September 12th Alert: Why Your Phone Will Ring at 11am

On a certain day, it will soon be that time again. On September 12th at 11am, smartphones, loudspeakers, sirens, and more will sound shrill alarm tones. Don’t be alarmed, it’s just an exercise!

This is because of the Nationwide Warning Day, which has been held every Thursday in September for several years. This is used to test the nationwide warning systems, which must reliably sound the alarm in the event of a disaster.

On that day, everyone will receive a test warning on their smartphones or similar receiving devices. The modular warning system was introduced by the federal and state governments, as well as the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, to prepare for an emergency.

What do you have to do on September 12th? You can go about your daily life as normal. From 11 a.m., alarm sounds will sound on all switched-on smartphones, televisions, radios, or the alarm systems in your city or municipality. This includes special roof monitors on taxis.

All you have to do is stay calm. You can read the warning on your smartphone, but it is only an exercise. The all-clear signal usually follows around 11:45 a.m., although in recent years this has not always been sent to smartphones.

By the way, setting your phone to silent mode is no use. The alarm will still sound even then, as it is not dependent on the settings of your device but is triggered via cell broadcast.

Does the warning day take place everywhere? Participation in the nationwide warning day is voluntary, but generally all federal states take part. However, alarm sounds may not be heard over loudspeakers etc. in all municipalities. This depends on availability.

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A survey on Warning Day 2023 has shown that 96 percent received a warning message. Last year, the figure was 92 percent. Most received the warning via cell broadcast or warning apps, and about half heard sirens. Independent of the nationwide warning day, there are also warning days limited to individual federal states.

For more information, you can visit the BKK website.

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