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Dangers in Switzerland

In the event of real danger, the authorities will alert the population with sirens and announce instructions via radio broadcasts and Alertswiss

Radiological situation

The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and is in constant contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). As the responsible authority and alerting agency for Switzerland, the NEOC receives official information from the IAEA.

Information, warning and alerts

In the event of real danger, the authorities will alert the population with sirens and announce instructions via radio broadcasts and Alertswiss. The FOCP recommends that the Alertswiss alarm app be installed on smartphones.

Shelters

Switzerland has about 365’000 private and public shelters in total, offering shelter places for about 9 million residents, which corresponds to a coverage rate of over 100 percent.

In everyday life, shelters are mainly used for other purposes, for instance as basement rooms, as storage spaces or as clubhouses. If necessary, they can quickly be prepared to serve as shelters for the population. However, preparing the shelters, i.e., clearing them out and furnishing them, is only to be done by order of the authorities. The shelters are designed to enable shorter or longer stays (from a few hours to several days).

With regard to the current situation, preparation for staying in shelters is not necessary. The cantons are responsible for carrying out and updating the allocation planning. However, a public announcement of the allocation is only made when the security situation requires it.

  • You can find answers to frequently asked questions about shelters in Switzerland here.

Iodine tablets

The ingestion of iodine tablets as a protective measure by the Swiss population is mainly envisaged in cases where radioactive iodine is released during an accident in a power plant in Switzerland or in a neighbouring country. Iodine tablets do not offer protection against all radioactive elements, but only against the harmful effects of radioactive iodine on the thyroid gland. In the case of an event, iodine tablets must be ingested in a timely manner. They inhibit the thyroid gland from accumulating radioactive iodine and prevent thyroid cancer.

In communities within 50 kilometres of Swiss nuclear power plants, iodine tablets are distributed as a precautionary manner to all people who spend time there on a regular basis. In these communities, iodine tablets are also stored in pharmacies and drugstores and can, in case of loss, be purchased there at a price of CHF 5.00. In areas outside of a 50-kilometer radius around Swiss nuclear power plants, the cantons store iodine tablets for distribution to the entire population in the case of an incident. Currently, private citizens outside of this zone do not need to keep stores of iodine tablets.

With respect to the current situation, there is no scenario under which the distribution or consumption of iodine tablets would be necessary. Given the considerable distance between Switzerland and Ukraine, it is unlikely that the iodine tablets will be needed in Switzerland. 


Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP Risk Analysis and Research Coordination
Guisanplatz 1B
CH-3003 Bern

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Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP

Risk Analysis and Research Coordination
Guisanplatz 1B
CH-3003 Bern