Germany conducts first nationwide warning day since reunification

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BERLIN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Germany embraced its first nationwide emergency warning day on Thursday to test the alarm systems across the country.

The test alarm was sounded at 11 a.m. local time. It is the first time to have such a warning day since Germany’s reunification about 30 years ago.

“In the event of catastrophes, floods, major storms, fires, timely warning can save lives,” Ulrike Demmer, deputy government spokesperson, said in a video message on Wednesday. “Whoever is warned early enough can bring himself, his family, his friends into safety.”

The test warning was sent to all warning multipliers such as radio stations and app servers which are connected to the federal modular warning system (MoWaS), according to the German government.

The warning multipliers then sent the test warning to devices including radios, digital billboards and warning apps like NINA, the official emergency warning app developed by the German government. At the same time, sirens were howling and loudspeaker vehicles were roaming on the road in many districts and cities.

The warning day aimed to make the population aware of warning mechanisms in case of an emergency. Demmer stressed that besides a traditional siren on the roof of the town hall, there was also the possibility to carry a “very personal siren always in the pocket” by having a warning app on the mobile phone.

The developments related to COVID-19 this year also showed the “importance and topicality” of the emergency warning, the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) announced on Thursday.

“It is not about stoking fear and hysteria,” BBK President Christoph Unger told the German Press Agency (dpa). “That would be counter-productive.”

Instead, it was important to “sensitize” the population but also to “prepare” citizens to a certain extent for emergency events, for example, by informing the population of important documents in case of evacuation or having a supply of food and beverages at home, said Unger in a video message.

The warning day in Germany will be carried out every year on the second Thursday of September, according to the government. Enditem

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