The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) is the competent federal authority for exceptional incidents in accordance with Article 2 of the Ordinance on the National Emergency Operations Centre . It also serves as national reporting and situation centre and as staff unit of the Federal NBCN Crisis Management Board (NBCN Operations Ordinance, Art. 8). The NEOC is a division of the Federal Office for Civil Protection within the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.
The duties of the NEOC include constantly observing and assessing the situation. If there is an event that results in an increase in radioactivity, if there are biological, chemical or natural events (NBCN incidents) or technical incidents (satellite crash, breakdown of infrastructure), NEOC informs its partner organisations, portrays the overall situation and acts as coordinator. In events leading to an increase in radioactivity it can in urgent cases prescribe measures to protect the population. In certain types of occurrences such as major chemical incidents, breaking and spilling over of dams or if there is the danger of a satellite crashing, the NEOC assumes further situation-specific tasks. Furthermore, the Federal Council may assign additional tasks to the centre at any time.
NEOC's structure is designed to always be operationally ready and poised with a minimum of staff to make a preliminary assessment and link up with its partner organisations. In an emergency NEOC will be able to expand its capacities rapidly and in accordance with the situation. In addition to its staff of about 30 fixed employees, it is able to bring various other elements to play in order to have sufficient manpower and ensure sustainability.
NEOC can be reached by its partner organisation round the clock 365 days a year. Every year, some 400 cases call for a situation assessment by persons on standby and sometimes reference to specialists from NEOC or its partners.
In its work NEOC relies on high-performance, crisis-resistant and redundant links to partners such as the cantonal police operations centres.