Millions of citizens received a warning today: what to do if the alarm suddenly goes off on their smartphone?
Cell broadcast and warning apps should warn the population of dangers and emergency situations within a very short time. Even if the smartphone is silent, an alarm tone shrills from the cell phone at full volume. But how do you deal with such an emergency alarm correctly?
In Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia there was a state-wide test alarm today. Sirens, warning apps and the newly introduced cell broadcast were used. Unlike the last nationwide warning day, the test warning worked comparatively reliably and well.
But what if it’s not an exercise, but an emergency? How do you deal with a warning message via cell broadcast or Katwarn app in an emergency?
In two federal states – you need to know this about the warning day – so prepare yourself now
1. Stay calm
The most important rule is don’t panic. When the phone turns into a siren at full volume, you get an adrenaline rush. This is good and also wanted, because then everything else becomes unimportant and you can fully concentrate on the alarm. Pull out your phone and take a deep breath.
Resist the urge to clear the message to silence the siren. The volume settings on your mobile phone don’t matter with Cell Broadcast either, the alarm continues to blare despite being muted.
In case of natural disasters – These warning apps inform you about dangers in your area
2. Read the warning carefully
The warning doesn’t come by accident, so you should take it seriously. Exceptions are warning days, which take place regularly nationwide or limited to individual federal states.
Official warning days are a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with the warnings. The most important thing is that you read the warnings. Cell broadcast messages are played in different languages, depending on the language used on the mobile phone.
However, there is a limit of 500 characters and only text can be sent. Feel free to read the message a second time and follow the link provided for more information.
If you accidentally deleted the cell broadcast message, you won’t be able to read it again anywhere. On Android (Pixel running Android 13), look in settings
and shimmy over
Emergency notifications for mobile devices
further. The menu item of the same name appears again, below you can then see
Past Emergency Notifications
. Unfortunately, this looks different on other Android phones or you may not be able to read the messages there again.
We are not aware of any way to make deleted cell broadcast messages visible again on iPhones.
3. Get active and stay up to date
Once you understand the situation, you may need to take action. Example: You are traveling and the warning asks you to leave a certain area. Then comply with the request quickly.
It is also important not to ignore your surroundings, but to help others or inform people in your area who may not have been warned yet.
Since no all-clears are currently being sent via cell broadcast, it is useful if you also have another warning app installed, such as Katwarn or Nina. You will then be kept up to date on this.