“Two liters of water per person and food that gather 2,200 kilocalories per person are needed every day,” recites Clara, 9 years old, who has learned the lesson well. At school they have been talking about the new recommendation from the Ministry of the Interior to the German population: stock up for at least ten days. “I’m not a fan of stocking up, I’ve already learned my lesson during the pandemic. There was never a shortage of supplies,” admits her mother, a shop assistant in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg, “but if the children come home asking where our supplies are, you jump into the supermarket, if only so that they are not scared by thinking that we are not prepared ».

For people reluctant to store, the Ministry of the Interior (Essen und Trinken bevorraten) sets out its reasons.

“You may be thinking about the ‘Blackout’ series or quarantining during the pandemic. That’s right, these are two examples where storage is useful. Because in case of a large-scale blackout, supermarkets and gas stations would be closed due to the power outage. The refrigerator and freezer would also fail and, depending on regional conditions, there would be no drinking water coming out of the tap either,” explains the official website, “a supply of food and beverages would help during the time it takes for state aid to start.” . The suggestion has been underlined by Minister Nancy Faeser in several public appearances.

Germans are recommended to have in mind or organize a community support network between neighbors, acquaintances or relatives that can be activated in a crisis situation, but even so “having supply at home will provide security and flexibility in the organization of that support network ». “Even without a quarantine order, a stock has proven especially useful for people at risk during the coronavirus pandemic, because they were able to reduce the frequency of their purchases and therefore the contacts and chances of infection. The document from the Office of Civil Protection in Catastrophes also refers to the usefulness of this type of supply in circumstances of severe weather, floods, extreme heat, heavy snowfall or slippery conditions. “And last but not least, you can get a surprise visitor where you’re happy if you have something to offer your guests,” he adds.

«It reminds me of my school years, in the Cold War», says Mrs. Hansen, who went to the Jesuit school in Berlin, the Canisius College, and recalls the advice they received in the classrooms at the time, «they advised us to stock up on other products, of course, like powdered milk and charcoal, because then there weren’t as many cans of prepared food as there are now, but they never told us about storing drinking water».

Now, however, the supply of drink is considered even more important than that of food. “For a ten-day supply, there should be at least 20 liters per person,” advise official sources, who add “a liquid content for cooking of half a liter per day” and insist on the need to constantly renew the supply, that is, : do not buy the products and leave them stored without touching them, but consume them as they are replaced by the purchase of others with the most advanced expiration date. “Buy one more pack with each purchase,” they point out as a method, instead of making large specific purchases to store.

“We have to be very careful with this”, warns however the economist and professor of Applied Sciences for the Economy in Munich Christian Chlupsa, “I suppose that the Ministry has good information and I only hope that they have spoken with the retail trade first, so that it is Prepared, because we may see herd behavior again like the ones that led to toilet paper or oil shortages.” “We are all already in a bit of a borderline situation and such recommendations trigger fears, my hope is that the recommendation has been made because the situation is really serious.”