On Wednesday, August 2, sirens went off in Prague and around the Czech Republic. The alarm is a part of regular testing, which happens on the first Wednesday of every month. The sirens serve as a general warning system, including for air raids.
In Prague, in order to quell any worries about disasters or attacks, a message is delivered over the siren system before the alarms go off. The alarms dictated a message, explaining the event’s purpose:
“Dear visitors, at 12 o´clock today the emergency sirens in Prague will be tested. The test siren will last two minutes. Please disregard,” according to a Prague city press release.
The warning was sounded in both Czech and English.
“Vážení občané, z důvodu prověření provozuschopnosti se dnes ve 12:00 hodin rozezní poplachové sirény na území Hlavního města Prahy trvalým tónem po dobu dvou minut,” according to the press release.
In the case of a legitimate emergency, there are different alarms sounds and frequencies to indicate the type of risk or threat. However, as the warning message in the test shows, the electronic alarms are also capable of dictating speech. If a real emergency existed, an explanation and directions can be instructed through the speaker system.
The Operational and Information Center of the Fire Rescue Service of the City of Prague operate and maintain the warning system. The alarms have been tested on the same schedule since October, 2002.