Safety and Security:
Austria remains largely free of terrorist incidents; however, like other countries in the Schengen area, Austria’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity. U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.
Austrian intelligence experts have registered increased radicalization of immigrant Muslim individuals and of small conspiratorial groups, as well as intensified use of the Internet as a propaganda and communications platform.
Every year, a number of avalanche deaths occur in Austria's alpine regions. Many occur when skiers/snowboarders stray from designated ski slopes. Leaving designated slopes to ski off-piste may pose serious risks and may delay rescue attempts in case of emergency. Skiers and snowboarders should monitor weather and terrain conditions, and use available avalanche rescue equipment. Avalanche beepers (transceivers) are the most common rescue devices and, when properly used, provide the fastest way of locating an avalanche victim, usually enabling authorities to begin rescue operations within minutes. Climbing, hill walking and mountaineering involve a level of risk with a danger of personal injury or death. While the number of people requiring rescue in Austria remains steady each year, there has been a marked increase in air evacuations since July, 2013. Alpine rescuers are increasingly concerned about the growing number of people participating in mountaineering activities without proper preparation and planning; people participating in these activities should closely monitor weather and terrain conditions and contact local tourism offices or mountain guide associations for information on trails that are tailored to individual skill levels. Also, it is recommended to buy special leisure insurance. More information, including safety tips, is available on the Austrian Alpine Club website http://www.alpenverein.at/portal/service/mitgliedschaft/index.php To call for emergency, dial 144 (Austrian Red Cross) or the European emergency number 112.