NINA, KATWARN & Co. – these apps sound the alarm in the event of a disaster

The images of the flood areas in western and southern Germany from July 2021 are shocking the Federal Republic. In order to be able to react in an emergency, reliable information channels are needed that warn the population about such natural disasters.

Disaster warning apps are used for both iOS as well as for Android and Windows via the respective app stores. Apps that reliably warn of storms and their consequences are listed and explained below.


NINA, the app from the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, detects possible dangers. The application is free and is not limited to severe weather warnings. Official danger reports regarding flood emergencies, traffic disruptions and fire disasters can be received and displayed via NINA.

After the app is downloaded from the App Store and opened, the location must be shared in order to receive relevant information. Alternatively, a search mask allows you to add locations. A map also provides insight into all danger areas in the Federal Republic. The warnings are implemented via configurable push notifications. The options “Striking Weather”, “Severe Weather” and “Extreme Weather” can be selected to be displayed in an emergency. NINA warnings are accompanied by information and “emergency tips” if a disaster occurs. Color markings serve to further assess the dangerous situation.


The Fraunhofer Institute has developed the disaster warning app KATWARN. This application can display information from up to eight cities at the same time. KATWARN is also not limited to signaling possible flood situations. Like NINA, KATWARN also warns of dangerous situations caused by fires and storms.

After the app has been downloaded from the App Store and opened, the most important locations in Germany can be set to receive relevant alerts. There is also the option of issuing a warning when entering a danger area.

Warning weather

The weather warning app from the German Weather Service is available in a free and a paid version.

The functions that the free application includes include an overview of the current warning situation for Germany (down to the municipal level) as well as warning situations for selected locations. The alert function is implemented via push notifications. On-site warnings can be set up about severe weather events, such as thunderstorms, snow and slippery conditions, provided that the mobile phone user has given permission for GPS release. It is also possible to receive coastal warnings and inland sea warnings for Bavarian lakes as well as forecast paths of thunderstorm cells. Video information provides particularly comprehensive information that can also be shared via email or social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The paid version provides additional information on weather elements, such as radar-based model forecasts for precipitation, satellite cloud data, lightning forecasts and increased UV intensity.

Information regarding severe weather conditions can also be viewed via the online weather platforms Wetter Online and In addition to severe weather warnings, these also offer up to 16-day forecasts and weather radars.

Editorial team

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