SimEX 2011: Deployment of international Search and Rescue teams in response to a simulated disaster

Bern, Press release, 27.09.2011

From 3 - 10 October 2011, Switzerland will be conducting a simulated search and rescue exercise (SimEX) in Kriens, canton Lucerne. This is in conformity with the guidelines of the UN INSARAG (United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group), which require that international rescue teams receive regular training to ensure they are equipped and trained to meet the exceptional demands that arise during deployment to deal with earthquakes and other major disasters.

 The international disaster relief exercise will be conducted by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in close collaboration with the Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS). It includes a combination of virtual planning exercises and operational elements. The exercise is based on the simulation of a major earthquake in the greater Basel area with thousands of dead and injured coupled with devastating damage to housing and industry. Eleven teams from ten countries, plus the exercise management made up of international specialists, will practice search and rescue methods, contact with the local population, and with the cantonal and national authorities. In addition, the management process necessitated by a major international deployment, from the immediate alert to demobilization, will also form part of the exercise. 

Note to the editors

Representatives of the media interested in visiting the exercise will have an opportunity to attend a visitor event on Wednesday, 5 October.

For registration and further information please contact FDFA Information (, Tel. 031 322 31 53).

Further information:

Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs