Unreachable help in the event of a power outage this winter?

In a circular to the prefects, Elisabeth Borne will confirm that the power cuts this winter will have a heavy impact on the emergency services, reveals Europe 1.


In the midst of the energy crisis and with the power cuts planned for this winter, the emergency call services risk being unreachable. (illustrative image)

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Lhe power cuts feared by the authorities this winter could have dramatic consequences. As indicated in Europe 1, Wednesday, November 30, Elisabeth Borne confirms that help will be difficult to reach this winter in the event of load shedding, these punctual and localized cuts in the event of a shortage of energy. In a circular that our colleagues were able to consult, the head of government will indicate to the prefects that “one of the consequences of the interruption of the electrical distribution is that it will lead to interruptions of electronic communications (mobile and fixed telephony)” .

If almost all emergency call services (emergency call numbers 15, 17, 18, 115, 196) should be affected by these power cuts, the authorities hope that 112, the emergency number European emergency call, will be in working order. “In these situations, the use of 112 will be a palliative because it is a number accessible regardless of the operator, therefore with a much higher chance that the call will be routed, since the area of emission would be covered by at least one operator,” the document points out.

Élisabeth Borne also asks the prefects to prepare upstream for future load shedding to minimize human risks. To compensate for the lack of a telephone network, the Prime Minister invites them to ask “the mayors concerned to activate a ‘crisis cell’ (…) and to provide in the town hall or in predefined places a physical presence capable of relay the alert to the emergency, health and safety services, for the duration of the load shedding and any interruption of the telephone network”.

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In its circular, Matignon also asks the prefects so that they can “strengthen the operational centers for receiving calls by liaison officers”. A measurement which must be carried out “at least two hours before the load shedding and until at least two hours after”, indicates the document.

Schools and rail traffic also affected

While the RTE electricity transmission network has stressed that the month of January presents a “high” risk of tension, the government is seeking to best prepare businesses and residents for the power cuts that promise to be recurrent. As pointed out The echoes, Wednesday, November 30, Elisabeth Borne informed the prefects that they will be responsible for warning the companies whose sectors will be affected by these “power cuts”. A preventive call which aims that they test their emergency generators upstream.

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These power cuts could also disrupt the start of the school year in January and rail traffic. “The reception of children in schools cannot be ensured in the morning, if the latter are affected by load shedding. Opening a school without an alarm, heating or electricity when it is dark in the morning does not meet security requirements, ”explains the circular relayed by Europe 1. Power cuts in stations in France could also cause train delays and cancellations.

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The government also wants the French to be able to anticipate these power cuts as well as possible. The echoes indicate that those in the departments concerned will be warned of the risk of a power outage three days in advance via a red Ecowatt signal sent by the RTE network manager. This will be widely disseminated by the public authorities, the media, companies and accessible on the RTE site, where the French will therefore be able to see if their accommodation is affected by the power cuts, by providing their address.

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