When the emergency sirens begin to wail across the country at midday today, there’s no need to panic. It isn’t the Russians invading, there hasn’t been a toxic chemical spill and, no, Nickleback hasn’t announced a Danish tour.
Fortunately, when the rising and falling sound of the siren echoes across Danish cities and towns today at noon, it’s just ‘Big Wailing Day’, the nickname given to the first Wednesday of every May, when the emergency sirens are tested.
The sirens today are expected to go on for about 45 seconds and then be repeated at three-minute intervals. Finally, one long single tone will be emitted that will last 45 seconds, which indicates ‘the danger’ has passed.
The sirens cover about 80 percent of Denmark and the police can use speakers to reach areas that are not covered.
Should the siren go off for real
Should the sirens ever be activated for real, people are urged to simply go inside and look for more info on DR and TV2.
In previous years, people have been advised to close doors and windows and shut down ventilation systems.
However, the authorities have decided to make the instructions less complicated than last year.
“The reason for changing the message it that it was far too long and difficult to remember,” Lars Aabjerg Pedersen, a spokesperson from the Danish emergency management agency, Beredskabsstyrelsen, told TV2 News.
“And it’s not in all situations that one must close doors, windows and ventilation.”
Don’t call 112
What they should never do, however, is call the emergency line 112, as it’s important not to overload the emergency response centre that is dealing with important life-saving calls.
Aside from the sirens, the authorities are also testing an app that helps warn people of larger accidents and catastrophes. So your smart phone will also make a noise at noon if you have downloaded the app ‘Mobilvarsling’.