Alerting and informing

Alerting the public

Disasters can occur at very short notice and sometimes without any advance warning. This is why it is so important to ensure a rapid flow of information and to warn the population in time.

Polyalert – the system for alerting the public

In Switzerland approx. 5,000 stationary sirens are maintained to alert the public. The highly reliable system by which the sirens are remote-controlled is designated as ‘Polyalert’.

Alarm signals

The general alert is sounded when there is a possible threat to the population. Should there be a risk of flooding, people living downhill from dams are alerted by the water alert alarm signal.

Information by radio

The authorities can inform by radio at any time. Technical and organisational provisions have been made to this end.

Testing sirens

Every year, on the first Wednesday in February, all sirens across Switzerland are tested.

Issuing natural danger warnings to the public

The relevant government agencies are constantly monitoring the situation with regard to natural dangers, and are responsible for issuing warnings to the authorities and the public.