Norwegian officials in charge of security and preparedness seemed to score higher Wednesday after more successful tests of their new emergency warning system. Sirens wailed and so did mobile phones all over the country.
The test started at precisely noon, and had been announced in advance to avoid any public panic given all the tension with Russia and recent defense build-up. “The test was meant to be as similar as possible to a real situation, but the text was of course different,” noted the leader of the state preparedness agency DSB, Elisabeth Aarsæther.
It clearly stated that it was a test of the local authorities’ new warning system in the case of “serious situations” and any “immediate danger.” The text also noted that in an actual emergency, recipients of the warning would also be told what was happening and what they should do to protect themselves.
An earlier test resulted in complaints that only around half of those targeted got the message, and there were also some language challenges. When it was actually used during last summer’s extreme weather, many recipients received text in languages other than Norwegian and received it several times.
Improvements and more advanced technology were reflected in Wednesday’s tests, with Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl calling them “a great advancement” for civilian security, “which is extra important in the demanding security situation we’re in now.”