Germany- Reinstates National Warning System, Why Now?

  • Germany's nationwide alert system was silent for 30 years.
  • On September 10, 2020 at exactly 11 o’clock, sirens sounded all over Germany.
  • It will be tested twice a year going forward.

During the Cold War era, Germany tested its nationwide warning systems twice a year.  In the early 1950s, West Germany created a system for notifying the country’s population of emergency situations. These could, at that time, be natural and man-made disasters that threaten the lives of the population.

The map of Germany.

Germany was ready to notify the inhabitants of the country about the sudden start of hostilities – including in a nuclear war.

Furthermore, there were close to 80,000 of such systems installed around Germany by the 1990. However, the testing became absolute after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1991. This year it all changed.

On September 10, 2020 at exactly 11 o’clock, sirens sounded all over Germany. In Germany, for the first time in the last 30 years, a nationwide check of centralized public notification systems was held. The last one was carried out in the West Germany in the 1990.

Moreover, the  warning systems testing was carried out in Germany twice a year: in March and September. Notification was carried out by using various technical means.

According to the German Federal Government website, the reasons for carrying out such activities this year are based on the populous need to understand the possibility of danger. This also includes  floods, fires, hurricanes, and so on.

In addition, it is necessary to regularly check how well the automation functions technically and how well the work of employees of departments and services responsible for notification is coordinated. The sirens will also interrupt the broadcasts  for the duration of the check.

Mobile apps and a number of online platforms will also loudly announce the approaching danger. Information will also appear on city information boards, as well as on screens that are equipped with public transport.

Alexei Anatolievich Navalny is a Russian politician and anti-corruption activist. He came to international prominence by organizing demonstrations, and running for office, to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin

This year testing also included the utilization of the apps on the android and iOS systems. Thereafter, similar German-wide inspections of warning systems, called Warntag (“danger warning day”) in Germany, will be held annually – always on the second Thursday of September.

The questions remain why now?

  1. Is it due to earlier withdrawal of the US troops stationed in Germany and relocating them to Poland? Hence, Germany feels less secure.
  2. Could it be that German intelligence became aware of the certain threats that could impact national security of the nation?
  3. Is there fear that Alexey Navalny will be poisoned again, using a substance that could be harmful to the surroundings? It should be noted, Navalny is receiving treatment at the German Charite clinic.
  4. Could it be that Germany entertains a possibility that there will be a push to leave EU and that could cause more security concerns?
  5. Is there renewed valid threats related to the terrorist activity?

In conclusion, it is good to have proper systems in place.  The timing is a little odd, given the Coronavirus pandemic continues to be an ongoing issue. Yet, why suddenly after 30 years, this system needs to be brought back?

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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