Who does what in France?

Stakeholders involved in natural risk mitigation and risk management

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1 - The French State administrations
2 - Available tools, guides and documents
3 - Players (administration, institutions, associations, services...) involved in natural risk mitigation


1 - The French administrations

France is subdivided into regions, départements and municipalities (municipalities).

The municipality or commune is the smallest administrative subdivision in France. There are 36000 communes in all, 90% of them having less than 2000 inhabitants. Each one is administrated by a “maire (mayor), who is elected by the “conseil municipal”. The inhabitants of the commune vote for the conseil municipal in the “élections municipales”.

Since 1790, France has been divided into 95 metropolitan départements and 4 overseas départements. Each one is run by its local council, the “Conseil Général”, which has its headquarters in the principal town. The representant of the State at the scale of the département is the préfet.

Local administrations (“collectivités territoriales”)
This expression covers the administration subdivisions at many scales: region, department and municipality.

In France, a préfet is a high-ranking civil servant who represents the State at the level of the département. Besides a range of important administrative duties, the role of the préfet is to ensure that government decisions are carried out properly at local level. The term “préfecture” refers to the area over which the préfet has authority (in effect the département), as well as the the town where the administrative offices of the préfet are located, and to these offices themselves.


2 - Available tools, guides and documents

AFPS: French Certificate for emergency aid training
It is a 10h training which allows to know the bases of emergency aid, validated by a certificate. Open to anyone, the training costs approximately 50-80 € / person, within a group of 8-10 persons. The main institutions organising this training are the Red Cross, the Fire brigades and the Civil Protection.

BDMvt: Data Base on Slope Movements
This database gathers the slope movements recorded in France (metropolitan and oversea). The movements are classified according to a simplified typology:

  • landslides
  • rock falls
  • debris flow
  • collapse (due to underground cavity)
  • bank erosion (river, sea)

BDMvt allows the collect, analyse and restitution of the basic information that are necessary for the knowledge and study of the phenomena. It memorizes, in a homogeneous way, all the information available in France about recent situations as well as past events. It also allows the phenomena being known.
The data base has been run and developed by the BRGM since 1994, supported by the Ministry of the Ecology (MEDDTL) and the Ministry of higher education and research. Two main institutions collaborate:

  • LCPC (French public works research laboratory) and its regional network made of LRPCs (regional laboratory) and CETEs (public works technical study centres);
  • The Mountain terrain restoration services - RTM.

Data characteristics
The data can be selected by:

  • the type of the phenomenon: landslide, rock fall, debris flow…
  • its geographical localisation in a department or a municipality;
  • the identification number of the phenomenon (number of the file registered in the DB)

The result of the selection can be a map showing the phenomena or a list of events. Each piece of information is linked to a synthetic or detailed file of the event. All these data can be downloaded.
Plans and paper files completing the available data on the website can be consulted in the regional antennas of the BRGM or in the institution which firstly gave the information.

Data quality: the quality of a file is estimated on the base of 3 criteria: the reliability of the information, their precision, and their exhaustiveness.
A lack of data on the map doesn’t necessarily means a that there is no phenomenon: the map shows only the data known by the BRGM when the map is edited.

Data sources (indicated on the detailed event files)
The data of BDMvt come from:

  • former data bases, records or partial inventories of the institutions that contribute to feed BDMvt
  • specific local inventories carried out since 2001 (RTM is in charge of the inventories in Savoie, Haute-Savoie and Isère)
  • localized information from various sources (media, associations, individuals, private offices..)

CatNat: Indemnification of Natural Disasters

The Law n° 82-600 of 13 July 1982 aims at providing compensations to victims of natural disaster within a frame of national solidarity, thanks to a public found relying on both the State and the insurance industry.
All compensation under the 1982 Law is subject to two prior conditions:
• declaration of the state of natural disaster by interministerial decree,
• a “property damage” insurance policy must cover the damaged property.
Clearly, a causal link must exist between the catastrophe declared in the decree and the damage suffered by the insured victim. Buildings and moveable property (including motor vehicles) insured against fire or any other type of damage (theft, water damage, etc) are eligible. The insurance companies paying these eligible compensations are then reinsured by the CCR.
More information here.

CLPA: Avalanche Phenomena Localization Maps
An Avalanche Phenomena Localization map is an informative document. It includes
- A 1/25000 map, which mainly shows (1) the maximum extension of recorded phenomena, drawn on the base of interviews and photo interpretation, and (2) the existing protection measures against avalanches. The map is updated yearly, and every 10years a more detailed enquiry is carried out.
- A synthesis of the information available at the scale of a mountain massif, for the prevision of avalanche risks.
Look at the CLPA

DCS: Synthetic Municipality File
This file is written up by the préfet, with the support of all the local players in the major risks field. It presents for the municipality the natural and technological risks registered at the time of its publication. It tends to inform the citizen and raise their awareness, thus being a key link in the information chain. It must be as widely diffused as possible.
It is free of access for the citizen in their town hall, as well as the Municipality Information Document on Major Risks - DICRIM.
More information in French about the DCSExample of a DCS file

DDRM: Departmental File of Major Risks
It is a file for informing and raising awareness on natural and technological major risks, achieved at the département scale (according to the article R125-11 of the Code de l’Environnement)
It is written up by the préfet, with the support of all the players involved in the major risks field, and validated by the Risk Analysis and Preventive Information Cell (Cellule d'Analyse des Risques et d'Information Préventive - CARIP). It has been achieved in all the French départements, but be be updated every 5 years at least.
On the basis of the available knowledge, the DDRM presents:
- the list of the concerned municipalities;
- the major risks identified in the département and their description;
- their foreseeable consequences on men, good and environment;
- the past known evens;
- the preventive and protective measures.
The DDRM acts as a database for achieving the Global Municipality Files (DCS). It tends to call up local elected officials (specially the mayors) about the risks in their département and municipality, in order to make them pass the information.
More information in French: DDRM

DICRIM: Municipality Information File on Major Risks
This file is written up by the mayor supported, if needed, by the different services of the Risk Analysis and Preventive Information Cell (Cellule d'Analyse des Risques et d'Information Préventive - CARIP).  
It is based on the information contained in the Departmental file on major risks (DDRM) and the global municipality file (DCS) ; it specifies the measure implemented at the municipality scale within the prevention frame (municipality safeguard plan).
In many municipalities, a single document (DCS/DICRIM) is elaborated, more easily readable by the citizens.
More information in French about the DICRIM

EPA: Permanent Avalanche Survey 

It is an inventory, as complete as possible, of all avalanches observed on a given site.
Around 4200 sites are covered by a permanent Avalanche Survey; they have been chosen for their scientific interest and their vulnerability (elements at risk). Each site is precisely localized thanks to data leaflets and photographs. The information is gathered by forest technicians (date, snow amount, altitude of departure and arrival, type of avalanche) and sent to the Cemagref where they are put in a data base. Over 70.000 avalanche events have been registered.

Look at the EPAs.

FPRNM: Found for the Prevention of major Natural Risks (Fonds de Prévention des Risques Naturels Majeurs)

The Found for the Prevention of major Natural Risks was created by the law 95-101 of February, 2nd 1995. It is also known as Found “Barnier”. Is a public found under the legacy of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of the Finances, managed by the Central Reinsurance Agency (CCR); it is fed by a 2% deduction from the additional premiums related to the natural disasters.
Its goals are:
- to provide compensation for people when a serious threat of landslide, avalanche, or heavy flooding causes the Government (or the municipalities) to compulsorily purchase the land, is the case the protection measures for protecting people are more expensive than expropriating;
- to finance the expenses due to temporary evacuation and re-housing of people exposed to such risks;
- co-finance the half of the State’s expenses related to the Risk Prevention Plans;
to finance a range of preventive measures.
Information in French:
- Le fonds de prévention des risques naturels majeurs
- Financement par le fonds de prévention des risques naturels majeurs (FPRNM)

ORSEC plan: Organisation de la Réponse de SÉcurité Civile

The relief organisation plan takes inventory of all the public and private means able to be mobilized according to the type of risk. It defines the basic organisation for any type of situation, with additional specific dispositions peculiar to certain types of hazards identified in advance. It can cover one or several departments, and even a maritime zone. The ORSEC plan is launched by the department's prefect when the relief organization assumes a particular scope or nature and exceeds the scale of the municipality.
More information in French:
- La nouvelle planification ORSEC (Ministère de l’Intérieur)
- Guide ORSEC Départemental Tome G1 : Méthode générale
- Guide ORSEC Départemental Tome G2 : Soutien des populations

PCS: Municipality Safeguard Plan
The municipality safeguard plan determines, according to the known risks, the immediate safeguard measures and protection of persons, establishes the necessary organization for diffusing warning and safety instructions, and takes inventory of the means available and defines the implementation of measures of accompaniment and support of the population. This plan is mandatory in the municipalities with an approved foreseeable natural risk prevention plan (PPRN) or included in the domain of an offsite emergency plan (PPI) for technological risks.
The Ministry of Interior provides a guide explaining step by step how to establish a municipality safeguard plan:
- Guide pratique d'élaboration du Plan communal de sauvegarde (2006-Ministère de l’Intérieur et de l’Aménagement du territoire – Direction de la Défense et de la Sécurité Civile- Sous-direction de la gestion des risques)
- There is also a Memento, which answers many questions local authorities can face when deciding to establish a municipality safeguard plan.

PLU: Local Urbanism Plan

In France, it is the main document concerning the municipality planning. It includes maps and reports. It is rule by the Planning Code, article L123 and following ones, article R123 and following ones. Many small municipalities only have a municipal map, except if there is a special development pressure or landscape/architecture specificity.

PPRN:  Natural Risk Prevention Plans
The Natural Riks Prevention Plan is the main tool of the French State for its policy regarding prevention of natural risks. It aims at taking into account all the natural hazards and related risks into the planning and development decisions (There is a part for the Technological Risks Prevention Plan).
They were create by the law 95-101 of 02/02/ 1995 (law « Barnier ») and reinforced by the law n°2003-699 07/30/2003 (law « Bachelot », article L.562-1 from the Environment Code).
Established under the State's responsibility, which assumes the financial expense, they are at the initiative of the department's prefect. They are drawn up by the decentralized services of the State (departmental direction of the infrastructure - DDT, National forest office - ONF), responsible for the identification and the qualification of natural hazards and risks.
These PPR can prescribe various specific measures: prohibit construction, develop certain activities (agricultural, industrial), require construction work to be performed on existing buildings (in the limit of 10% of the monetary value of the exposed goods), authorize construction and new activities with prescriptions, and define the particular rules of occupation or use.
Before approval of the PPR, provisions can be made immediately opposable by decree for three years. After approval, the PPR serves as easement of public interest and are annexed to the local planning document  (PLU) for taking it into account in the construction permit. In 2005, more than 5,000 municipalities are covered with a natural risk prevention plan. The local authorities will henceforth be associated at each step of their elaboration.
A complete PPR includes:
- a presentation report : short description of the area, of the phenomena and elements at risks which have been identified and the possible consequences;
- one or more regulatory map(s) – scale 1/10 000 to 1/5000 – showing the different areas ruled by the PPR:
            - Red: no conscruction is possible
            - Blue: constrction is possible under prescription conditions     
            - White: construction is possible
- a regulation report: it defines the interdictions and prescriptions to be applied in each area.
- an annexe: one report for each hazard concerned.

The approved PPR all over France are available on-line : , "Ma commune face au risque".

PSS: Specialized Relief Plan

The Specialized Relief Plans are part of the Emergency Plan ruled by the law n° 87-565 30/22/1987 "Civil Security”. Each PSS is linked to a specific risk. It is validated by the prefet.
It defines the management of operations, the intervention areas, the measures, the means (human, technical, medical), the players and their role, the responsibilities.

Mountain rescue is most of the time undertaken in the frame of such a Plan.

SAGE: Water management and planning scheme (Schéma d'Aménagement et de Gestion des Eaux)

A SAGE tends to implement a water management devised between all concerned stakeholders, at the scale of a hydrographical unit or an aquifer system. Elected people, administration, and users (consumers, farmers, fishers …) gather within a Local Water Commission.
It defines priorities, taking into account the protection of the water environment, the enhancement of water resources, the foreseen evolution of rural areas, the urban and economical environment, the balance between the different uses of water and the economical constraints.

SCOT: Schéma de Cohérence Territoriale

This planning document fixes, at the scale of several municipalities or groups of municipalities the main axes of the territory’s organisation and evolution of the urban areas, in order to preserve the balance between urban, industrial, touristic, agricultural and natural areas.
it implements the public policies concerning housing, economic development and transports. It is ruled by the Planning Code, article L.122-1 and following ones.

Servitude d’utilité publique: Easement of public interest

It is an administrative restriction of the propriety and land use rights, ruled by the Planning Code, article L.126-1. It is implemented by the State services and must be followed by the local authorities when elaborating the planning documents. The Local Planning Document (PLU) must respect the easements of public interest. For example, a Natural Risks prevention Plan applies as an easement of public interest.

ZAC: Devised planning area (Zone d'Aménagement Concerté)

A ZAC is an area where a public authority can implement the development of the ground it owns by setting public infrastructures (school, road, water treatement, housing….). It is ruled by the Planning Code, law 12/30/1967 modified.


3 - Players (administration, institutions, associations, services...) involved in natural risk mitigation


Agence de l’eau Rhône-Méditerrannée-Corse: Water agency for the south-est regions

The Rhône-Mediterrannée-Corse Water Agency is one of the 6 Catchments Area Agency in France (South East Region). It covers the whole of the French catchments area of the Mediterranean sea.
The 6 catchments Area Agencies are State institutions, under the legacy of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of the finances. They aim at promoting, at the scale of their catchment area, the rational use of water resources, the fight against pollution and the protection of water environments. The main actions are:
1. Common interest actions:
- protection and improvement of the water resources;
- fight against pollution;
- media knolwedge.
2. Creation and collection of taxes for water harnessing and media quality detrioration
3. Grant or advance distribution to local authorities, industry, or farmers for common interest work.
4. Information diffusion towards public.

Concerning flood prevention, the Water Agency partly finances the restauration and maintenance of river beds as well as the preservation of volontary-flooded areas. It provides subsidies for the reparation of flood damages on water infrastructures. It also takes part to the evaluation of flood hazards through subsidies to the River Planning Syndicate. However is has no specific founding for these themes.


ANENA: National Association for Snow and Avalanches Study

The "National Association for Snow and Avalanches Study" (Association Nationale pour l'Etude de la Neige et des Avalanches ANENA) aims at increasing security in mountain areas through snow and avalanches risks prevention. It is not a research institute (see CEN and Cemagref), but more a coordination link between professionals, individuals and elected representatives of mountain areas.

Adresse : 15, rue Ernest Calvat
Tel: + 33 (0)4 76 51 39 39 - Fax: + 33 (0)4 76 42 81 66

Email :  
- general:
- documentation:
- professionnal formation:
- jurisque - conférences - accidentologie:
- webmaster :


BRGM: Bureau des Recherches Géologiques et Minières

The BRGM is a state-funded industrial and commercial establishment (EPIC), created in 1959, depending on both Ministry in charge of teaching and research and Ministry of Ecology (MEDDTL). In the field of Earth Sciences, the BRGM has to handle natural resources as well as geological hazards. Its main goals are:

  • to understand geological phenomena, develop methodologies and new technics, produce and spread efficient data;
  • to offer the necessary tools for the ground, underground and resources handling, for the natural risks and the pollutions prevention, for the public policy of land use planning.

The activities are gathered around 4 missions: scientific research, public policy support, international cooperation, mining security and prevention. They include 10 specific fields:

  • Geological mapping
  • Mineral resources
  • Geothermical science
  • Carbon dioxide storage
  • Water
  • Land use and natural geological hazards
  • Polluted soils, waste handling
  • After mining (once a mine is closed)
  • Metrology
  • Numerical information systems

Concerning natural risks, the BRGM activities deal with seismic hazard, volcanic hazard landslides, clay shrinkage – swelling hazard, collapses due to underground quarries and abandoned mines.
They include the knowledge of phenomena and their modelling, the evaluation of corresponding hazards, the study of the vulnerability, the risk evaluation and its prevention, the preparation to crisis situations, information and training actions.

The BRGM is present in 22 administrative regions, including Rhône-Alpes, as well as in France overseas departments (4) and territories (3). This organisation as a network allows to answer to local needs, provide a local support to public policies and let research and development issues go up to the heading centre.


BRGM - Centre scientifique et technique
3, avenue Claude-Guillemin BP 36009 45060 Orléans, cedex 2, France
Tel: +33 (0)2 38 64 34 34 / Fax: +33 (0)2 38 64 35 18

BRGM - Siège 
Tour Mirabeau - 39-43, quai André Citroën
75739 Paris Cedex 15, France
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 58 89 00 / Fax: +33 (0)1 40 58 89 33

BRGM Rhône-Alpes
151 Boulevard Stalingrad 
Tel: 04 72 82 11 50 / Fax: 04 72 82 11 51

» Contact of local antennas in the regions


CAF/FFCAM: French Alpine Club / French Climbing and Mountaineering Federation

The French alpine and mountaineering clubs federation offers mountain activities such as mountaineering, hiking, climbing, snowshoe hiking, mountain skiing, mountain biking, canyoning, caving, paragliding…
It also promotes the knowledge and the protection of the sensitive mountain environment. It takes part to the sustainable development of high altitude areas through its 128 mountain refuges, shelters and mountain centres. It contributes to the training and information of mountain users about security, land use planning and protection of mountain territories, elaboration and transmission of a “mountain culture”. It is in this way an important stakeholder of the mountain world.

With its 285 clubs, 5000 volunteers, 82000 participants, the FFCAM is also a member of the International Union of Mountaineering Association (UIAA).


CARIP: Risk Analysis and Preventive Information Cell

Under the direction of the prefect, it is the leading structure of the whole department organisation concerning risks. It gathers State services (prefecture, DDT, SDIS, DREAL, Météo-France …), elected representatives of municipalities and department, economic representatives, associations protecting the environment.


CCR: Central Reinsurance Agency

Created in 1946, CCR is a French state-owned company, ranked among the top 25 reinsurers in the world. An agreement between CCR and the Authorities allows CCR to offer reinsurance cover with a Government guarantee for specific categories of insurance, notably in the field of natural disasters. CCR thus provides a guarantee of solvency and security for insured victims within the natural disaster compensation scheme. The CCR also manages the accounts of some public founds, such as the Found for the Prevention of major Natural Risks (FPRNM).

Detailed outlet "Natural disasters in France" in French and English

CONTACTS: Caisse Centrale de Réassurance
31, rue de Courcelles
75008 Paris - France
Tel: + 33 1 44 35 31 00


Cemagref: Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Research Institute

Cemagref is a public research institute that targets results directly useable in land and water management. The goal is to produce new knowledge and technical innovations for use by managers, decision-makers and companies in providing answers to the specific questions raised by society concerning resource management, land use and development.

Work focuses on surface-water resources, land and aquatic ecosystems, predominantly rural areas, water technologies, agrosystems and food safety.

Concerning floods:

Research Unit “Hydraulic Works and Hydrology” (Aix-en-Provence) OHAX
The OHAX Research Unit carries out its activities in the fields of performance and safety of hydraulic structures (Research Theme SECURE) and the hydrology of floods and low waters (Research Theme TRANSFEAU).
The Unit is organized into two teams:
• The Hydraulic Structures team works within the SECURE Research Theme on the development of methods and models for the diagnosis and analysis of risks related to dams and embankments: pathology of the structures, the study of their decaying processes particularly through erosion, and means of prevention are the core of the research work. These rely heavily on structure assessment services provided for the Ministry of Ecology.
• The Hydrology team is part of the TRANSFEAU Research theme and researches regional knowledge of water resources and the predetermination and prediction of flood streamflows.
Activities are based to a large extent on test results and measurements achieved by the laboratories of the Research Unit (a soil mechanics laboratory and an experimental research catchment), as well as on several information systems developed and/or operated by this unit.

Research unit “Hydrosystems and Bioprocesses” (Antony) HBAN
The Hydrosystems and Bioprocesses Research Unit works on scientific domains with a strong environmental focus.
Researchers investigate hydrological functioning of natural and agricultural watersheds, studying the rainfall-runoff relationship as well as the impact of hydroagricultural developments and agricultural practices.
In natural or anthropically modified river ecosystems, the research focuses on the bio-availability of micropollutants (organic or mineral) characteristic of areas under urban pressure.
The functioning of the river ecosystems is studied through fish populations. The response of these populations to variations in the physical environment, whether natural or anthropic, are studied and described.
Finally, in the domain of facilities optimization and control of their environmental impact, the unit studies the processes of deterioration and transformation of wastewater in wastewater treatment plants and natural waters.
Another of the unit’s main lines of research is the functioning of waste storage systems. This question is addressed through water and leachate transfers, the influence of these transfers on waste transformation, as well as the sustainable management of associated environmental risk. The models and the expertise developed by HBAN are applied to wastewater treatment plant design and waste storage centres, the prediction of water resources (rivers, dams) and exceptional events (floods, low waters), the management of fish populations and the occupation of watersheds having undergone high levels of anthropic modification, enabling an integrated approach of hydrosystem management.

Fields of research
• Transfers of water and infectious agents
• Impacts of structures
• Sizing of structures
• Performance of structures
• Performance and ageing of geosynthetics
• Hydrological modelling
• Ichthyology
• Ecological engineering
• Biogeochemistry and biology of the process and of the environment
• Process engineering
Risk-related fields of application
• Farming plots
• Watersheds
• Hydraulic structures
• Surface water sources
• Geosynthetics
• Drainage and waterproofing systems
• Assessment of water resources
• Characterization of the impacts of development
• Floods and low waters
• Natural waters
• Management of the ecosystems of running water

Research Unit “Hydraulic and Hydrology” (Lyon) HHLY
The Hydraulic & Hydrology Research Unit conducts research and provides technical support in connection with management strategies for water resources, flowing water ecosystems and associated natural risks and accidents.
This research focuses on understanding resource quantities and quality through modelling physical processes in terms of hydrology, fluid mechanics, hydraulics, whole-catchment hydrological models, and ecohydrology.
Methods and tools thus developed yield responses to social demands for improved knowledge about recorded river discharges and extreme events, and approaches for dealing with floods and droughts. The analytical approach combines integrated conceptualisation of the hydrological and hydraulic functioning of rivers with catchment development proposals.
Typical examples of the work performed alone or with others by the Unit are:
• Flood management support system : Inondability method
• SPHERE project systematic, palaeoflood and historical data for the improvement of flood risk estimation
• BASE In project Development of a prototype system for aid in obtaining historical information on floods - Application to the rivers Ardèche and Isère

Concerning avalanches, torrential erosion and slope movements:

Research Unit “Torrential Erosion, Snow and Avalanches” (Grenoble) ETGR (Erosion Torrentielle, Neige et Avalaches ETNA)
This research unit aims to develop tools that can be applied to engineering and the prevention of natural hazards in the mountain environment (avalanches, wind-transported snow, floods and mudflows, rockfalls, hazards from glaciers). This unit conducts fundamental research in the domains of the formation, rheology, and dynamics of flows.
The team’s physical and numeric modelling activity supports this research in laboratory and field experiments. The unit’s other activities involve the study of protective techniques, cartography, and the development of information systems for managing natural hazards.
The ETGR research unit manages two databases on avalanches: the EPA (Permanent Avalanche Survey) and the CLPA (Avalanche Phenomenon Localization Map). It also conducts many expert assessments in France and abroad.

Fields of research
• Study of the elementary processes of hazard formation
• Dynamics of rapid gravitational flows
• Flow–structure interactions
• Physical and numeric modelling
• Metrology adapted to taking measurements in extreme conditions
• Protection techniques
• Cartography and representation of natural hazards
Fields of application
• Snow-related hazards (avalanches, snow drifts)
• Wind-transported snow
• Flooding hazards (erosion and mudflows)
• Rockfalls
• Hazards from glaciers


ETNA: Groupement de Grenoble,
2 rue de la Papeterie BP 76 38402,
Tel. 33 (0)4 76 76 27 27
Fax. 33 (0)4 76 51 38 03

HBAN: Cemagref
Parc de Tourvoie - BP 44 , 92163 Antony Cedex
Tél. 01 40 96 61 21 /Fax 01 40 96 62 70
Adresse géographique
14, avenue du Parc des Sports, 94260 Fresnes

HHLY: Cemagref
3 bis, quai Chauveau - CP 220 , 69336 Lyon Cedex 09
Tél. 04 72 20 87 87 / Fax 04 78 47 78 75

OHAX: Cemagref
3275 route Cézanne - Le Tholonet , CS 40061, 13182 Aix-en-Provence Cedex 5
Tél. 04 42 66 99 10 / Fax 04 42 66 88 65


CEN: Snow Study Center

see Meteo-France


CETEs: Centres for the Technical Study of Infrastructure,12616.html

Within the ministry of Ecology, in charge of public works (MEDDTL), around 20 institutions make a scientific and technical network, which activities are related to land use, infrastructures and transport. It includes 8 CETEs (Lyon, Est, Méditerrannée, Nord-Picardie, Normandie-Centre, Ouest, Sud-Ouest).
This network gathers 7 sectors of activity, including risk prevention (+ transport, urban policy, construction and housing, civil engineering, sea and littoral, earth knowledge and meteorology). The risk prevention field concerns:

  • global approach for conception and decision-making support
  • slope stability
  • hydrological risks and protection
  • seismic vulnerability of existing buildings

The CETEs work on:

  • new public works projects, including setting up in hazard –exposed areas
  • knowledge of the hazards
  • alerts

In Lyon, the soil mechanics unit (Groupe mécanique des sols) is in charge of landslide hazard / protection; the rock mechanics unit (Groupe mécanique des roches) is in charge of rockfall hazard / protection.

CETE de Lyon
25, avenue François Mitterand
Case n° 1, 69674 Bron CEDEX
Tél. : 33 (0) 4 72 14 30 30
Fax : 33 (0) 4 72 14 30 35

CETE Méditerranée
30, rue Albert Einstein
Pôle d’activités d’Aix-les-Milles - BP. 37 000
13791 Aix en Provence CEDEX 3
Tél. : 33 (0) 4 42 24 76 76
Fax : 33 (0) 4 42 24 77 77


CGEDD: General Council of Environment and Sustainable Development



CIRCOSC: Interregional Centre for coordinating Civil Protection

The CIRCOSC are the main commanding tools of the Defence Zones, under the authority of the préfets de zone (cf. Ministry of the Interior). They are constantly informed of the situation in the departments of their Defence Zone. Their main functions are:
- permanent link with the CODISC and real-time information of the préfet de Zone
- organizing emergency aids on the Defence Zone


CNRS: National Center for Scientific Research

The CNRS is a government-funded research organization, under the administrative authority of France's Ministry of Research.
Founded in 1939 by governmental decree, CNRS has the following missions:

  • To evaluate and carry out all research capable of advancing knowledge and bringing social, cultural, and economic benefits for society
  • To contribute to the application and promotion of research results
  • To develop scientific information
  • To support research training
  • To participate in the analysis of the national and international scientific climate and its potential for evolution in order to develop a national policy

CNRS research units are located throughout France, and employ a large body of tenured researchers, engineers, and support staff. Laboratories are all on renewable four-year contracts, with bi-annual evaluation. There are two types of labs:

  • CNRS intramural labs: fully funded and managed by CNRS (called UPR, or unités propres de recherche, in French)
  • Joint labs: partnered with universities, other research organizations, or industry (called UMR, or unités mixtes de recherche, in French)

As the largest fundamental research organization in Europe, CNRS carried out research in all fields of knowledge, through its six research departments:

  • Mathematics, Physics, Earth Sciences and Astronomy (MPPU)
  • Chemistry
  • Life Sciences
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences and Sustainable Development (EDD)
  • Information and Engineering Sciences and Technologies (ST2I)

and two national institutes:

  • The National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3)
  • The National Institute of Earth Sciences and Astronomy (INSU)

CNRS encourages collaboration between specialists from different disciplines in particular with the university thus opening up new fields of enquiry to meet social and economic needs. Interdisciplinary research is undertaken in the following domains:
Life and its social implications

  • Information, communication and knowledge
  • Environment, energy and sustainable development
  • Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials
  • Astroparticles: from particles to the Universe

CNRS's annual budget represents a quarter of French public spending on civilian research. This funding comes from various sources, Government and public funding but also CNRS funds, primarily from industrial and EU research contracts and royalties on patents, licenses, and services provided.
More information in English


CODIS: Centre Opérationnel Départemental d’Incendie et de Secours

The local operational centre of the civil fires brigades coordinates the activities of the SDIS units (civil fire brigades) over the département ; it ensures relations with the préfets, the authorities of the Defence Zones, the département and the municipalities, as well as with other public or private organizations involved in rescue and aid operations. It is managed by a professional fireman.
It is permanently linked to the SDIS as well as to the phone call reception and regulation centres of the S.A.M.U (Emergency medical aid service).

The C.O.D.I.S are essential in the organisation of the decentralised Civil Defence and Security, as tools for centralising information, supporting decision and command.


CODISC: Operational Centre of the Civil Protection Directorate

Created in 1977, the CODISC centralises the alerts and coordinates the rescue / emergency aids operation at a national scale. It is especially in charge of gathering, completing, analysing and working the information that is transmitted by the local centres and to inform the minister in charge of Civil Protection.
It is constantly in relation with the 5 CIRCOSC of the Defence Zones and with the CODIS at the department level. With the advise of experts from all the State administration, its evaluation and advising capacity can be at disposal for any local authority on the field.


Croix Rouge Française: French Red Cross

The French Red-Cross is a non-profit-making association, state-approved since 1945. With its 50.000 voluntary helpers and 16.000 workers it assists the state in its humanitarian activities, for example in case of a disaster. The association regularly intervenes for emergency missions during exceptional situation where important human and logistic means are needed.
The association also has a mediatory and complementary function between the victims and the services of the state, the municipalities and the specialised institutes.

Délégation départementale de l'Isère
Téléphone : 04 76 46 16 72 - Fax : 04 76 85 37 27
Délégation départementale de la Savoie
62 Passage Sébastien Charlety
73000 Chambéry
Téléphone 04 79 85 04 27 - Fax 04 79 85 44 58
Délégation départementale de la Haute-Savoie
1 Quai des Clarisses
74000 Annecy
Téléphone 04 50 45 85 13 - Fax 04 50 52 89 15

More information


CRS montagne

The C.R.S. are specialised members of the National Police.
They are in charge of 3 types of missions:
- police missions: administrative and judiciary police;
- security missions: preventive measures, controls, surveillance;
- emergency aid missions: they are permanently free for service for the prefect, for taking part to emergency aid actions in mountain area.

Within their mission of mountain rescue, they act alternatively or in collaboration with the PGHM, accordingly to the Specialized Relief Plan in each department.

The C.R.S. corps includes the following units: C.N.E.A.S based in Chamonix, C.R.S des Alpes (Grenoble, Briançon, Albertville), the mountain sections of the companies 6, 29, et 58 (Nice, Lanemezan, Perpignan).

See also PGHM


CSTB: Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment

Created in 1947, the scientific and technical centre for the buildind trade (CSTB) is a state-funded industrial and commercial establishment (EPIC). Its activity concern in particular the construction rules that have to be implemented to face natural phenomena (snow, wind, earthquakes…).


DDT: Direction Départementale des Territoires

This new directorate (ex DDE and DDAF) is responsible for implementing over the local territory (department scale) the policies of several Ministries, particularly the Ministry of the Agriculture (Agriculture, Food, Fishing, Rurality and Land use planning) and the Ministry of the Environment (Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transports and Housing). It is in charge of all the matters related to land use planning and space management:
• Land use planning;
• agricultural, forestry and rural economy;
• environment, water and natural spaces;
• urbanism, housing and habitat;
• risk prevention, transports, road safety.

It also has to implement over the department the measured issued from the Grenelle Environment process. The Grenelle Environment gives these State missions a new orientation, with the necessary territorialisation of the sustainable development approaches, in partnership with the local authorities.

Cf. MEDDTL > List of DDT's...


DREAL: Regional units of the French Ministry of Ecology

DREAL are the Regional Directorates for the Environment, Town and Country Planning and Housing of the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Developpment, Transport and Housing: cf. MEDDTL > DREAL


IFSTTAR: French institute of science and technology for transport, development and networks

The IFSTTAR is a public research institution (EPST, a Public Scientific and Technical Research Establishment) resulting from the merger of The French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research (INRETS) and the French Central Laboratory of Roads and Bridges (LCPC), jointly supervised by The Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Transport. Its missions are to bring together and increase scientific knowledge, to perform expert appraisal and consultancy work, to have a broad involvement in further education, to exploit research results in the framework of economic partnerships and to disseminate its findings among a wide public.

LCPC: French Public Works Research Laboratory

National body for applied research and development, the LCPC is a state-founded science and technology research centre. It depends on both Ministry in charge of public works and Ministry in charge of research.
The LCPC has 6 technical directories (directions techniques), which take part to the orientation and leading of the scientific programs, and 15 research units (called “division”). They are divided into 4 "sectors of activity":

  • Roads
  • Engineering Structures
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Natural Hazards
  • Urban Engineering

The LCPC develop skills in many fields related to natural risks. In particular:

  • Technical Directory on Environment and Natural Hazards (DTERN – Direction Technique Environnement et Risques Naturels)
  • Research Unit on Soil and rock mechanics and engineering geology (division Mécanique des Sols et des Roches et Géologie de l'Ingénieur - MSRGI) : works on natural risks prevention (seismic risks, landslides and rockfalls, hydrological risks) and environmental geotechnics (polluted soils, waste disposal)
  • Research Unit Water and Environment (Division Eau et Environnement) : works on rainwater in urban areas, with a special field dedicated to hydrological risks.

LRPCs: Public Works Regional Laboratories

The Public Works Regional Laboratories are spread over the entire country and have very close links with technical and economic players. They perform studies and provide test, monitoring, advisory and support services. In addition, 10 to 15% of their activities involve research.
As some research activities require the LRPCs to work very closely with the LCPC, combined research teams are occasionally formed. There are twelve of these in 9 of the LRPCs.

The LRPCs are located so as to provide good coverage of the national territory.


LCPC Paris
58, bd Lefebvre
75732 PARIS CEDEX 15

Direction Générale (General directory - LCPC Paris)
Tel: 0 (33) 1 40 43 5010 / Fax: 0 (33) 1 40 43 6506

Délégation à l'information scientifique et technique et à la communication 
(Information and communication directory - LCPC Paris)
Tel: 014043 5210 / 0140435200

LCPC Nantes
Route de Bouaye - BP 4129
44341 Bouguenais Cedex FRANCE

Division Eau et Environnement  (Nantes)
Tel: (33) 2 40 84 58 77 /Fax: (33) 2 40 84 59 98

Division MSRGI (site de Paris)
Tel: 0 (33) 1 40 43 52 68 / Fax: 0 (33) 1 40 43 65 16

Direction technique Environnement et Risques naturels -DTERN (Site de Nantes)
Tel: 024084 5863 / Fax: 0240845708

Laboratoire Régional des Ponts et Chaussées de Lyon
25, avenue François Mitterand, Cse n° 1
69674 Bron Cedex
Tel:+33 (0)4 7214 3030 / Fax: +33 (0)4 7214 3311


INERIS: Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques

Founded in 1990, INERIS is an EPCIP (French public research body of an industrial and commercial character), under the aegis of the French Ministry for Ecology (MEDDTL).
Its main mission is to carry out or commission studies and research programmes aimed at preventing the risks brought about by economic activities on health, the safety of persons and property and on the environment, and to provide any services intended to facilitate the adaptation of companies with this objective in mind.
Apart from its General Management, INERIS has

  • 5 operational departments: Chronic Risks, Accidental Risks, Ground and undergoround Risks, Certification,  Knowledge Building and Marketing
  • 5 functional departments: Communications, Scientific Department, Human Resources, Information Systems, Financial Department
  • 3 services: Quality Service, Legal Purchasing Service, Health and Environmental Safety Service

Key figures (as of 1st January 2007): Budget of 58 million Euros, 550 employees, including 301 engineers, researchers and managers.
More information in English

Among others, INERIS runs the CENARIS - Centre National de Surveillance des Risques du Sol et du Sous-Sol (National Center for ground and underground monitoring). It is an operational center of monitoring and alert, which plays a part in the fields of industrial and natural risks linked to:

  • rock cliff instability, landslides, natural cavities;
  • underground exploitation: mines, quarries, underground storage, deep geothermy;
  • impact of slope movements or earthquakes on buildings and structures.

Head office and reaserch laboratories
Parc Technologique ALATA, BP 2
60550 Verneuil-en-Halatte
Tel. : +33 (0)3 44 55 66 77 / Fax : 03 44 55 66 99
(Ground and underground risks Department : 03 44 55 6208)
Others departements
60, rue d'Hauteville, 75010 PARIS
Tél. : +33 (0)1 55 07 95 00


IRMa: Major Risks Institute

IRMA is a non-profit-making association created in 1988, supported by the Conseil Général, local authority of the Isère department.

Its goals include:

  • promote information and education actions about major technological and natural risks prevention, specially for those risks located in the Isère department;
  • raise public awareness about the problems associated to these risks on certain areas;
  • inform the population about the risks they can face on their territory and teach them the good behaviour to adopt in case of an event;
  • help territorial authorities (municipalities on the first level) in implementing a risk prevention policy; it includes particularly carrying out, fully or partly as technical support, the mandatory documents such as the municipality emergency plan (PCS) and the municipality information document on major risks (DICRIM).

For achieving these goals towards their different publics (local elected officials, population, schools), they develop and offer:

  • different information and educational tools: website (specific reports on each different type of risk, localisation of major phenomena on the Isère territory), CD-Roms, videos…; the documentation centre is open to the public;
  • buses “Inforisk” of the Isère department which transport pupils and student on risk sites;
  • short educational sessions for elected officials, schools, professionals as well as longer training courses.
Constitution and maintenance of a collective memory on local risks and past disasters (data base, picture library..)


LCPC: French Public Works Research Laboratory




Météo-France is a public service, attached to the Ministry of Transport, with 3700 employees. If the central office has been located in Paris since 1887, the services are now highly decentralized. The National School fro Meteorology (Ecole Nationale de meteorologie ENM) and the National Centre for Meteorological Researches (Centre National de Recherches météorologiques CNRM) are in Toulouse. Each département has its local meteorological centre (Centre départemental météorologique Cdm), gathered in 7 regional directorates.
The main mission of Météo-France consists in surveying and forecasting the state of the atmosphere, the snow mantel and the superficial ocean, and to ensure security of individuals and goods. It is also in charge of studying the climate and its evolution (CNRM, with 3 specialized units – snow, ocean, aviation).
Météo-France provides meteorological bulletins for weather forecasts, available any time by phone or internet, as well as a vigilance map.

Vigilance was set up by Meteo-France to inform both the general public and the authorities about hazardous weather conditions in metropolitan France. It may be permanently consulted on this website. Its aim is to alert the public to any situation which might become dangerous over the next 24 hours.
It consists of a map of metropolitan France which indicates any climatic danger threatening one or more départements in the next 24 hour period. 7 types of dangers are considered: high winds, heavy rainfalls, thunderstorms, snow/ice, avalanches, heat waves, cold waves. Each département is coloured green, yellow, orange or red, depending on the meteorological situation and the level of alert required. The map is updated twice a day, at 6 a.m.and 4 p.m. In the event of a significant change, it can be updated at any time.
Level 1: Green: No need to take any special precautions
Level 2: Yellow: Occasionally hazardous weather events which are nonetheless quite normal in this area (e.g. mistral, thunderstorms) are forecast
Level 3: Orange: hazardous weather events of great severity are forecast
Level 4: Red: hazardous weather events of exceptional severity are forecast.

When the map contains an orange or red area, a pictogram shows the type of event forecast; it is also accompanied by follow-up reports which are updated as often as necessary. The reports specify the event's development, trajectory, severity and duration, as well as the possible consequences of the event and advice from the authorities about what one should do.
The purpose of Vigilance is to keep the general public, as well as professionals, informed in a way which is clear and easy to use. It is also aimed at the authorities whose job is to alert and mobilize the emergency services. It has replaced the alert system in operation since 1993 which was specifically designed for the emergency services.

As concerns floods, their causes are not only atmospheric. They are forecast by the Flood forecast Service (Service de Prévision des Crues), whose results are transmitted to the Météo-France website. Rainfalls are included in the meteorological vigilance, their duration and intensity are forecast.

Concerning avalanches, Météo-France has been in charge of avalanche risk prevision and snow mantel evolution survey since 1970. The Snow Study Centre (Centre d’Etude de la Neige – CEN), located in Grenoble provides technical and scientific support to the 11 local units specialized in mountain meteorology (Vosges/Jura, Alps, Massif Central, Pyrénnées, Corsica). It ensures the national coordination for avalanche hazard prevision; it shares with the Isère unit (Cdm38) the writing of the avalanche prevision bulletins (BRA) and the vigilance map.
The CEN is part of the National Centre for Meteorological Researches. Its main researches cosncern:
- The snow itself (types of crystals, physical properties) and its transformations;
- The snow mechanics on a slope, the avalanches;
- Development of tools for avalanche prediction: numerical models (Crocus, Safran), seismic detection systems, 3D visualisation...
Météo France also has an observation net, Nivose, for collecting data automatically : 20 automatic instrumentation stations, located at high altitude in the Alps, the Pyrénées and in Corsica, measure snow fall,  humidity, temperatures and wind speed. The measures are transmitted by the Meteosat satellite. The Nivose net has applications in the field of research, but also for the avalanche hazard prevision.


42, avenue Gaspard Coriolis
31057 TOULOUSE Cedex 01

Direction interrégionale centre-est
Immeuble "Le Britania"
20 Boulevard Eugène Deruelle
69432 LYON cédex 03
Tél : +33 4 78 95 59 00
Fax : +33 4 78 95 59 14

Centre Départemental Météo-France de l'Isère (Cdm38)
1441 rue de la piscine, Domaine universitaire
38 406 Saint-Martin d'Hères CEDEX
Téléphone : 04 76 63 34 20
Fax : 04 76 54 49 81
E-mail :

Centre départemental de la SAVOIE
Aérodrome de Chambéry/Aix-les-Bains
73.420 Le Viviers du lac
Téléphone : 04 79 34 00 67
Fax : 04 79 54 47 26
E-mail :

Centre départemental de Haute-Savoie
B.P. 124 134, Avenue de Courmayeur
Téléphone : 04 50 53 63 04
Fax : 04 50 53 58 15
E-mail :


MEDDTL: Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Developpment, Transport and Housing

The MEDDTL (also called "Ministry of the Environment") is the national authority in charge of the natural risks prevention. Its policy consists in

  1. improving knowledge on risk;
  2. organising how they are to be monitored;
  3. informing the population;
  4. enforcing the necessary regulation, especially the Risk Prevention Plan (PPR);
  5. promoting and assisting measures to reduce vulnerability;
  6. enabling wider feedback on disasters.

» MEDDTL website on risks:

DGPR:General Directorate of Prevention of Risks

The DGPR leads the implementation of the risk prevention policy.
Its global aim is the prevention and reduction of risks linked to human activity as well as to natural phenomena. It includes major natural risks prevention as well as industrial risks and nuisance prevention, air quality monitoring and fight against atmospheric pollution, waste disposal, limitation of noises linked to human activities.
In the natural risks field, its missions focus on taking them into account in territorial and urban planning.

DREAL's: Regional Directorates for the Environment, Town and Country Planning and Housing
» List of the 21 DREAL's

The DREAL are the decentralized unit of the MEDDTL.
Under the authority of the prefect of region, the DREAL implements the environmental policies of the MEDDTL; it has in charge budget planning for the founds allocated to the knowledge of hazards, the preventive information and the major natural risks prevention. In the Environment and Sustainable Development Pole, the DREAL leads and coordinates a net of State services at the region and department level.
Concerning flood risks, the DREAL assumes more particularly expertise missions (give its opinion on Risk Prevention Plans), knowledge follow-up of hazards (atlas of areas liable to flooding), founds planning for protective works against floods.
Concerning other risks it follows up the statutory mapping.
In the Rhône-Alpes region, in the water field the DREAL acts as the delegate/representative of the Rhône-Mediterranean basin. In this frame it leads and coordinates the water policy at the level of a territory including the Rhône and Saone basin and the Mediterranean littoral. It implements actions extending those implemented at a regional scale about water and aquatic environment management.
The DREAL makes the secretarial work of the basin coordinator prefect. It is also a member of different institutions for the Rhône-Mediterranean basin (basin committee, water agency).

CGEDD: General Council of Environment and Sustainable Development

The general Council of the Environment and Sustainable Development aims at informing and advising the public authorities, as well as inspecting, auditing and evaluating the services and structures in charge of public services in the field of environment and sustainable development.
It was created the 9th of July, 2008 from the gathering of the general council of civil engineering (Conseil Général des Ponts et Chaussées) and the General Inspectorate of the Environment (service d’Inspection Générale de l’Environnement). It is under the authority of the Ministry of Ecology, who is its president.

+ Ancien ministère de l'équipement (METL)


Ministre de l’Écologie, du Développement durable, des Transports et du Logement
Grande Arche
Tour Pascal A et B
92055 La Défense CEDEX
Tel: 01 40 81 21 22

Alpine DREAL's:

DREAL Rhône-Alpes
208 bis, rue Garibaldi
69422   Lyon Cedex 03
Tel : 04-37-48-36-00 (Accueil)
Fax : 04-37-48-37-31
Mél : ...
DREAL Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA)


Ministry of the Interior

English overview of the official website of the ministry

It is the national authority in charge of the protection of the population against disasters.
Its duties:
Govern the territory:
- Represent and act on behalf of the State throughout the national territory.
- Guarantee the integrity of public institutions.
- Ensure compliance with Local Rights and the areas of jurisdiction of territorial authorities   within the scope of decentralisation.
Guarantee the security of citizens and goods.
- Draft and ensure compliance with regulations guaranteeing citizens the right to civil liberties, particularly by universal suffrage.
- Protect the population against hazards or disasters of any kind and against the consequences of any conflicts.
These duties are carried out by the departments attached to the ministry, the general directorates, the specialised central ministerial government directorates (incl. DDSC) and throughout the territory by the prefectures and sub-prefectures, the national police and civil security.
National gendarmerie:

Emergency Preparedness Directorate / DDSC: Civil Defence and Security Directorate

French version             English version

The Emergency Preparedness Directorate / Civil Defence and Security Directorate (DDSC) is the result of the merger of the Senior Defence Official Department and the Civil Security Directorate.
The director of the DDSC, a senior defence official, steers and coordinates the departments in charge of :

  1. preparing, coordinating and implementing civil defence measures, the population protection policy, preventing civil hazards of all kinds and planning emergency preparedness measures ;
  2. emergency actions to ensure the security of persons and goods, in peacetime and during times of crisis ;
  3. civil security intervention resources : support for local emergency and fire control departments and drafting legislation governing the fire services ;
  4. promoting information on civil security and training fire service officers.

He is supported by the defence security official, the information systems security official and the cipher and security office. On a daily basis, or to attenuate the effects of a disaster, the many directorate's departments reinforce the local action of emergency teams, essentially the 240,000 departmental fire workers and volunteer emergency workers. For any exceptional situation requiring appropriate civil defence measures (public order, population protection, etc.), these personnel and resources act in conjunction with those under the general directorate of the national police and also with the Ministry of Defence and other ministries. Irrespective of the nature and scale of the situation, all these teams remain, at a local level, under the responsibility of the prefect.

COGIC: Interministerial operational crisis management centre

The emergency service organisation and civilian-military cooperation subdivision prepares, steers and coordinates emergency actions pertaining to the security of persons and goods and those pertaining to protection against forest fires. It takes part in environmental protection actions. The interministerial operational crisis management centre (COGIC) is attached to this subdivision. It implements civilian national resources and military civil security units. It coordinates the use of territorial operational civil security resources. Its vice director is the operational assistant of the emergency preparedness director.
Within the scope of civilian-military cooperation, it implements specific resources and coordinates the civil defence policy. It acts as an interface with the operational combined armed forces centre, the general directorate of the national police and the general directorate of the national gendarmerie..
More information (in French)

Ministère de l'Intérieur
Place Beauvau - 75008 Paris
(Standard téléphonique : 01 40 07 60 60)


PGHM: Mountain specialized units of military officers

The National Gendarmerie has 260 military officers (10 field officers and 250 junior officers) specialized  in the "Mountain" field. They take part to rescue actions as well as investigations or security commissions. They are divided in 20 units:

  • 15 High Mountain units (Pelotons de Gendarmerie de Haute montagne): Chamonix, Briançon, Grenoble, Bourg St Maurice, Modane, Annecy, Jausiers, St-Sauveur-sur-Tinée, Pierrefite Nestalas, Bagnères-de-Luchon, Oloron-Ste-Marie, Savignac-les-Ormeaux, Osseja,  Corte, St-Denis-de-La-Réunion.
  • 5 Mountain Units:   Xonrupt, Munster, Les Rousses,   Murat, Le Mont Dore.

CRS montagne: The members of the Compagnie Républicaine de Sécurité Montagne are specialised police units located in the Alps and the Pyrénées (Grenoble, Briançon, Albertville). They depend on the Ministry of the Interior. They take part to rescue actions in mountain areas.
Contact : telephone number for different units of PGHM and CRS

Contact: telephone number for different units of PGHM and CRS
Allover France and Europe: 112 is the phone number to reach rescue units

Alpes du Nord

Isère et Drôme

Numéro d'alerte commun CRS/PGHM

Tel : 04 76 22 22 22

- PGHM de Grenoble

Tel : 04 76 77 57 70
Fax : 04 76 77 57 76

- CRS Alpes - 44, avenue Rhin et Danube BP 2326
38033 Grenoble Cédex

Tel : 04 76 84 70 38
Fax :04 76 70 49 43


Numéro d'alerte commun CRS/PGHM Maurienne

Tel : 04 79 05 11 88

- CRS Modane - 73500 Modane

Tel : 04 79 05 11 88

- PGHM de Modane - 73500 Modane

Tel : 04 79 05 18 04
Fax : 04 79 05 50 98

Numéro d'alerte commun CRS/PGHM Tarentaise
(saisons été + hiver uniquement)

Tel : 04 79 08 29 30

- CRS Alpes Albertville - 16, rue Pasteur BP 100
73203 Alberville Cédex

Tel : 04 79 37 89 89
Fax : 04 79 37 43 57

- PGHM Bourg St Maurice - 945 av Mar Leclerc
73700 Bourg Saint Maurice

Tel : 04 79 07 01 10
Fax : 04 79 07 78 34


- PGHM de Chamonix - 69 rue Mollard 74400 Chamonix

Tel : 04 50 53 16 89

- PGHM Annecy -33, avenue de la Plaine – 74000 ANNECY

Tel : 04 50 09 47 47

Alpes du Sud

Hautes Alpes

Numéro d'alerte commun CRS/PGHM

Tel : 04 92 22 22 22

- PGHM de Briançon - 12 rue Pasteur
05100 Briançon

Tel : 04 92 21 58 58
Fax : 04 92 21 58 48

- Détachement CRS Alpes - 37, rue Pasteur BP 79
05106 Briançon

Tel : 04 92 21 16 51
Fax : 04 92 20 35 38

Alpes Maritimes

Numéro d'alerte commun CRS/PGHM

Tel : 04 97 22 22 22

- PGHM de Saint Sauveur sur Tinée - 7 avenue de Blavet
06420 Saint Sauveur sur Tinée

Tel : 04 93 02 01 17
Fax : 04 93 02 05 46

- CRS Section montagne CRS 6 - 396, avenue Pierre Sauvaigo BP 123 - 06701 Saint Laurent du Var

Tel : 04 93 19 34 50
Fax : 04 93 14 09 79

Alpes de Haute Provence

- PGHM de Jausiers - Le Chef Lieu Ouest 04850 Jausiers

Tel : 04 92 81 07 60
Tel :


Prévention 2000

It is a non–profit-making association, created in 1997. Its charge is to create and lead a federative pole for the players acting in teaching natural risks prevention and to initiate strategies for raising risk awareness among the population.
Its main actions are:

  • a website on natural disasters, rich in information, with interactive sequence;
  • an “Ambassodors net”: international federation of schools developing projects on local natural risks;
  • Memo'Risks (DICRiM Youth -) : the pupils carry out their own municipality information file on major risks (DICRIM) and they are proposed to inquire on a local risk and play an active information role by carrying out simple actions.

Red Cross (Croix Rouge)

See French Red Cross


RTM: Mountain Terrain Restoration Services

The Mountain Terrain Restoration Services are part of the National Forest Office (ONF – Office National des Forêts), a state institution whose task is to handle the forest on the French territory: it includes not only producing wood, but also among others protecting the territory through natural hazards and forest management.
The RTM service was born in 1882, in order to face both soil erosion in mountain areas, which was huge in the middle of the 18th century, and a string of catastrophic floods in 1850-60. France engages a voluntary policy of erosion control.
Protection and restoration are organised around two axes:

  • ecological engineering works: reforestation (protective forest), vegetalisation of rivers and torrents embankments;
  • civil engineering works: fascines, torrents correction sills, nets…

Thus, since the mountain reforestation law (10/07/1860), the state has acquired 380 000 ha of  land; 250 000 ha of them have been reforested, over 1500 torrents have been treated, 1000 avalanche gullies secured by the RTM services.
If the state was originally the only financer and contracting authority, the local authorities have been step by step involved because of complementary protection works being carried out close to inhabited areas.
Today’s missions are varied:

  • “Historical” mission of handling the state-owned lands: predominantly torrents correction, than reforestation, protection against slope movements and avalanches. Forestry handling of the state owned reforested lands + handling of the big amount of protection and correction works (in the frame of a pluri-annual convention with the Ministry of Agriculture);
  • Support for implementing the public founds dedicated to protection works for the local authorities: diagnostic, programation, technical assistance to works, contracting protection works, natural risks mapping, data bases (events and works).
  • Technical expertise for taking into account natural risks in land use and life in mountain areas:
    • Opinion on construction permits, elaboration of local urban development plans (PLU)…
    • Technical support to prefect services and local authorities on civil defence and security issues, crisis management…
    • Elaboration of statutory document (risk prevention plan  - PPR) and informative documents (Synthetic municipality file – DCS, avalanche localisation maps – CLPA….)

The RTM services exist in 11 départements in the Alps and the Pyrenees:
Alps: Haute-Savoie, Savoie, Isère, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes de Haute Provence, Alpes-Maritimes.
Pyrenees: Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Pyrénées Atlantiques.


Siège ONF :
2 avenue de Saint Mandé
75570 Paris Cedex 12
Tél : 01 40 19 58 00


aux actions de restauration
des terrains en montagne
Hôtel des administrations
9, Quai Créqui, 38000 GRENOBLE
TEL : 04 76 86 39 78 / FAX : 04 76 87 48 53
Courriel :


RTM Ariège et Haute-Garonne
9, rue du Lieutenant Paul Delpech BP 85
TEL : 05 34 09 82 20 / FAX : 05 34 09 82 01
Courriel :

RTM Hautes-Pyrénées et Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Centre Kennedy, Rue Jean-Loup Chrétien
BP 1312, 65013 TARBES CEDEX
TEL : 05 62 44 20 50 / FAX : 05 62 44 20 51
Courriel :

RTM Pyrénées-Orientales
5, rue Francois Viete, 66100 PERPIGNAN
TEL : 04 68 08 15 90 / FAX : 04 68 08 15 99
Courriel :

RTM Isère
42, avenue Marcelin Berthelot - BP 31
TEL : 04 76 23 41 61 / FAX : 04 76 22 31 50
Courriel :

RTM Savoie
Immeuble "le France", 42, quai Charles Roissard
TEL : 04 79 69 96 05 /FAX : 04 79 96 31 73

RTM Haute-Savoie
6, avenue de France, 74000 ANNECY
TEL : 04 50 23 83 94 / FAX : 04 50 23 83 95
Courriel :

RTM Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
7, rue Monseigneur Meirieu
TEL : 04 92 32 62 00 / FAX : 04 92 32 62 01
Courriel :

RTM Hautes-Alpes
5, rue des Silos - BP 96, 05003 GAP CEDEX
TEL : 04 92 53 61 12 / FAX : 04 92 53 19 87
Courriel :

RTM Alpes-Maritimes
Nice Leader, Immeuble "Apollo", 62, route de Grenoble
BP 3260
06205 NICE CEDEX 3
TEL : 04 93 18 54 74
FAX : 04 93 18 18 64
Courriel :


SCHAPI: Central Service for Hydrometeorology and Support in Flood Forecasting

Websites: Vigilance CRUES + Hydro Web

Created in June 2003, the Service Central d’Hydrométéorologie et d’Appui à la prévision des Crues is, together with the SPCs (High water level Forecast Services), the French national structure for forecasting the rises in water level and floods. It is attached to the Water Directorate of the Ministry of Ecology (MEDDTL).
Located in Toulouse in order to emphasize the synergies with Météo-France and its scientific teams, it gathers experts in meteorology and hydrology.

Its main missions are:

  • Supporting on a national level the local services dealing with hydrology and forecast of rise in water levels: assistance, advice, training…
  • 24h/24 hydrometeorological monitoring (veille) on rapid basins liable to mud flows / debris flows during meteorological events; the SCHAPI informs the Water Directorate and the DREAL about the evolution of the situation.
  • Informing the administrations and the general public about the current hydrological events: it publishes online, together with the SPCs, a High water level Vigilance Map, showing risk levels along river beds, according to the Meteorological Vigilance Maps; during crisis the map is updated many times a day;
  • Leading on a national level the scientific and technical coordination in the field of high water level forecast, as a link with the State services. It defines with Météo-France the types of data, tools, methods and results necessary for its missions and those of the SPCs and DREALs.

More info:

Adress of the SCHAPI:
42, avenue Gaspard Coriolis - 31 057 Toulouse Cedex 1


SDIS: Civil Fire Brigades Centre

The Civil Fire Brigades Centre is an administrative and public office at the scale of the département. Located in each département, it is composed of professional and voluntary firemen as well as technical and administrative workers.
It is under the direction of both:

  • Its president, responsible for the administrative and financial management of the service;
  • the préfet of the department, responsible for applying the emergency rescues means at the scale of the department.

It includes:

  • A departemental direction in charge of the management of all the human and material rescue means as well as the CODIS* –CTA (operational centre for the coordination of the local civil fire brigades at the scale of the department)
  • Territorial groups which ensure the link between the direction and the local brigades;
  • Local civil fire brigades, in charge of struggle against fire and emergency rescue actions.

Since 2000, the common management of human, material an financial resources at the scale of the department enables a better repartition of the rescue means and a same level of security for everyone. This centralised organisation can regulate the running of the rescue means and actions for everyone, whatever their location and the richness of the municipality where they live. This principle of organisation activates somehow new local solidarities.

The SDIS have a mission of prevision (rescue plans, studies and protective measures against risks…) and a mission of prevention (security commission in public buildings, risks analyses…)

Isère: SDIS 38
24, Rue René CAMPHIN
Tel. 04 76 26 89 00 - fax : 04 76 26 89 09

Savoie: SDIS 73
226, rue de la Perrodière
Tel. 04 79 60 73 00

Haute-Savoie: SDIS 74
6, rue du Nant
74966 MEYTHET Cedex
Tel. +33 (0)4 50 22 76 00


SGMB: Société Géologique et Minière du Briançonnais

The Geology and Mining Society of Briançon Area is a non-profit-making association created in 1989. It aims at enhancing the local heritage typical of the Briançon area.
Its volunteers lead a research and promotion work on two main themes:

  • The old mines and associated themes;
  • The water management:
    • Torrential risks;
    • Irrigation canals;
    • The old mills;
    • Water supply of military forts.

Concerning torrential risks, different products are for the general public:

  • A scientific interpretation path along the Verdarel torrent, for scholars and others: "Discovering the debris flows";
  • An exposition for the general public to get precise knowledge on the local torrents, the problems of landslides and rockslides;
  • Videos and films;
  • The game RIVERMED: produced by the Permanent Centre for the Environment (CPIE) of Vaucluse within the frame of a European project, this game aims at confronting in a recreational way the land use planning in mountain areas to the increase in risk that these developments can create. The association owns one of the two sets of this game and makes it available for local schools.
  • Pedagogical leaflets gather exercises to be done in the classroom or on the field (can be downloaded).


SNRS: Navigating Service on the Rhône and Saône rivers

The SNRS is in charge of elaborating and managing the Risk Prevention Plans PPR and the Plans of areas liable to flooding –PSS– along the Rhône and the Saône rivers. It is also in charge of alerting on the rise of water levels on these two rivers.


SPC: High water level Forecast Services

There are 22 SPCs in France along the main rivers, where the State is responsible for a statutory mission of monitoring, forecasting and informing about the high water levels, according to the Environment Code, articles L. 564- 1, L. 564-2 et L. 564-3. Together with the SCHAPI, the SPCs form the French national structure for forecasting the rises in water level and floods.

They edit online the High water level Vigilance Map, based on the same principles than the Meteorological Vigilance Map implemented by Météo-France. The aim is to inform the general public and the stakeholders involved in crisis management in case of high water level risks along the rivers the State is responsible for. The information leads the local authorities (prefect, mayor) to give the alert and organize the necessary means for emergency aid.

Each concerned river is divided into trunks, each trunk affected by a color (green, yellow, orange or red) corresponding to the level of vigilance necessary for facing the possible coming danger.

The map is completed by a national information bulletin and local information bulletins. They describe the evolution of the rises in water levels and provide if possible precise forecasts. They indicate also possible consequences as well as advice on how to behave.     
The data, maps and bulletins are constantly available. The map is updated twice a day, at 10h and 16h.
During events the bulletins are updated more frequently is the situation evaluate rapidly.

More information in French:
- (rubrique "eaux et milieux aquatiques / inondations/prévision des crues") > Map of the SPCs
















Prepared by the PARN, Grenoble, June 2011