Natural hazards include all processes and impact of nature which can be damaging to human beings and material assets.
Natural disasters - even of catastrophic extent - have always occurred in Switzerland. However, as housing schemes became denser and material assets bigger and more valuable, the scale of damage has considerably increased over the past decades. In Switzerland, we nowadays try to challenge these effects with an integrated risk management approach.
Switzerland is frequently affected by floods, storms, landslides and avalanches. Less frequent are droughts and heat or cold waves. Strong earthquakes are very rare, but they can occur, as history proved.
In accordance with its mandate, PLANAT deals with the natural hazards listed below. A general classification of natural hazards based on their causes can be found here.
The knowledge base of www.planat.ch mainly focuses on hydrological, meteorological and geological natural hazards. The issue of biological hazards (e.g. pests, invasive species) are not covered on this website.