Tenth anniversary of Dutch SMS warning system

Tenth anniversary of Dutch SMS warning system
Photo: Adem Ay Ik - Unsplash

The Dutch government has reminded citizens that it will be sending a test alert message to their mobile phones, in order to check that the nation’s alarm system is functioning correctly.

The NL-Alert system has now been in existence for ten years and must be able to warn all residents of the Netherlands in the event of an emergency. Every six months, the government sends a test message in order to check the system is working properly, with messages usually sent on the first Monday in June and December. The system is intended to be able to warn citizens about dangerous situations such as a gas leak or a major wildfire. If a user has their sound turned on on their phone they will hear a loud alarm sound when the message is received. 

Meanwhile, residents who do not have phones will not receive a message. To combat this and to widen the reach of the NL-Alert system, authorities are now displaying the alert in more public places, such as on digital boards with departure times at bus stops and advertising boards. 

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the system, and the twentieth time the test message has been received. Through this period, the system has been used over 1100 times to warn residents of issues, ranging from major fires and unexpected storms to the escape of a poisonous snake.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check out the EuroNews247 website for all your up-to-date European news stories.