Preparing for a conventional threat in Israel. Important information from the Home Front Command - Pikud HaOref.
Hebrew: הכנה למלחמה בישראל
Sadly, there is a permanent and real threat of war in Israel. It is something you have to accept and is just part of living here. Most immigrants were not required to serve in the army whilst living abroad. Now, that you are living in Israel, you might have to serve some time in the Israel Defense Force (IDF). It's part of the Aliyah package - all of us have to deal with the threats and the realities of war.
It is not always possible to get on a plane and leave. Families may be separated when dads are called up for army service and reserve duty and moms are left to look after the children on their own. Depending on the threat, schools will close down. Scary as it may be, you may be required by law, to be at work. Taking care of your children during a time of war is challenging. The children will be out of their regular daily routine. They might suddenly be thrust into the care of an elderly relative, a neighbor, a friend or babysitter or even be placed in a strange environment.
In case of an emergency situation, the Home Front Command (Pi'kud Ha'oref) will issue appropriate instructions via the media. Instructions are generally in Hebrew, Russian, English and Amharic. Instructions via text messaging may also be sent through your mobile phone.
In case of an emergency, the Home Front Command, emergency and rescue services, government offices, local municipalities and volunteer organizations are well prepared and work together in helping Israel's citizens through the crisis.
Safety Guidelines for Rocket Fire
Equip your secure area with these emergency items
- Television, radio, telephone, computer with Internet access if possible so that you can get continuous updates on the situation outside and other possible instructions. Have battery back-up wherever possible – there may be power outages.
- 2 liters of sealed bottled water per person, per day
- A kettle
- Good quality garbage bags that seal very well. Keep your garbage output to a minimum. You don't want your room to be full of garbage or have to deal with unnecessary smells.
- A non-aerosol air-freshener could be very useful.
- Non perishable food; tuna, corn, long-life milk, biscuits, energy bars, nuts, baby formula and baby food if necessary etc. Don't forget the can-opener!
- Emergency lights and/or flashlight and spare batteries.
- First aid; bandages, sterile gauze, plasters, tape, cotton wool, burn ointment, antiseptic, eye drops, tweezers, baby wipes (useful for lots of different clean-ups), paracetamol or similar,
- Supplies of your regular medication and other emergency medications or equipment your may need; inhalers, walking stick etc.
- Small fire extinguisher
- A hard copy of emergency telephone numbers
- Copies of important documents, medical records, prescriptions, identity documents, wills etc.
- Recreational matter (books, games etc.)
- A small bag for you and your family with your personal stuff, in case you are evacuated and cannot return home for a few days
- Equipment for sealing your secure room; sheets of polyethylene plastic – a minimum of 100 microns thick, wide plastic tape – at least 50mm wide and at least 30 microns thick to seal windows and doors or as instructed by the Home Front Command.
- A few towels. You may not be able to shower or bath, but in the event of any chemical seepage, it is recommended to place a wet towel at the bottom of the door that will minimize smoke or odors coming into the room
- A loo and toilet paper. You can improvise here; a bucket with a lid, a camping or chemical toilet. Check out the camping shops. They have some great solutions.
- Mattresses, blankets, cushions, a fold-up chair etc. for your personal comfort
- Warm clothing. If you are in a state of shock you might begin to shiver or you may just need warm clothes if you have to evacuate from your home.
Top Tips - Safety First
- Don't over-stock your secure room or clutter it with unnecessary items. Any items that can injure you or are easily breakable, have sharp edges or are heavy, should be kept to an absolute minimum.
- Do not keep any aerosols or poisonous or flammable chemicals in the room.
- Make sure you are wearing comfortable and appropriate clothing at all times. You may have to leave your home in the middle of the night. Make sure you have comfortable shoes that you can walk, run or climb in.
How much time do we have to get to our secure area?
The Home Front Command recommends that you be able to reach your secure room within a few seconds or minutes from the time the siren is sounded depending on your location, as per the adjacent diagram.
Contacting the Home Front Command
- Pikud Haoref - Home Front Command: call 1207 (from any phone)
- Emergency numbers & contact information
With thanks to the Home Front Command who supplied some of the information contained in this article