Safety: Report: Experts recommend shelters in buildings

Safety: Report: Experts recommend shelters in buildings

In some countries in conflict zones, it is common practice to build shelters in buildings. Will Germany soon follow suit?

Due to growing security risks, experts recommend that shelters should also be set up in German buildings. Options include either specially built and complex “house shelters” or simpler “structural self-protection rooms” in basements, for example, reported the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” citing a 25-page report for the Conference of Interior Ministers.

The paper, drawn up by a working group of experts from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Office for Civil Protection (BBK) and the Federal Agency for Real Estate (BImA), is intended to provide the ministers with options for action for a nationwide shelter concept. They will meet in Potsdam from June 21 for their spring conference.

“Military threat to NATO territory seems real”

The background to this is the concern that in the event of war there could also be attacks on targets in Germany. “A military threat to NATO alliance territory seems to be a real possibility,” the report says, referring to defense scenarios from the federal and state governments.

Although a “direct attack by an aggressor on German territory with ground troops” is considered very unlikely, attacks on important defense facilities, government and administrative buildings and other critical infrastructure are conceivable, for example to prevent NATO troop movements or to “limit the German state’s ability to act as a whole and spread unrest among the population.”

The experts said they do not fear widespread bombings and large-scale destruction in an emergency. However, attacks “with modern, extremely precise weapons technologies such as missiles or drones” are possible, which pose a risk of collateral damage.

Experts estimate nationwide expansion to cost 131 billion euros

The good and predominantly solid building fabric in Germany offers the best conditions for protection against such damage, the paper continued. Accordingly, interior rooms or those below the surface of the earth already protect against some of the assumed dangers without any conversion. On a voluntary basis, simple measures can be used to “harden” basement rooms in particular.

In the long term, the report recommends supplementing the existing building stock in Germany with so-called “house shelters”. These are more complex shelters in residential or commercial buildings, industrial buildings or public buildings.

The experts estimate that the funding required for the comprehensive development of such spaces will amount to 131 billion euros. This is only feasible as a long-term goal.

Source: Stern

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