Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Are you ready for the sirens?

“What if Alexander Graham Bell's name were Alexander Graham Siren? The phone wouldn't ring, it would GO OFF!! EERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! HELLO! HELLO!!”
George Carlin

So we all know that the Swiss are extremly cautious citizens. They have the right protection for every possible situtation. The prejudice that Switzerland is a country of insurance is absolutely true. The avereage Swiss household (2,23 persons) will spend approx. CHF 1700.-/month for mandatory insurance, including health insurance and contributions to social security or else CHF 20,400.- per year.
Did you know, however, that more than CHF 50 billion are spent each year for non-compulsory insurance, that's CHF 6588.- per head.

But it doesn't stop there.

Be prepared because on February 5th, 2014 the annual test of the sirens will be held in Switzerland between 13:30 and 15:00. 8500 mobile and stationary civil-defense sirens which can alert 99% of the population, will be tested. Sirens for this alert have a regularly ascending and descending tone lasting a minute and repeated after a two-minute interval. Following that, the 700 water alarms, will resonate twelve low sounds lasting 20 seconds each between 14.15 and 15.00 in downstream areas of dams.

Every year, on the first Wednesday of February, Switzerland's sirens are tested. During this test, general alert sirens as well as the sirens near dams are tested to see if they are in working order. The population is informed of the test days ahead by radio, television, teletext and newspapers. The siren tests do not require the population to take any special measures.

Introduced during wartime, they are now used to alert the population to impending catastrophes or water dangers such as flooding. The population is instructed to inform those around them to proceed inside. Once inside, people are instructed to listen to emergency broadcasts made by the Swiss Radio and/or TV.

This is what it sounded like from my balcony in 2011:

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