Additional warnings to the population by SMS

Warnings to the German population through ‘cell broadcasting’ have been ordered since Wednesday. This was announced by Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU). All smartphones dialed into a certain radio cell will in future notify about disasters via SMS push notifications, for example in the event of heavy rain and flooding. The system is to be used in addition to conventional warning devices: sirens, apps, and radio. “The warning of the population has to work, on all channels. If you are woken up at night, you have to know immediately what happened and how to react,” said Seehofer. The technical preconditions are currently being worked out, according to the Federal Ministry of Economics. The Bundestag still has to agree, so that the network operators should ultimately be obliged to comply.
It is not yet clear when exactly the system will be ready. It is part of a new overall strategy. Federal Transport Minister Scheuer (CSU) and North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) had previously spoken out in favor of cell broadcasting. The President of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, Schuster, had expressed his conviction that the SMS warnings, in conjunction with sirens, were guaranteed to have an effect in the next few years.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, warnings via the Nina smartphone app were not sent during the floods a week ago, unlike warnings via the Katwarn app. The Ahr river was not on its list, said the Rhineland-Palatinate Environment Agency. The municipalities and districts are responsible for triggering the warnings.
Meanwhile, the Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) said that the Federal Siren Funding Program should be significantly increased. The municipalities could in consequence do more for infrastructure.

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