Bonn/Rhine-Sieg county Bonn is in the process of increasing numbers of civil warning sirens and will be testing them on Saturday.
After the end of the Cold War in the beginning of the 1990s, the German federal government pulled out of the civil warning siren program. Cities were left to decide if they wanted to continue using the sirens at their own control and expense. “In Bonn, about 33 of 120 sirens were kept active” according to Jürgen Eck who is a specialist in catastrophic protection at the Bonn Fire Department. In the years since then, they had been looking for other technical possibilities to warn people but came to the conclusion that a siren was the best way to warn the public quickly of an imminent danger.
In 2012, a program was started to replace the missing sirens, with 60,000 euro being invested every year. Currently there are 42 sirens operating in Bonn. Each one costs 10,000 euro so the replacement rate is 6 sirens per year. By the end of 2020, officials expect to have completed their program with 70 fixed sirens and 18 mobile ones.
On Saturday, the warning sirens will be tested in Bonn and Rhine-Sieg county between 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. This will only be a test but in case of a real emergency, the city advises people to seek closed rooms, shut doors and windows, turn off air conditioning and inform neighbors, and not call emergency numbers 110 or 112 unless there is an urgent need. (Orig. text: Ayla Jacob)