The coronavirus, Filomena, the La Palma eruption … and now a blackout that would leave much of the world without electricity for several days. The world seems stubborn on collide with an apocalypse, for which the government authorities do not stop looking for plans in order to be the best prevented if this comes. But before this last theory, it is convenient to analyze it precisely to know what real probability there would be chaos.

The constant rise in the price of electricity in recent months has been one more trigger to think that the world, with its epicenter in Europe, is close to exceeding its energy limits. With a big blackout as the final trigger, Austria has been the country that has put the rest of the States on alert that in recent days they are already working on plans in case this ‘blackout’ (blackout in English) occurs.

Origin of the Great Blackout Theory

And it is that the Austrian Government has been so clear in its theory about the electric apocalypse that it has given us to think about a clear materialization. With a communication campaign to alert the entire population, the informational posters and announcements they have flooded the streets of Vienna and surrounding areas in recent days.

“The question is not if there will be a big blackout, but when,” said the Austrian Defense Minister after presenting a guide that has been cooking since 2019 in the country’s high institutions. With great interest in the Army, this corps was the first to recommend filling houses with groceries and tools in case the apocalypse comes.

To support its fear, Austria has explained that it is a country highly dependent on hydraulic energy (around 50%, with higher peaks in times of drought). In addition, with a gas import of more than 20%, climate change, the closure of nuclear power plants, the increasing demand for electricity and a cyber attack they would be the perfect combo to trigger this supply failure.

How do countries protect themselves against these blackouts?

Switzerland has been one of the countries that in recent months has suffered an attempted sabotage on its high-voltage line. To defend against these blackouts, all countries have reserve and surplus energy systems that cover these issues … always on a logical scale.

For its part, the electricity grid itself has mechanisms that isolate potential failures and they redirect electricity in a few hours (Spain witnessed this this summer after a failure in the connection with France). However, these plans studied by Austria would serve to cover a catastrophic situation and ensure energy in emergency places such as hospitals or fire stations.

Germany or China have already echoed the blackout

So clear is the Austrian plan that its German neighbors have already taken it into account, since there several plants will be closed in the coming years. The Department of Civil Protection offers guidelines to follow at home in the face of a global blackout, with the memory of 15 years ago when the snow it left part of the country without electricity for six days.

China, for its part, has made a similar appeal to its citizens recommending that they have a supply of food and tools at home in case another critical situation such as the coronavirus arrives. Regarding the blackout, the Ministry of Commerce considers that it could come due to cuts in supplies due to the increase in prices of essential products.

And in Spain, what plan is there in the face of the great blackout?

Not so alarmist has turned out to be the Spanish Government. Through Vice President Teresa Ribera, the Executive considers that the supply of electricity is guaranteed since Spain works “almost like an island”. With electricity generation that doubles demand, interconnections with other European countries are practically non-existent, which in this case would serve as a defense.

What do the experts say about the great blackout?

However, there are expert voices calling for extreme caution because failure is “inevitable”. This is how Fernando Vadallares, a researcher at the CSIC, or the economist Daniel Lacalle consider it recommending to follow in the footsteps of Austria or Germany and see in their ads “a practical way to face a harsh reality.”

So you can get warm without electricity

Given all this, if the great blackout arrives in winter, it would be key to know how to heat up without electricity consumption. good with hornillos, demand has skyrocketed in recent days, or with wood and firewood storage, for smaller households it can be useful a candle and a flowerpot as shown in the video released by the German Government.

In addition, the running water It would also be affected by not having enough pressure to rise through the pipes, so it is recommended to fill bathtubs and containers in case of serious proximity to the blackout.

This would be the necessary kit in the face of the great blackout and survival food

For its part, in recent days different kits have been slipped in that would serve as survival for a few days until the power supply was repaired. Among the various proposals, almost all of them coincide with having the following products at home:


Water (two liters per person for five days).

Radio with batteries.

Candles and matches.

Medicines and other necessary items for babies, the elderly and the disabled.

Non-perishable food for two weeks (preserves, oil, honey, rice, pickles or chocolate).

Warm clothes or thermal blankets.



Europe was on the brink of a major blackout on January 8