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South Africans in Germany

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Disaster preparedness

The Federal office of Civil protection suggests that you keep certain items in your house so that you can be prepared in a disaster situation.
Such a situation can easily occur during extreme weather conditions like snow or flooding.
The national emergency number is 112

It is a good idea to install the Nina app (Notfall-Informations- und Nachrichten) from the BKK (Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe)

A manual on how to prepare and what to do during a disaster situation can be downloaded in German here, and also in English

A person can manage for three weeks without food but only four days without water or liquids, but what else do you need?
You can download the complete list of suggestions here 

Here are some items on the list that they suggest you have in your house

Main Supply for 10 days

  • Beverages – 2 litre per person per day
  • Foodstuff: Grain, Cereal products, potatoes, pasta and rice  – 3.5 kg of each
  • Tinned vegetables and legumes –  4 kg
  • Milk – 2.6 kg
  • Fat and oils – 0.357 kg
  • other products you might want like Sugar, honey, dried products like Mash, salt


  • DIN First aid kit
  • Pain tablets
  • Prescribed Medicine
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Flu medicine
  • Meds for tummy troubles
  • Tweezer
  • Thermometer

Hygiene Items

  • Soap and detergents
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Camping toilet
  • Garbage bags
  • Household gloves
  • Disinfectant

Fire prevention

  • Keep your attic and basement as clean and uncluttered as possible
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Smoke detectors ( It is mandatory in most states to have a smoke detector in your bedrooms)
  • Water bucket
  • Container for water to use for extinguishing a fire

Power loss – very likely in extreme weather

  • Candles or tea lights
  • Matches (Streichhölzer)  or fire lighter (Feuerzeug)
  • Torch with extra batteries
  • Camping stove with burning fuel
  • A heater that does not work with electricity, with enough fuel
  • Having enough cash reserves at home, ATMs work with power.
  • Charged power/battery banks
  • The BKK (Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance) has great tips on how to prepare for the loss of power.


  • A Battery operated radio with spare batteries, so you can listen to notifications
  • Battery bank for mobile phones

There are more items on their list like documents and an emergency bag with clothes, blankets etc.

Obligation to assist a person in need

Also, take note that according to Section § 323c of the Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch) you are obliged to help a person in need:

(1) Wer bei Unglücksfällen oder gemeiner Gefahr oder Not nicht Hilfe leistet, obwohl dies erforderlich und ihm den Umständen nach zuzumuten, insbesondere ohne erhebliche eigene Gefahr und ohne Verletzung anderer wichtiger Pflichten möglich ist, wird mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu einem Jahr oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft.
(2) Ebenso wird bestraft, wer in diesen Situationen eine Person behindert, die einem Dritten Hilfe leistet oder leisten will.

Section 323c
Failure to render assistance; obstruction of persons rendering assistance
1.  Whoever does not render assistance in the case of an accident or a common danger or emergency although it is necessary and can reasonably be expected under the circumstances, in particular, if it is possible without substantial danger to that person and without breaching other important duties, incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine.
2. Whoever obstructs a person who is rendering or wishes to render assistance to another person in such a situation incurs the same penalty.

You can read more about it here

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