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Germany Is Telling People to Maintain Emergency Food Supplies

In the wake of a string of terrorist attacks, the “Concept for Civil Defense” report outlines a plan that will require Germans to stockpile ten days’ food supply and five days worth of drinking water.

Wyatt Marshall

Government officials are telling German citizens to keep an emergency food and water supply in case of an attack on the country, according to a new plan from Germany's Interior Ministry. In the wake of a string of terrorist attacks, the "Concept for Civil Defense" report outlines a plan that will require Germans to stockpile ten days' food supply and five days worth of drinking water so that in the event of an attack, citizens can shelter in place until the government can respond.

The requirement will be the first of its kind since the Cold War, Reuters reports, reflecting the turmoil of recent times. While Germany isn't particularly concerned about a conventional military attack on the country, the report asks that people "prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future."

Germany is on edge, with many of its people fearing that terrorists slipped into the country with the more than one million refugees that entered Germany last year alone. A Syrian suicide bomber who pledged allegiance to ISIS injured 15 people at a music festival on July 24. And that same day, Time reports, a Syrian refugee killed three people with a machete in a separate city. Just two days before that, a teenager opened fire near a mall in Munich, killing nine, and three days before that, a man that ISIS claims was allegiant to the group attacked several people on a train with an axe in southern Germany.

The report also calls for the installation of reliable alarm systems, stronger buildings, and a greater capacity in the health system, according to Reuters, and more details will be forthcoming on Wednesday.

It doesn't sound like they're asking Germans to become full-on preppers, but the plan's food and water requirements are a bit more intense than what the US government suggests Americans keep on hand in the event of a disaster. Ready.gov suggests that people have at least a three-day supply of water on hand (one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation), and a three-day supply of food. The recommended foods are things like canned meats, fruits, and vegetables (and a can opener!), along with cereals, nuts, crackers, peanut butter, and vitamins.

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It probably wouldn't hurt to throw some MREs (military Meals-Ready-to-Eat) in your emergency kit. Those things can last almost forever—one dude recently ate, and actually enjoyed, some Korean War-era peanut butter. And don't forget about variety. If you find yourself in tight confines with your family for an extended period of time with nothing but rice and tuna fish, you'll long for taco night. A humble bottle of hot sauce could go a long way.

But hopefully, you'll never be forced to eat your stockpile, anyway.