The start of WW3?
Well, let’s hope not. If you are treated to a blast of the emergency sirens which blare out regularly in small towns and villages around the region, don’t panic or head for the shelters!
This national network of 4,500 sirens is called the ‘réseau national d’alerte’ ( RNA). On the first Wednesday of each month at midday, the sirens are tested out for one minute. Short sequences are also used in some communes to alert volunteer firemen to man their posts for fire or accident.
DO panic if you hear the siren sound in three sequences of 1 minute each, separated by a silence of five seconds. This warns of imminent and major catastrophe!
Official advice from the Ministry of the Interior is to get out of vehicles, to leave children at school, as they are the school’s responsibility, to avoid using phones to keep networks clear for rescue groups, to keep away from windows, to avoid lighting flames, and to remain in shelter once found until the all clear. Of course, all this good advice rather depends upon the nature of the emergency!