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Icaro public warning sirens
Icaro (Information Catastrophe Alarm Radio Organisation) is the SRG SSR information service in times of crisis and disaster, as well as during extraordinary events that are not classified as disasters (i.e. they do not trigger Switzerland’s system of sirens).
As of 1 January 2004, Switzerland has had two types of public alarm:
General alarm: A falling and rising tone lasting one minute, followed by a pause of two minutes, after which the siren is repeated. If you hear a siren at a time no siren test has been announced, you should do the following:
- Listen to the radio (Schweizer Radio DRS)
- Follow the instructions of the authorities
- Inform your neighbours
Flood alarm: This is heard in areas close to dams, i.e. in the zone that might be flooded within two hours in the event of a full breach of the dam. 12 continuous low-frequency tones, each lasting 20 seconds, are broadcast at 10-second intervals. The general alarm is sounded earlier, prior to the flood alarm. If you hear a siren at a time no siren test has been announced, you should do the following:
- Leave the danger area immediately
- Observe local information sheets or instructions
Information on warning sirens and how you should act can be found:
- On the back pages of telephone directories
- On the Internet at www.bevoelkerungsschutz.ch
- On teletext, page 662
Any relaxation of emergency measures and the final "all clear" will be announced on the radio or by the local authorities.