Friday, February 07, 2014

The Swiss Sirens

I am sure you would much rather watch the above beguiling siren Madonna dance in the Religious opening set of her MDNA concert, rather than ....

Our Swiss Sirens

But what are the Swiss Sirens?

From Wikipedia:

Switzerland currently has 8500 mobile and stationary civil-defense sirens, which can alert 99% of the population.[There are also 700 sirens located near 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 in the days before it by radio, television, teletext and newspapers. The siren tests do not require the population to take any special measures.

What did I learn?

  • The siren test is indeed on the first Wedneday in February. Something I had forgotton until this loud horn stared sounding outside.
  • My understanding is that in a real emergency you would all head to your Nuclear Shelter in your basement.
  • In recent years however the Shelter is not taken too seriously.  In our Lausanne home/ apartment complex which is newly built we have a dual purpose set of caves(cellar)/ Shelters.   Per Block , say 30 people there is 1 shelter, but it is just a door onto somebody else's cave.  So there are no provisions to sustain life (food/ liquids) stored there!
  • Therefore in the event of a real emergency we are pretty screwed!
  • In this respect then I'm not sure how effective/ purposeful the sirens really are.