Residents to receive disaster alert test message on Monday
People living in areas in the west and north of Luxembourg will receive a government text message on Monday, as the country continues to test a new system to alert residents in the event of emergencies such as extreme weather.
The government will send an SMS stating “no action required” in English, French and German to those living in areas such as Strassen, Bertrange, Mamer, Kopstal and Kehlen, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.
The system was launched in May after the government came under criticism for a lack of warnings during last summer’s floods, which swept through entire towns and villages, causing widespread damage and forcing people out of their homes.
The existing GouvAlert phone notification warning system was not efficient, home affairs minister Taina Bofferding said at the time, as only 15,000 people were believed to be signed up to it. The rest of the population would have needed to search for up-to-date weather information on government websites.
Under the new system, SMS test messages are sent out on the first Monday of every month, aimed at preparing the public for “emergency or crisis situations that could have an impact on public safety” such as a “natural disaster, an industrial accident or an attack,” the government said in April.
At the unveiling of the new measures in March, the government said that one single alert will in future be broadcast on to mobile phones, social media and sirens spread throughout the country.
The aim of the test is to ensure the system is working across channels and to identify improvements that should be made, the Interior Ministry said.