Sirens and alerts to wail nationwide again on German Warning Day 2022
Set yourself a reminder: do not panic, it’s just a drill! Germany has set a date for its next national national warning day (Warntag). It will see warning systems like alarms and alerts - which have been expanded and modernised in the aftermath of the devastating flooding in July 2021 - tested nationwide.
Germany gears up for second-ever national warning day (Warntag)
At precisely 11am on Thursday, December 8, Germany will launch another nationwide warning day to test its warning systems for civil protection. This means that warnings will be sent out via various channels in order to check and coordinate the system, which is designed to alert the population in the event of threats to life like extreme weather, fires or attacks, or if basic supply systems like electricity and gas, water, internet or telephone are interrupted.
In December, authorities will test warning apps like Nina and Katwarn, billboards, sirens and radio and TV alerts. A new cell broadcast system will also be tested, which is designed to send SMS alerts to all mobile phones within a set vicinity.
Residents of Germany have been advised that they don’t need to do anything when the alerts sound, 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.
“While people can use the test phase to familiarise themselves with the new warning channels, we will continue to use the feedback and live conclusions to coordinate the interfaces involved as best we can,” said Ralph Tiesler, President of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK).
Last warning day declared a failure
The last warning day was held on September 10, 2020, but was pronounced a failure after messages only reached the warnings apps Nina and Katwarn a good half hour late. The Federal Ministry of the Interior said that if there had been a real-life emergency situation, many people would simply not have been informed - which was a criticism raised following the disastrous flooding in western Germany in 2021.
The following year’s test day in autumn 2021 was then cancelled after the BBK said it needed more time to prepare. 2022’s test day was supposed to take place in the autumn as well, but has been postponed to December to facilitate the testing of the cell broadcast system.
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