BERLIN, Aug. 24 (UPI) — The German government urged its population Wednesday to stockpile food and water in the event of a national emergency.
It suggested citizens store a 10-day supply of food per person, as well as a five-day bottled water supply of a half-gallon per day per person. While only advisory and not a law, the civil defense concept will be reviewed by the government’s ministers Wednesday.
A 69-page report by the German Interior Ministry stressed that “an attack on German territory, requiring conventional defense of the nation, is unlikely.” It added, though, that a future security threat such as terrorism or a cybersecurity breach could not be ruled out.
The change in civil defense policy is Germany’s first since 1995, when civil defense administrations were dismantled in the wake of Germany’s 1990 reunification. The report notes that “the security policy environment has changed again.”
The plan also includes making a priority of civilian support of German troops, reinforcing buildings and increasing the capacity of the national health care system.
With the directive coming before key state elections in September, political critics of German Chancellor Angela Merkel called it a scaremongering tactic. Dietmar Bartsch, parliamentary leader of the left-wing Die Linke Party, commented, “You can completely unsettle people with yet another round of proposals, such as hoarding supplies.”
Konstantin von Notz of the Green Party said updating the civil defense information was sensible but added, “I can’t see any attack scenario that merits a stockpiling of supplies by the population.”