In the event of an imminent danger, e.g. a leakage of hazardous substances, major fires, severe storms, floods, a prolonged failure of electricity, water or gas, or a terrorist attack, the population is warned by a modular warning system. From this moment on, the population's ability to help itself is called for, depending on the damage event.
Sirens are an important component of the modular warning system. Today, there are 57 modern high-power sirens in the city area. In case of imminent danger for the population, the sirens warn with the following tone:
Warning tone: one-minute rising and falling wailing tone
This signal is repeated several times to improve the chance that the signal is perceived by all.
All clear: one-minute continuous tone
Loudspeaker announcements by warning vehicles
In addition, targeted information of the population can be provided via loudspeaker announcements by means of specially equipped vehicles of the fire department and/or police. The Bonn Fire Department maintains 21 "mobile warning loudspeaker systems" for this purpose.
Radio warning and announcements, information telephone
In the event of a siren alarm, specific information and announcements of behavioral measures are made promptly via the radio stations. The control center of the Bonn Fire Department can make warning announcements directly and broadcast them via the Radio Bonn-Rhein-Sieg station.
In addition, an information telephone can be set up with the number 0228 71 71. Information and instructions for action are available via recorded message. Alternatively, if necessary, individual advice can be arranged via hotline.
Up-to-date information can also be found on the Internet in this case: At www.bonn.de (opens in a new tab), you will receive information or instructions for action via a pop-up window, depending on the damage situation. In addition, the city of Bonn provides information on its social media channels in the event of a disaster.
Official warnings are also distributed as push messages via smartphone apps. The official warning app of the federal government is NINA (opens in a new tab).
Other warning apps include BIWAPP (opens in a new tab) and KATWARN (opens in a new tab). For official weather warnings, the WarnWetter app (opens in a new tab) of the German Weather Service is available.
Cell Broadcast (messages similar to an SMS)
During the nationwide warning day on December 8, 2022, the Cell Broadcast warning channel was tested for the first time. This system can be used to send warning messages to all mobile terminals located in a specific section of the cellular network. Cell Broadcast began operating on February 23, 2023.
The functionality of the modular warning system is regularly checked by nationwide and statewide test alarms. The dates are announced in good time via the local media. Detailed information on the nationwide warning day is provided by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) on its own website. (opens in a new tab)
Behavior in case of emergency
Switch on the radio and select the local radio station Radio Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (97.8 MHz) or WDR 2. These stations will provide you with information about the damage event and appropriate behavior. The stations also provide information on their websites.
As a general rule, please observe the following general precautions and instructions:
- Seek out closed rooms, stay in the building and, if necessary, pick up passers-by.
- Close windows and doors and turn off air conditioning or ventilation.
- Remain calm and follow the instructions of the emergency services.
- Do not use the telephone or use it only in an extreme emergency.
- Dial the emergency numbers 110 and 112 only in an emergency.
- In the event of serious damage, the information telephone 0228 71 71 can be used to report damage.