Berlin builds 400 sirens

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Mon 21st Mar, 2022

With the siren support program launched by the federal government, about 5000 sirens can be supported throughout Germany. The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) told the Tagesspiegel.

"All federal states have called up money from the funding program," said a spokeswoman. However, the almost 90 million euro funding program is not enough for a nationwide, nationwide siren system.

The state of Berlin has about 4.5 million euros available from the funding pot. "It is expected that up to 400 systems can be set up in the city area with the available funds," the Senate Department for the Interior, Digitalization and Sports said. The sirens should supplement the existing warning infrastructure.

Initially, they are planned for the city center in densely populated areas and areas frequented by tourists, the Senate Interior Administration announced on Monday. Currently, the first locations for sirens on administrative buildings are being determined. The Berlin Fire Department is responsible for operating the sirens.

The BBK emphasizes that the funded sirens must be able to be connected to the nationwide warning system MoWaS and must also be triggered centrally in the event of an emergency.

The siren support program had been established after the failed Warning Day 2020. With the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the siren infrastructure in Germany has once again come into focus. Interior politicians are urgently calling for improvements in civil defense.

"The federal government must now adapt all areas of civil defense to the new situation as quickly as possible," said, for example, the interior policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Alexander Throm, to the Tagesspiegel. This includes sufficient money for the further expansion of the siren infrastructure. "And the federal government must examine in the short term whether the reactivation of shelters makes sense in view of current military technology and the threat scenarios."

FDP interior politician Manuel Höferlin calls for a modernization of civil defense. "Where it used to be about NBC protection of the population, for example, today - as can be observed in the war in Ukraine - it has long been about ABCD protection - i.e., also the protection of digital assets."

Berlin FDP interior politician Björn Jotzo shared, "The past weeks have made it clear that in an emergency we need solutions that work independently of power and telephone networks." He added that there is no time to waste in preparing for future hazardous situations. "That's why we need not only sirens but a complete reconsideration of the scenarios of civil protection."

Image by Oto Zapletal

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