Germany: Hessian Interior Minister Peter Beuth: “Strengthening protective measures for the population”

January 6, 2024

467 siren measures funded with more than 2.3 million euros in Hessen

The state government has continued to drive forward the expansion of the warning infrastructure in Hesse: In 2023, the state supported the upgrading of a total of 467 sirens in around 120 municipalities with around two million euros. The state has thus continued to modernise the warning systems in Hessian cities and municipalities, thereby strengthening an important pillar of civil protection. In addition, a further 300,000 euros in federal funding will be passed on to the municipalities via the Hessian funding programme.

“Citizens are already being warned of dangers quickly and comprehensively, for example via the hessenWARN app, online news services, radio and loudspeaker announcements and sirens. These warning tools are particularly important for reaching people who may not have access to digital warning systems such as mobile phones or other communication devices. It is particularly important for local authorities to have effective warning systems that can be deployed quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency. In order to continue to support local authorities financially in this important task, we have launched a special funding programme ‘Sirens in Hesse’. This helps to strengthen protective measures for the population in potentially dangerous situations and is therefore of great importance to the state government,” said Interior Minister Peter Beuth.

The state and federal funds will be used to support the installation of new electronic sirens mounted on masts or roofs and the conversion of existing sirens to modern electronic sirens to warn and all-clear the population, which can be controlled via the TETRA BOS network.

An important factor in the country’s warning equipment mix
Sirens are used to warn the public and alert the fire brigade. They continue to be highly valued as a means of warning the population and are an important factor in the state of Hesse’s warning system mix due to their alarm effect and the fact that they cannot be put away or switched off like a warning app, for example.

A siren is loud and can therefore be heard over a large area. With their characteristic wailing sounds, sirens indicate a danger or the end of a danger. The warned persons can then obtain information about the type of danger and recommended behaviour from other sources (radio, warning apps, websites, etc.).

With the hessenWARN app, Hesse has an additional state-owned warning tool that provides reliable and comprehensive information about various hazardous situations. The system, which is currently used by around 785,000 citizens in Hesse, including the predecessor app “KatWARN”, offers hazard and disaster warnings from various authorities from a single source, e.g. the fire brigades, police and the Hessian State Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology are also involved in hessenWARN.

Each individual measure is subsidised with 5,000 euros. Notifications of funding totalling more than 2.3 million euros were sent to the municipalities for 467 measures.

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