Wail Ho! Emergency sirens being tested today

‘Big Wailing Day’ to test emergency sirens across Denmark at noon

When the emergency sirens begin to wail across the country 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 a drill.

“The sirens are the most potent method we have to warn the public and we must ensure that they are functional,” said Lars Aabjerg Pedersen, a spokesperson from the Danish emergency management agency, Beredskabsstyrelsen.

“We must also ensure that people know what they should do should the sirens wail in earnest, so we are testing the system on ‘Big Wailing Day’.”

‘Big Wailing Day’ is the nickname given to first Wednesday in every May, when the sirens are tested.

When they hear the sirens today, the public is encouraged to go indoors, shut doors and windows and turn off the ventilation system. Then, await further information from the national broadcaster DR or TV2.

READ MORE: Denmark to be struck by an atomic disaster this week

Don’t call 112
What they should never do, however, is call the emergency line 112, as it’s important not to overload important life-saving calls to the emergency response centre.

The sirens today are expected to go on for about 45 seconds and be repeated about every three minutes. Finally, following another three minutes, one long single tone is emitted that will last 45 seconds and which indicates that 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.

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 noise at noon if you have downloaded the app ‘Mobilvarsling’.

It can be download for Android and iOS phones from Google Play and App Store.

The hard of hearing can sign up to a text message service that sends a text with info regarding the event. That will also be tested today.

See more in the video below (in Danish).