The disturbances that would be caused by possible load shedding this winter are numerous and affect all sectors. Le Figaro answer you point by point.
Faced with the increasingly probable hypothesis of occasional power outages this winter to preserve the electricity system, the government is committed to extensive work of preparation and anticipation of all the disturbances that such a scenario would cause. Transport, schools, telephony… All aspects of French daily life would find themselves turned upside down by the temporary lack of electricity.
However, it should be qualified: all of France would not fall into darkness all of a sudden and for a whole day. “Any scheduled outages should not affect more than 4 million customers simultaneously, for a duration of two hours», and would affect «alternately portions of departments“, Indicates the circular sent Wednesday by the services of the Prime Minister to the prefects. They can only take place on weekdays, at peak consumption times, i.e. between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Corsica is not concerned, not being connected to the continental electricity network.
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Will the phone be cut off? Can we call the emergency numbers?
In areas that would beunplugged», the cut off of telephone and Internet communications will be one of the most visible consequences. The French will therefore not be able to reach the emergency services (emergency call numbers 15, 17, 18, 115, 196). For any emergency, you will have to call the number 112, accessible regardless of the operator, indicates the government in its frequently asked questions.
However, in some white areas, it might not work either. In these, “other measures will be put in place by the prefects“explains the executive, as the strengthening of the”human presencein fire stations, gendarmeries and police stations, or even reinforced patrols.
Will the trains be cancelled? Can we move?
In a France with territories alternately plunged into darkness, transport will also be affected – even if “some transport infrastructureare non-dischargeable, specifies the executive. Rail transport is the first concerned. To avoid ending up with passengers stuck in the middle of the track for two hours, traffic may be completely interrupted and trains, metros or trams cancelled.
At the SNCF, we are content to say that “SNCF Réseau is working with the Government and RTE (the manager of the electricity transmission network, editor’s note) on a national electricity supply strategy for the rail network» in the case of load shedding. In the Paris metro, we shouldbe, a priori, little impacted due to a closed-circuit power supply.“, we say to the RATP. On the other hand, the RATP tram network andsome points» of the RATP RER network «could be impacted“.
Be that as it may, the French are called upon to “limit their movementsduring cuts. Including by car because, except “public road signaling and lighting installations deemed essential for safety“, traffic lights and other streetlights will be turned off in offloaded areas.
Can the school close?
Parents living in areas where load shedding is planned in the morning – the French will be informed “the day before at 3 p.m. first, then at 5 p.m. in a refined way”said government spokesman Olivier Véran on BFMTV on Thursday – will have to keep the children at home or provide a childcare solution.
In effect, “schools located in an area affected by a load shedding in the morning will not welcome children for the whole half-day», Specifies the circular sent to the prefects. And this, to avoid welcoming children without heating, light or alarm. “The return of the pupils on the day concerned will take place at the beginning of the afternoon, with undoubtedly a meal which will nevertheless be provided for the pupils who are in the canteen.», Education Minister Pap Ndiaye confirmed on Thursday.
Will the shops be closed?
During power cuts, you can also expect to see many businesses and stores close their doors. “During a blackout, stores cannot accommodate their customers or employees. They will be able to decide whether or not to close depending on the announcement of the day before“, we explain to the Federation of Commerce and Distribution (FCD). In contrast, “some hypermarkets and supermarkets have generators“And will therefore be able to open as usual, we add on the side of the professional organization. They are “very littleIn this case, nuance another source in the sector.
Jean-François Guihard, president of the confederation of butchers, has already announced: “We cannot have cuts during opening hours, so we will close the store if there are any.“For restaurateurs, if there is a lunch break, they too will be unable to serve their customers. Because it means “more oven, more electricity, and therefore more possibility“, worries Frank Delvau, boss of Umih Paris-Île-de-France.
Can we withdraw money? Take the elevator ?
The government also calls on the French to “anticipate the non-availability of certain daily services», thanks to the alerts sent the day before load shedding. Because whoever says power cut says ATMs out of service, just like your garage door – if you live in a house – or the access door to your building – if you live in an apartment.
Whether in your building or at work, you absolutely must avoid “take the elevator a few minutes before the cut-off time“, adds the government. Unless you want to spend two hours blocked… On the other hand, “public services essential for people’s lives (…) are among the priority services“, said the Minister of Public Service Stanislas Guerini this Friday, December 2 on Franceinfo. Hospitals, emergency services, police stations and gendarmeries will therefore continue to operate normally.