Strategies for the reduction of natural hazards damages by optimized warning, alarming and intervention in Switzerland

Lilith Wernli-Schärer, Roland Bialek, Martin Buser, Christoph Flury, Bruno Gerber, Florian Haslinger, Christoph Hegg, Birgit Ottmer, Olivier Overney, Hans Romang, Christoph Schmutz and Jürg Schweizer

With the goal of protecting the population more effectively against natural hazards, the Federal Council initiated a project to optimise warnings and alerts in the event of natural hazards, known as the OWARNA project (Optimierung von Warnung und Alarmierung bei Naturgefahren). OWARNA has made it possible to implement measures to improve flood forecasts, such as their quality and availability, strengthen and standardise cooperation at the federal level, provide better information to local authorities and the public, and train local natural hazard advisors. The significant progress achieved through this project contributes to a functioning warning system. Future challenges are to establish crisis-proof forecast and warning systems as well as increase the readiness of the population to handle warnings properly. To meet these challenges, the authorities and the population will essentially need to better understand the potential impacts of natural hazards. In addition, there is a need for standardisation among suppliers of storm warnings.

2016/1 1005-1013