ACCESS NL > Relocating to the Netherlands > First three months > Formalities > What to do when I hear the sirens?


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Which insurances are most important in the Netherlands?

Is there any insurance that applies to me as a student?

List of useful numbers in the Netherlands

What to do when I hear the sirens?

Every first Monday of the month you at 12 (noon) you will hear the sirens. Iit is just a test and it takes 1 minute and 26 seconds. YThe alarm has nothing to do with attacks from an enemy anymore. Nowadays, it is a warning in case of a huge fire or an environmental disaster.

If you hear the sirens on any other day or time other than the first Monday of any month, do the following:


  • Go inside. If you are outside, working or shopping, go inside as soon as possible, for example enter a shop or any other building.
  • If you are in a car, leave your car and go into a building. In case this is not possible (e.g. you are on a highway), stay inside the car and close all windows and ventilation/air conditioning.
  • Leave your children at school.
  • Offer others the opportunity to hide with you.
  • Close the windows and the doors. Also close other openings in your house and if possible turn the air conditioning off.
  • Do not make phone calls unless absolutely necessary.
  • Listen to the regional radio. The government will inform you via this channel what is going on and what you need to do. If you don’t understand Dutch, ask your neighbours or other people near you what you need to to.

In case of a national emergency, listen to NPO Radio 1 (see for a frequency list) or watch  TV on channel NPO 1 (also known as Nederland 1). The frequency of channel NPO 1 depends on your location and your television provider.

You can find additional information on what to do in case of emergency and how you can prepare for one at this website (Dutch only)

In addition NL-alert is used to inform you about disasters. It tells you what’s going on, what you should do and where you can find more information.
You receive NL-Alert on your mobile phone. NL-Alert can also be seen on an increasing number of digital advertising displays and digital signage at train, bus, tram and metro stops. A handy factsheet about NL-alert can be found on the website of the government 


Which formalities are needed when I move within the Netherlands?