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South Africans in Germany

What is Warntag (National Alert Day)

Warntag is a nationwide emergency alert system test that takes place annually in Germany. It is designed to inform and prepare the public for various emergency situations, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. It aims to raise awareness about emergency procedures and ensure that people know how to respond in case of a crisis. It also serves to test the proper functioning of the technical procedures and the alert channels and devices themselves and to identify any flaws or weaknesses. These will then be fixed.

When is Warntag?

 The national Wartag is usually scheduled for the second Thursday of September at 11 a.m.
An all-clear signal will be sent at around 11.45 am via most alert channels and devices. This will cancel the practice alert.
During the year there might be additional campaigns in specific areas to test the systems for that district. The local authorities and the Ministry of the Interior usually provide information via brochures or online about where the sirens are installed and which siren signals are used to warn the population in the event of an emergency.

Days until the next Warntag

What to expect

 Alerts and warnings include:

  • Sirens. There are two different sounds – an ascending and descending tone means danger and a continuous tone means all clear
  • Vehicles with loudspeakers
  • Digital information boards
  • Information systems of the Deutsche Bahn or at airports
  • Radio and television
  • Mobile phones and smartphones (via cell broadcasting or warning apps such as NINA)
Although you do not need to prepare for Warntag, it is good to know when the system is being tested as it makes very loud noises. Older people, children, people who have fled war and animals may become scared. Tip: ask your municipality which warning channels will be tested in your area.
For more information, visit the BKK Website.  They also have a very informative video for children, it is in German

Responsible Authorities

At the federal level are the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), at the state level the respective interior ministries and at the municipal level usually the authorities responsible for disaster control.


The Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe (BKK) or in English the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, released the Notfall-Informations- und Nachrichten App (NINA). It is available for Android and iOS
When you install the app on your mobile phone, you will receive warnings for various dangerous situations such as the spread of hazardous substances or a major fire.
Weather warnings from the German Weather Service as well as flood information are integrated into the app.

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Disaster preparedness

The Federal office of Civil protection suggests that you keep certain items in your house so that you can be prepared in a disaster situation.Such

Emergency Contacts

The following numbers can be dialled in an emergency, either from a landline or mobile phone. 112The national emergency number. This can be used for