BS-R-2: Precautionary measures for protection of the public

The picture shows a pantry stocked with supplies.Click to enlarge
Self-sufficient in an emergency – beside food, drinking water etc is also included in the stockpile.
Source: Photograph: © Konstanze Schönthaler / Bosch & Partner GmbH

2019 Monitoring Report on the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change

Table of Contents


BS-R-2: Precautionary measures for protection of the public

Although in 2016 approximately half of the majority of respondents (48 %) still felt adequately informed about the relevant impacts of climate change, this proportion has declined since 2012. The perception to have made adequate provision for personal protection was common to more than half of all respondents in all surveys.

Three stacking columns represent the proportion of respondents who commented on different quality of their preventive care.
BS-R-2: Precautionary measures for protection of the public

Three stacking columns represent the proportion of respondents who commented on different quality of their preventive measures. The percentage of respondents is read below for the respective categories with ascending year: fully sufficient: 13.4, 8 and 7 percent; rather sufficient: 44.7, 51 and 48 percent, rather not sufficient: 30.2, 27 and 31 percent, not at all sufficient: 11.5, 4 and 7 percent. Since 2014, there has been the category don't know with 10 percent and in 2016 with 8 percent. In addition, the percentage of respondents who feel sufficiently informed
about the climate change risks that affect them. From around 60 percent in 2012 and 2014, the proportion fell to just under 50 percent in 2016.

Source: BMUB & UBA (Umweltbewusstsein in Deutschland)

Personal provision for emergency situations

In order to safeguard personal protection, it is not just important to be able to help oneself and others quickly and efficiently. Citizens can also take various appropriate measures in their own personal environment to protect themselves from the impacts of weather-related situations such as periods of hot weather, storms or heavy rain thus preventing worse outcomes. To this end it is essential that citizens know themselves adequately informed about the risks associated with climate change. Some of the behavioural responses adapted to extreme weather are more or less part of automatic everyday routines. In that context it is, for example, sensible to avoid physical exertions in extreme heat, to wear the right clothing for certain temperatures whether at home or at work, to drink plenty of liquids on hot days and to avoid unnecessary long car journeys when weather patterns point towards risky conditions.

While such measures appear obvious, the same cannot be said of provisions required for emergency situations. In Germany, the supply of basic goods and services such as groceries, water, electricity and telecommunications is known to function at a very high level. As a rule, citizens can trust in the reliable functioning of fundamental logistics and infrastructures. But here is the other side of the coin: In view of the fact that negative experiences regarding supply and provisioning are rare in Germany, the population is in general less well prepared for exceptional circumstances. Emergency reserves of water, groceries, candles or batteries – held routinely only a few decades ago – are nowadays held by only comparatively few households. However, just by stocking some of these largely basic supplies, citizens can play their part in ensuring that extreme situations do not entail any disastrous outcomes for themselves. Furthermore, houseowners can take structural precautions to protect their homes from weather-related risks such as flooding and flash floods, storm, hail or just heat. The BBK informs houseowners not only by means of relevant information leaflets but also by means of videos on a dedicated video YouTube channel (, in order to reach as many members of the public as possible.

A major role in civil protection is played by the precautionary measures taken by citizens in various respects. A person who has taken precautionary measures requires less assistance and can possibly take the pressure off emergency services by providing assistance themselves.

Comparing the outcomes of environmental awareness surveysI conducted in 2012, 2014 and 2016 it becomes clear that the proportion of respondents who inform themselves adequately on impacts of climate change relevant to them personally, has been declining. Compared to 59 % in 2012, the value of 48 % determined in 2016 has decreased by more than 10 %. Examining the question whether respondents are making adequate provisions for themselves, all surveys show that a little more than half of the respondents feel that they are making adequate provisions. On the other hand, the outcomes indicate that more than half the respondents consider their information level as inadequate while approximately 40 % of respondents consider their own provisions as inadequate. When interpreting the outcomes, the following limitation should be borne in mind: the statements are based on a subjective understanding of risk information and provisioning which makes it impossible to estimate whether respondents are indeed taking the necessary precautions for emergency situations.

I - see footnote p. 237



BS-R-1: Information on how to act in a disaster situation



Reducing, as far as possible, the consequences of severe disruptions and failures of critical infrastructures by achieving (...) an effective capacity for self-help among people directly affected by a disaster event (KRITIS-Strategie, ch. 5)