Raising the alarm

Where an incident presents a direct risk and as long as the responsible federal bodies are not in a position to manage the situation, the NEOC is authorised to warn the authorities, alert the population and issue instructions via the radio. For this, there are clearly defined alert procedures.

The NEOC differentiates two levels for the transmission of emergency reports:

  • warnings
  • alerts

Warnings are given if an accident which may lead to the release of radioactivity has occurred. The aim is to ensure the timely mobilisation of the relevant authorities at the federal, cantonal and municipal levels. This also includes preparation for initiating alerts, so that the sirens can be sounded early enough in the event of a general alert.

The general alert is used to alert the population. The “general alert” sirens signal to the population that they should turn on their radio and await instructions from the authorities.
The NEOC instructs the public on what to do and provides them with information on the incident directly via the Swiss national radio news team (Radio SRF). At the same time, the local radio stations receive information on protective measures, instructions and general directions.