If you’re new to The Netherlands, at midday on the first Monday of the month you might wonder what that siren sound is! In Dutch, it is called a Waarschuwingsstelsel.
It sounds each month, and should be able to be heard no matter where you are located in The Netherlands. There is a network of the sirens of about 4200 located around the country and they look like this:
They can be operated separately from the regional fire departments and are owned by the Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties. (Ministry of Internal Affairs)
If you hear this sound and it’s NOT midday on the first Monday of the month, it’s a warning to go inside, shut all doors and windows and turn on your tv or radio for updates. Of course these are likely to be in Dutch. You can also check the website www.crisis.nl to see if there are current warnings or www.nederlandveilig.nl/noodsituaties/ about how to prepare for an emergency –
and they do have an english section here: www.nederlandveilig.nl/noodsituaties/english There is also a handy english downloadable PDF with handy information on what to do in various kinds of emergencies. Click on the english site link above to download a copy. (unfortunately they seem to have discontinued this link and English information.)
Today 03-12-18 I received this message:
CONTROLEBERICHT. U hoeft niets to doen. Meer informatie op www.nl-alert.nl
TEST MESSAGE: You don’t need to do anything. More information at www.nl-alert.nl
There are several videos on YouTube if you want to preview the siren sound, here’s one:
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