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Emergency provisions

The general public should be prepared to feed itself for a period of several days without outside assistance. Therefore, the National Economic Supply (NES) organization recommends storing sufficient emergency provisions for about one week. Emergency provisions should include mainly storable foodstuffs and nine liters of water per person as well as the most important medicines.

Use of a nuclear weapon in Ukraine

Switzerland’s well-developed protective infrastructure serves the population in case of a military attack on our country. The shelters primarily offer protection against conventional attacks, but are also designed to offer protection against attacks with biological and chemical weapons and from the radiological fallout of a nuclear explosion.
If nuclear weapons were used in Ukraine, there would be very little radiological impact in Switzerland. If a nuclear weapon should be deployed to create maximum damage via the shock wave, it would detonate high above the ground. In that case, the radioactive material would be sucked up into the atmosphere and then fall back to the Earth’s surface months later. During this time, short-lived nuclides would decay, while longer-lived ones would be dispersed across the (northern) hemisphere. If a nuclear weapon should detonate on the ground, much material would be carried off by the fireball. The radioactive particles would condensate on it and rapidly fall back to Earth. On the ground, downwind from the explosion, this would cause high local levels of contamination.

Regardless of whether a nuclear weapon in Ukraine detonated at ground level or in the atmosphere: If Switzerland were to find itself downwind of a nuclear explosion about 1,700 kilometers away in Ukraine, there would be a measurable level of radionucleids, but nobody would suffer from acute radiation sickness at that distance. However, the supply of agricultural goods might be impaired, and prohibitions against harvesting, fishing, grazing, and hunting might have to be issued.

In its current situation assessment, the DDPS states that use of nuclear weapons by Russia is unlikely.

Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP Guisanplatz 1B
CH-3003 Bern


Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP

Guisanplatz 1B
CH-3003 Bern