does not always mean a blackout. However, if the failure is sudden, unannounced and lasts several hours, or when the authorities have issued a major failure message, remedial action should be taken.

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The most important rule in such a crisis situation is to remain calm and not to panic. When the lights go out, keeping your nerves in check can be especially difficult – but it is the only way to minimize problems.

After securing your own environment (relatives and pets) and equipping yourself with any equipment (e.g. a flashlight), you should check whether anyone in the vicinity needs help – a power failure may find people in elevators, which may cause them to panic. Then the mere contact with another person and hearing the assurance that someone knows about their fate and will try to get help can be invaluable support.

Then it is worth securing the equipment whose operation was interrupted by the lack of energy. Returning deliveries can damage them – surge protectors are a good solution here.

It must be remembered that a long-term interruption in electricity supply may disrupt the operation of municipal water supply systems, the pumps of which are powered by electricity. Make good use of the access to running water and store it in the bathtub or in buckets or bowls. This can be useful not only for quenching your thirst, but also for hygiene purposes (washing, flushing the toilet, etc.).

It is also worth trying to extend the operation of the refrigerator and freezer. Even when de-energized, these devices can stay cool for at least several hours. It is enough to use them rationally, i.e. to open them as rarely as possible. The accumulated supply of ice cubes can help in maintaining the right temperature.

Blackout is a situation in which access to basic services, including medical care, is difficult. Therefore, the medications necessary for the functioning should be secured in good time. For the same reason, it is good to avoid behaviors that are hazardous to health, e.g. eating foods that the West even slightly suspects may have been spoiled as a result of, for example, the cessation of cooling.

Long-term loss of power can also jeopardize cellular telephony. For this reason, it is worth listening to messages using a battery radio. You should also be careful when going out into the street – broken signaling and lighting can increase the risk of accidents.

The last Polish blackout

The last serious blackout in Poland took place in Szczecin in 2008, when the power line to the city failed. There was no electricity for about 15 hours. Classes in schools and universities were canceled, traffic lights were not working in the streets, there were problems with mobile telephony. For the Szczecin agglomeration it was the largest failure of this type since the end of World War II.


About Eric Wilson

The variety offered by video games never ceases to amaze him. He loves OutRun's drifting as well as the contemplative walks of Dear Esther. Immersing himself in other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it by playing for the first time in Shenmue.

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