Turning Point 4: Israeli National Exercises Begin to Protect Civilians In Event of Missile, Chemical Attack
Week Long National Exercises Simulate Preparedness For Mass Casualty Events
The new reality in Israel is that we are all in range of missile attack. Threats originate from Gaza, From Hezbollah the Iranian terrorist proxy in Lebanon, and from large Shahab class Iranian ballistic missiles. With concerns mounting in Israel that Hezbollah is now in possession of Fateh-110 type, and Fajr-5 type large ballistic missiles and even Sscuds all capable of carrying biological or chemical agents, Turning Point 4, this year’s national drills are focusing on local governments and emergency response / preparedness to deal with these events.
Pin Point Warnings
Of note, the local cellular systems warning residents of an incoming missile attack in a localized area seems to be evolving, according to the IDF we may receive text messages as the in development system is tested. This system is a large leap ahead technologically from the days when a national siren or large segment of population were warned, now using cell tower and localization technologies in theory - those under an immediate threat or danger can be warned to take shelter from an incoming missile projected to impact their area. Commendable to say the least.
*** The Pikud Ha-Oref Website ***
Is a prime destination for information on both these tests, and what to do to both prepare for, as well as how to react in the event of a real missile emergency (English, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic).
The IDF Home Front Command, the National Emergency Authority, search and rescue forces, local Israeli authorities, government offices, security organizations, the education system as well as public and private organizations will participate in the exercise.
The exercise is aimed at improving national preparedness and responses of the home front to emergencies. The exercise will improve cooperation between the various organizations and institutions and prepare them for different scenarios.
The exercise, taking place for the fourth consecutive year, was scheduled and planned in advance as a part of the IDF’s 2010 training plan. This exercise is an additional measure taken by Israel to prepare the public and the local authorities for emergency periods.
A 1.5-minute-long siren will be heard throughout the country on Wednesday, May 26th 2010 at 11:00 AM. In addition, on Tuesday through Thursday, May 25th- 27th, 2010 field training exercises will take place simulating different scenarios during which additional sirens will be heard.
The education system will also take part in the exercise, during which the students and teachers will simulate entering the designated secured areas.
This year the exercise will focus on the preparedness of the local authorities during emergencies. The exercise will replicate emergency scenarios in more than 30 local authorities throughout Israel in cooperation with the Home-Front Command.
The IDF Spokesperson and the IDF Home Front Command ask that the Israeli public take part in the exercise and be aware of the instructions given by the Home Front Command which have proven to be effective and life-saving.
Following the siren, the public will practice entering the designated secured area and stay there for approximately ten minutes. In cases where entering the designated secured area is not possible, the public is asked to methodically carry out the necessary actions that are to be taken during an emergency and practice them as soon as possible.
The exercise will also examine warning systems on cellular phones and civilians in certain areas may therefore receive text messages that read “Have a nice day” signed by the IDF Home Front Command.
In addition, the IDF Home Front Command will practice distributing protective kits to the public during emergency periods. The distribution points will be opened for one day on May 26th in several locations; Safed, Yokneam, Tira, Tzur Hadassah, Rishon LeZion, Petah Tikva, Holon and the Reading Power Station in Tel Aviv. Residents of these cities will receive invitations via post.
During the exercise, all essential services, including hospitals, public transportation, conventions and public events will continue to work as usual.
- If you fail to hear the siren, please contact and inform the Home Front Command Information Center at #1207.
- For information related to public and private shelters please contact municipal information centers.
For further information contact Home Front Command Information Center at #1207 or the internet website at WWW.OREF.ORG.IL
The IDF has released some video of yesterday’s excercizes, showing emergency responders training in rescue & response efforts at simulated locations of collapsed buildings due to chemical missile attack, complete with Hazmat gear..
Let’s hope it never comes to that, but if it does its best to be prepared. We can do so by actively participating in the excercizes and preparing our homes with the proper supplies and shelter as directed by the IDF Home Front Command.