OWARNA (Optimierung von Warnung und Alarmierung vor Naturgefahren) is a project of the federal authorities for teh optimisation of warning and alerting in the event of natural hazards. In OWARNA, the relevant authorities within the federal administration cooperate on the development of better forecasting methods and uniform alerting procedures.

Which institutions are responsible for natural hazard warnings?

Forecasting, warning and preparation for heavy rain, storms, snowfall, heat and cold waves and forest fires

In accordance with its legislative mandate, MeteoSwiss, Switzerland's meteorological service, is responsible for natural hazards warnings. Forecasts are transmitted directly to the operations centres of teh cantonal police forces in cooperation with the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) using a protected e-mail network (VULPUS).


Discharge and water level forecasts for hydrological processes

The Hydrology Division of the Federal office for the Environment is responsible for forecasting and alerting in the catchment area of the river Rhine. The relevant cantonal authorities are responsible for these tasks in all other catchment areas.

The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) publishes a hydrological bulletin every Monday and Thursday which contains information about the hydrological situation in Switzerland.


Avalanche warning

The WSL Institute for Snow and Landscape Research SLF is responsible for avalanche warnings. Two avalanche bulletins are published daily during winter months.


Gravitational mass movements

Operations in areas at risk from landslides, rockfall and debris flows are regulated individually depending on the location in question.