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Severe weather incidents: City reminds of emergency preparedness and self-help

Whether the Rhine floods in the 1990s, flash floods at the creek in Mehlem in 2013 or the heavy rains in the summer of 2021 - these and other severe weather incidents are still vividly in the memory of many people in Bonn. Currently, the City of Bonn is revising its disaster management planning for possible flooding of the Rhine as well as major storm situations. On this occasion, it informs about changes and reminds people to take some precautions on their own.

Flooding of the Rhine

Amongst others, the update stipulates that in the event of flooding of the Rhine river, flooded residential areas will be evacuated in the future and people in these areas will be asked to leave their apartments and houses and seek safety at an early point in time. This is because in flooded areas they are not only endangered by the water itself, but also exposed to an increased risk of damaging events as a result of the water. Neither the fire department nor the rescue service can reach inhabited buildings in flooded areas fast and with emergency vehicles and resources to provide necessary assistance, for instance. Therefore, from the point of view of the city administration, it is inevitable to bring people to safety in a timely manner. 

The forecasts for the level of the Rhine allow the implementation of evacuation measures within one to two days, about which the city administration will inform through the known channels for public warning. In its planning process, the City assumes that most people will stay with friends or relatives as part of an evacuation. For those who cannot find a place to stay, the City's disaster preparedness includes emergency sheltering. This can be in regular lodging facilities or specially prepared facilities, such as gymnasiums.

In the coming days, the city administration will send a letter to the owners of properties that were last accessible only via footbridges during the Rhine floods in the 1990s. 

Personal precautions in the event of storms or heavy rainfall

Time and again, the consequences of storms and heavy rainfall clearly show the necessity of taking some precautions on one's own in addition to the protective measures initiated by the City of Bonn.  Flooding of private properties and buildings can be prevented most effectively if the necessary protective measures are taken in advance in such a way that, in the event of an incident, damage does not occur in the first place or is reduced. This requires some individual precautionary measures by owners and occupants for their buildings. Since individual precautions are the responsibility of all owners and residents, the updated disaster management planning of the City of Bonn no longer provides for the distribution of prepared sandbags. 

Mobile systems for flood protection will continue to be kept on hand for use by disaster control units. Deployment takes place after prioritization by the operations command at deployment sites where there is a concrete need due to the hazard situation.  The availability of resources for assistance depends not only on the scale of the event, but also in particular on the extent to which the affected population is able to help itself.

Information on the Internet

On the subject of emergency preparedness and self-help, the City of Bonn has provided extensive information on its websites at and 

The Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance has also summarized general information in the guidebook "Emergency Preparedness", which can be found  here (opens in a new tab).

You can also find more information on the Internet at (opens in a new tab) 

Below, you will also find information on the Bonn Network for International Civil Protection and Disaster Risk Reductionat  this site. 


Disaster Prevention Day on October 28

Citizens will also receive information on the topic of flooding and heavy rains at the 4th Disaster Prevention Day taking place on Bonn’s Münsterplatz on Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Bonn's disaster management units from the fire department, various aid organizations and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) will present themselves, their work and technology and demonstrate their skills. 

The Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance will have an information booth on the subject of emergency preparedness and self-help. The Civil Engineering Office and the "HochwasserKompetenzCentrum" (HKC) will also be providing information on how to take precautions against heavy rain and flooding. 

Find out whether your home is at risk of flooding and how you can protect yourself and your building from flooding caused by high water and heavy rains.