Articles | Volume 4, issue 2
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 4, 257–262, 2004

Special issue: Multidisciplinary approaches in natural hazards

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 4, 257–262, 2004

  16 Apr 2004

16 Apr 2004

IFKIS - a basis for managing avalanche risk in settlements and on roads in Switzerland

M. Bründl1, H.-J. Etter1, M. Steiniger1, Ch. Klingler2, J. Rhyner1, and W. J. Ammann1 M. Bründl et al.
  • 1WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Flüelastrasse 11, CH-7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
  • 2Alpine Safety and Information Centre ASI, Bruggfeldstrasse 5, A-6500 Landeck, Austria

Abstract. After the avalanche winter of 1999 in Switzerland, which caused 17 deaths and damage of over CHF 600 mill. in buildings and on roads, the project IFKIS, aimed at improving the basics of organizational measures (closure of roads, evacuation etc.) in avalanche risk management, was initiated.

The three main parts of the project were the development of a compulsory checklist for avalanche safety services, a modular education and training course program and an information system for safety services. The information system was developed in order to improve both the information flux between the national centre for avalanche forecasting, the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, and the local safety services on the one hand and the communication between avalanche safety services in the communities on the other hand.

The results of this project make a valuable contribution to strengthening organizational measures in avalanche risk management and to closing the gaps, which became apparent during the avalanche winter of 1999. They are not restricted to snow avalanches but can also be adapted for dealing with other natural hazard processes and catastrophes.