Civil protection put to the test | free press

Berlin (dpa) – After the devastating flood disaster, politicians and associations have warned against starting the revaluation or allocating debt too early.

It is now important to first analyze the events surrounding the current flood disaster in detail to see if and where processes have not worked, said CDU domestic politician Mathias Middelberg of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ). This is especially true at the level of the federal states, because they are primarily responsible for disaster relief. He expressly warned against premature accusations or reform proposals.

Wüstner: Help people on site first eerst

The chairman of the Federal Armed Forces, André Wüstner, warned against starting the debate on the revaluation too early. It is now primarily to help the local population with all their might and then “work up where the federal, state and local authorities can improve civil protection,” said Wüstner of the “Heilbronner Voice”. It is good that the Minister of Defense has initiated the strengthening of the Territorial Tasks Command, which should, among other things, improve cooperation with the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Management in May. This should be promoted.

Recently, there has been massive criticism of Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), who has been assigned the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief (BBK). Warnings from the meteorologists would have reached the local population too late. Seehofer rejected this. “I don’t rule out that we need to improve one or the other.” But the warning messages would have worked without any technical problem, Seehofer said. The FDP parliamentary group and the Greens group have requested short-term special meetings of the domestic committee.

Merkel travels to NRW

According to the police (as of Monday) 117 people have died in the devastating storms in Rhineland-Palatinate. 46 fatalities have recently been reported from North Rhine-Westphalia.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has once again traveled to the flood plains in West Germany. After her visit to the Ahrweiler district in Rhineland-Palatinate, badly hit by the flood disaster, she came to North Rhine-Westphalia. Together with NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet, who is also a candidate for Federal Chancellor, she gets a picture of the situation in Bad Münstereifel at 12:00 noon.

Scheuer wants to warn by text message in the future

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer demands that those affected be warned by text message in the future. “I am in favor of sending these push messages to citizens via the mobile phone providers. But that always failed because in some places the political will was lacking,” the CSU politician said in the political talk “Bild live” on Tuesday.

Last week, people in the affected areas were warned of thunderstorms through warning apps such as Nina or Katwarn. Discussions are now underway on how to better warn the population about similar disasters in the future. There are currently no nationwide alert texts in Germany, in other countries such as the US they are common.

Jung: “Crystal clear analysis” needed

The federal states are responsible for disaster relief in Germany. The federal government has no direct responsibilities here. In the event of natural disasters and particularly serious accidents, however, the federal states can call in the assistance of, for example, the Technical Assistance Organization (THW) or the Federal Police.

The chairman of the German Association of Cities, Burkhard Jung, called in the papers of the Funke media group “a crystal-clear analysis after the emergency relief” of what can be learned from the storm in the future. As an example he mentioned “Consequences for future communication in extreme weather”. For example, the failure of fixed and mobile networks made communication more difficult.

Fire Brigade Association: “Emergency Relief Phase”

The German Fire Brigade also called for “an evaluation and evaluation” for the time after the ongoing operation. “It should also be clarified whether warning systems need to be adapted – for example with the analog-controlled siren as a supplement to digital media,” said association president Karl-Heinz Banse of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. At this point, however, it’s too early “for claims or even assigning blame”. “At the moment we are still in the emergency phase on site.”

Meanwhile, vice-chairman of the trade union faction Thorsten Frei called for a national disaster relief law. “Not to undermine federalism – but so that we can act when the damage situation crosses national borders,” the CDU politician told Handelsblatt. Frei also suggested basing emergency aid for the victims of the flood disaster on the experiences of the pandemic. The crucial thing about emergency aid is that it arrives immediately. “The Corona emergency aid in the spring of 2020 could be a role model here, with which those affected could be helped in an unbureaucratic manner. Businesses and agriculture should also be involved.”

400 million euros is available

Federal and state governments not only want to support flood victims with millions of dollars in emergency aid, they also want to help them rebuild later. As Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced, some 400 million euros should be available for rapid aid. In addition, a development fund is planned, which the federal and state governments want to negotiate, according to information from the German news agency, as soon as the damage can be determined. The Rheinische Post reported on this on Monday.

Half of the emergency aid of 400 million euros is for the account of the federal government and half of the states involved. In addition, the federal government wants to exempt the states from the costs of rescue operations by the federal police, THW and civil protection. The operations of the Federal Armed Forces in the floodplains are also not the responsibility of the federal states. The aid package will be launched by the cabinet on Wednesday. But the federal states can also pay emergency aid out of their own funds in advance.

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