Civil Protection in Austria

Federal Alarm Center

The Operations and Coordination Center
The Operations and Coordination Center
© Friedrich Rumpold, BMI

The Federal Alarm Center (FAC) acts as 24/7 contact point for coordination in cases of disaster. Since 2006 it is linked with the Operations and Coordination Center (EKC) of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. As a 24/7 contact point it also serves as the information hub for the National Crisis and Disaster Management (SKKM) and for trans-regional and International Civil Protection and Disaster Management.

If a natural or technological disaster occurs within Austria or abroad, all information arrives at the Federal Alarm Center. The relevant authorities are alerted without delay; moreover, as information platform it supports the coordination of all actions required for an effective response to the crisis or disaster.
The FAC is, among others, the central contact point in Austria for:

  • the Temelin information hotline,
  • the ECURIE system (European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange),
  • the IAEO  (pursuant to the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident),
  • the ERCC  (Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission, within the framework of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism),
  • the EADRCC  (Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace),
  • the ESA/ESOC  (European Space Agency/European Space Operations Centre)
  • for notifications within the framework of the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, (UN ECE ).
Workplace at the Federal Alarm Center, with radiation early warning system and siren control
Workplace at the Federal Alarm Center, with radiation early
warning system and siren control © Friedrich Rumpold, BMI

The FAC serves as the central office for the combined warning and alarm system of the Federal Republic and the Provinces, and as permanent monitoring center of the radiation early warning system. It is connected with the provincial alarm centers (LWZ), with responsible authorities at the federal and provincial levels, the emergency and rescue organizations such as the Fire Brigade, Red Cross, Mountain Rescue Service, and with the contact points of the neighboring countries, the European Union, the NATO Partnership for Peace , and the United Nations.

The provincial alarm centers are permanently staffed disaster management centers at the provincial level. Their task is to warn and alert the public in the event of a disaster. In major disasters they coordinate the emergency and relief services in their respective provinces. The LWZ are connected to the regional headquarters of the emergency and rescue organizations as well as the regional contact points of the neighboring countries.