All mobile phones in Germany to receive alerts on Warning Day on December 8
No cause for panic: On December 8, 2022, Germany will have another official warning (Warntag). From sirens to emergency alert text messages, here’s what you can expect on the day.
This is what Germany’s emergency warning text will look like
December 8, 2022 is the date set for Germany’s next official warning day (Warntag). Last week mobile phone companies like Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica (O2) sent out a practice emergency warning message to their customers. However, on December 8, all people in Germany who own a mobile phone will receive a warning text message from Catastrophe Warning System Cell Broadcast.
The system is set to be tested in 294 rural areas and 106 municipalities across the all federal states at 11am. If you have a compatible phone, the warning will appear as a large notification on your lock screen. You do not need to have an internet connection on your phone and it is not necessary to have installed one of Germany’s emergency warning apps, such as NINA or KATWARN, in order to receive the message. Regardless of whether your mobile phone is on silent or vibrate mode, the message will sound an alert tone.
Germany's first official Warntag took place on September 10, 2020, but was declared a failure after people received warning-app messages half an hour late. Sending emergency messages to all people, and not just those registered with an emergency app, was a step planned by the German government following the 2021 floods across North Rhine-Westphalia and the Rhineland-Palatinate that claimed the lives of more than 180 people.
What other warning alerts will take place across Germany?
As well as phone and warning app alerts, the day will also see warnings sent out on billboards and TV screens. These warnings are designed to alert the population in the event of emergencies and threats to life like extreme weather, fires or attacks, or if basic supply systems like electricity and gas, water, internet or telephone are interrupted.
People in Germany have been told that they don’t need to do anything when the alerts sound on December 8, but it’s good to know what’s going to happen so nobody feels alarmed, and so you know what to do in the case of a real-life emergency. If you hear the siren in a non-test scenario, you are advised to inform yourself of the situation via radio, TV, social media or a warning app and follow the recommendations.