Power cuts

During a power failure, drinking water, communication, heating, and other services may be affected. If a weather warning (“vädervarning”) is issued, you may want to start preparing for the consequences of a power cut.
Winter storms and snow can be the cause of power cuts. Photo: Johan Eklund/MSB.
  • Charge your power banks for mobile phones, tablets, and other devices in order to get information and communicate with others for as long as possible. Mobile communication networks in Sweden can and do go down when the power fails, but there is a reserve system of generators to keep base stations running.
  • Save drinking water in containers, as the tap water may stop running. Keep a stock of bottled water or other ready-to-drink beverages at home. One person will need between two and five litres of water a day.
  • Make sure to have some ready-to-eat food at home in case of a long-term power failure. 
  • If there is a power cut in your area, you may want to contact your electricity supplier for information. Here you will find links to Swedish electricity suppliers' operational information
  • Listen to Swedish Radio's local channel P4 for information from the authorities. In order not to depend on electricity for information, use the car radio, or a wind-up, battery powered, or solar powered radio. 
  • Keep flashlights and spare batteries at home and easily accessible.
  • The heating may be lost during power cuts, depending on the source of energy. Seal off one room for the whole family in order to stay warm for as long as possible. If you use candles or tea lights for heat, beware of the risk of fire. If you use a fireplace, make sure the ventilation is working. 
  • If power consumption is high when the power returns, the mains can be overloaded and the system may go down again. Switch off any electrical items you will not immediately need when the power returns. 
  • Find out where your nearest fire station is. Power cuts can lead to telephone disturbances and difficulties reaching the emergency number 112. Many fire stations have an emergency phone for alarm calls. 
  • Contact your municipality (“kommunen”) for more information about how to prepare for power cuts and to find out where information, shelters, et cetera can be found in case of emergency. 
  • Information about weather warnings will be published by the Swedish meteorological institute, SMHI, in Swedish.