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Federal Department of Defence
Civil Protection and Sport

Civil Protection

The joint Civil Protection system aims to ensure coordinated management, protection, rescue and relief.
The mission of Swiss Civil Protection is to protect the population and its vital resources in the event of disasters, emergencies and armed conflict.

Information on the most important aspects of the Civil Protection mission can be found on its website.

Joint Civil Protection system External website. Content opens in new window

The joint Civil Protection system aims to ensure coordinated management, protection, rescue and relief. Its partner organisations - the police, fire service, technical services, public health services and the Protection & Support service (P&S) - are in charge of tasks in their respective areas of expertise and provide mutual assistance. The command body has a pivotal role to play within the joint Swiss Civil Protection system.

 

Dangers and risks External website. Content opens in new window

Again and again, Switzerland is affected by incidents and developments that endanger the population and its vital infrastructure or at least considerably restrict everyday life. From today’s point of view, overcoming disasters and emergencies is the greatest challenge for civil protection, in particular because the extent of damage is increasing due to the greater integration of modern society, the growing vulnerability of infrastructure and the high density of valuable assets. 
 

Warning and alerting the population External website. Content opens in new window

Catastrophes can come within at very short notice or completely without prior warning. All the more important are the rapid flow of information and alerting the inhabitants early on. The National Emergency Operations Centre, an agency within the FOCP, plays an important role in warning and alerting. But principally every responsible authority has the right and the means to give the alarm by sounding the sirens itself in the event of a local or regional incident. Information is issued primarily by radio. 
 

NBC Protection External website. Content opens in new window

NBC protection comprises all measures to counter and prevent atomic (nuclear and radiological (N), biological (B) and chemical (C) threats and dangers. These include prevention efforts and the preparation of protective measures, as well as reconnaissance, protection from contamination and infections, decontamination and medical treatment.

 

Compulsory P&S duty External website. Content opens in new window (Further information only in german, french or italian)

All men of Swiss nationality are subject to compulsory military or alternative civilian service. Should they not perform either of these services, they are required to carry out compulsory P&S duty. The P&S service is one of the five partner organisations of the Swiss Civil Protection system.

 

Protection of Cultural Property External website. Content opens in new window

Safeguard and respect – these are the two central requirements set out in the 1954 Hague Convention with regard to the protection of cultural property. Recent events have shown that these basic principles have not been given the priority they deserve. The entry into force in 2004 of the 1999 Second Protocol of the Hague Convention, cultural property protection will once again be top of the international agenda.

 

Protection of crucial infrastructure External website. Content opens in new window

Society, politics and economy depend on a functioning infrastructure network. Those installations and organisations have been designated as crucial whose failure could have grave consequences. At the federal level the Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP has assumed the role of coordinator for the collaboration of all authorities involved in the protection of crucial infrastructure.

 

Protective structures External website. Content opens in new window

Protective structures are primarily designed to provide emergency accommodation in the event of disasters, emergencies and armed conflict. The aim is to guarantee every resident shelter close to his/her home. Switzerland has 270,000 protective shelters for use by the population and a further 3,500 protected premises.

For questions about this page: DDPS Communications

Further information

Documentation

  • Report on the Security Policy of Switzerland
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