Dutch Emergency Alarm Test

On the first Monday of every month at noon the Dutch government likes to test the emergency alarm system in Amsterdam and the rest of the country. Wailing sirens can be heard every where through out the famous European city. I’m not sure what kind of disasters these alarms are supposed to warn the citizens of Amsterdam about but it occurred to me that if such a tragedy was to actually happen on the first Monday of the month at noon no one would realize something was really wrong until the flood drowned us, the meteor struck us or the rampaging dinosaur ate us.

“What’s The Emergency Alarm For?”

That’s the other strange thing; no one seems to know what kind of impending doom the alarm is supposed to alert us for. Most of my Dutch co-workers enjoy shouting, “the Germans are back,” whenever they hear the loud test sirens. However, I have come up with a few of my own explanations that I like to confuse tourists and freshly arrived expats with when ever they ask me the question, “what is that noise?”

“What’s That Noise?”

1) “That’s to remind me to take my medication.”

2) “Dam, I left the oven on.”

3) “Somewhere, (insert name of bad Dutch sing here) is performing.”

4) “That’s the chav alarm. An Easy Jet flight must have just landed at Schiphol airport.”

5) “That happens every time Febo sells 100 kip burgers.”

6) “Time to put on your clogs… it’s the law.”

7) “What, that? No, that’s nothing… Incidentally, if anyone asks, I was with you all night.”

8) “Dam it. They just finished cleaning up the last Zombie apocalypse. I hope the road cleaners don’t go on strike this time.”

9) “It’s the expat-man signal. Someone needs my help. Up, up and away.”

10) “Quick, hide me! They’re hunting expats again! Please, I don’t want to be a frikandel!”

11) “Oh dear… The Dutch supply of cheese just ran out.”

12) “Oh no, it’s the Sinterklaas alarm! If we don’t make an offering of our naughty children quickly he will take his rage out on all of us!”

16 responses to “Dutch Emergency Alarm Test”

  1. mub says:

    Since we figure the Germans aren’t much of a threat anymore, my husband and I scream that the Russians are coming. I did ask him what would happen if there was an emergency at noon on the first Monday of the month, and he agreed everyone would be dead. So, we better hope there’s no disaster at noon on the first Monday!

  2. Eric Boltjes says:

    @mub thats a common myth! They actually have a different sequence/sound if there actually is an emergency on the first monday of the month at noon! Seriously! :) And I am still unsure if the germans are not a threat anymore ;)

  3. Roxanne says:

    You’re such a comedian. :)

  4. Manictastic says:

    Good job, Stu. Now the Germans will know when to invade. That’s one of the reasons we Belgians never test anything, nor fix our roads.

  5. Ana Luisa says:

    Nice! The other day the building I now work in was evacuated and we were named “the basement staff”; not really related, but made me think of the sirens… :P

  6. Invader Stu says:

    mub – Better not give the Russians any ideas

    Eric Boltjes – Quiet you :p

    Roxanne – Thanks :)

    Manictastic – Oh no, I’ve doomed us all.

    Ana Luisa – Strangely enough, we did have a false fire alarm on the same day.

  7. Seb says:

    I think it is like the bat-signal. Every month they pray and hope that Godzilla will reawaken and come out of the seas and stump on Belgium.

  8. meghnak says:

    Nice post stu! Your is the best comedy blog I’ve ever read!

  9. Invader Stu says:

    Seb – Maybe that already happened to Holland and that explains why the country is so flat

    meghnak – Thank you :)

  10. BlondebutBright says:

    I always have a moment of panic – what’s happening? Then the day – followed by the time – dawns on me, and I relax. Good to know there’s a different sound if there really was an emergency, though!

  11. Anneke says:

    :D Brilliant blog! I love making up reasons for the testalarms! Seriously, you didn’t think you were the only one? :)

  12. suus says:

    and by the way, it’s not just Amsterdam, it’s national. And I’m old fashioned! the Germans are back! Immer geradeaus!

  13. Tess says:

    I thought you watched heroes? Need I say more? :p
    [this is good practise for you: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luchtalarm ] ;)

  14. zed says:

    Off topic, I know, but did you get my email sent the other day, Stu?

  15. Invader Stu says:

    BlondebutBright – I think if I had not found that out I would have still thought it was a test even if the sound changed.

    Anneke – Not at all :)

    Tess – Nop :) I’m watching the second seasion at the moment.

    Zed – Yes, sorry for the slow reply. I’ll be writing soon about what has kept me busy for the last few days :)

  16. Mark says:

    Good post, was wondering what the hell that siren was :D

Tags: , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: