Warning day: NRW to test sirens on March 14

Warning day: NRW to test sirens on March 14

On March 14 Germany’s most populous state will also be the loudest - authorities are preparing to test North Rhine-Westphalia’s warning alarm system for the 10th time since 2018.

Expect sirens in North Rhine-Westphalia on March 14

North Rhine-Westphalia is preparing to test its warning system at 11am on Thursday when the 6.150 sirens which are part of the statewide alarm system will sound.

Anyone with a mobile phone which is turned on should receive a warning message which will be accompanied by a high-pitched tone. Warning messages will also be displayed on information boards across Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Münster and other cities in the German state, and on public transport.

North Rhine-Westphalia continues to improve its warning system

The siren test on March 14 will be the 10th warning day since the state began regularly testing alarm systems in 2018.

Efforts to test the system were ramped up again after severe flooding hit Germany in 2021. Though North Rhine-Westphalia was one of the worst affected areas, many people did not receive warnings or received them too late to evacuate safely. 

Authorities hope the warning day on March 14 will be the first during which older mobile phone models will also successfully receive alerts via cell broadcast. The new system of sending out alerts via cell broadcast was adopted nationwide just over a year ago. "We learn something new every year and make adjustments in areas where we can improve," Interior Minister Herbert Ruel (CDU) explained to the dpa.

Thumb image credit: Christian Schwier /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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