Regarding survivalism and prepping a “blackout” has a narrower definition than just loss of electricity. In this community a blackout has to effect a wider area and has to last for a longer time.

Austrian Civil Defense services give these items to distinguish a real blackout from a minor incident.

It’s a blackout when:

  • there’s no electricity in your whole area
  • cellphones and/or landlines stop working
  • there’s reports of an ongoing blackout in the radio

It’s not a blackout in the sense of disaster preparations when:

  • electricity is out only in your building or street
  • cellphones and landlines work normally
  • there’s no report about blackouts in your local radio

These distinctions help with understanding what you’re planning for. A short interruption in power might be harmful for your electronics. But it’s usually not a thing you need special preparations for. If you’re not stuck in an elevator or rely on special electric equipment you can usually just wait for the electricity to come back. Maybe it makes sense not to open the fridge too often and manually disconnect electrical devices in case of a surge when electricity comes back.

Short term electricity outages might cause personal problems but will most likely end without leaving any mark. Blackouts in the sense of disaster preparations on the other hand will most likely not only need personal preparations and stocks. You will have to take into account dynamics in people around you. Be it your family, neighbours or your whole community. It’s also quite likely that there will be some interaction with public emergency services.

Our guides about disaster preparation and survival usually focus on bigger scale events that will most likely cause harm without proper preparation. If you you are looking for preparedness against short term crisis (like medical emergencies) as well as daily, mostly harmless challenges dig into our EDC category.