On 23 May 2018, Swiss hills will be alive, not with the sound of music but the sound of sirens. At 13:30 the nation’s emergency sirens will be sounded to ensure they are in full working order.
An earlier test on 7 February 2018 revealed a software issue in the command centre.
According to the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), the problem was fixed immediately and proper siren function was restored.
At 13:30 sirens will sound for 1 minute. If necessary this will be repeated at 14:00.
In addition, between 14:15 and 16:00, flood alarms situated near dams will be sounded.
If you hear a flood siren, which has a distinctive deep sound lasting for 20 seconds repeated 12 times, then you should immediately leave the danger zone and follow the instructions of the authorities. Flood sirens are used only in risk zones near dams. Click here to hear a flood siren. Click here to hear a general siren.
The following clever advert, featuring a sheep, is amusing. See how many Swiss icons you can spot.
Update: Switzerland’s second siren test went well. The central software system functioned perfectly and sirens were sounded correctly across all of Switzerland, according to a FOCP press release published on 23 May 2018.
Press release from the federal office for the protection of the population (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now