The IDF Home Front Command has begun its annual campaign to prepare the public for wartime emergencies.
Yet, unlike in the past, this year’s drive is geared toward getting civilians to take action, Col. Sigal Tidhar, head of the Population Department in the Home Front Command, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
“This is the change we made this year, telling civilians to go out and get emergency equipment. We are telling civilians to act, to do something and not merely increase awareness,” she said.
The campaign messages, which are being broadcast on a number of media platforms, instruct civilians to have ready radios with batteries, water bottles and portable electrical chargers, among other things. “These are small yet significant things civilians can do during peacetime to be better prepared,” Tidhar said. “They can visit our site [http://www.oref.org.il/894- en/Pakar.aspx] to see the full list.”
The public information drive also calls on civilians, during times of quiet, to hold discussions with family members and select a safe area in close proximity to their homes. “They should know what is in the safe area, and how long they have in terms of [rocket] alerts,” Tidhar said.
“Parents can speak to children and tell them where to go if something happens while they are at work,” she said.
Since 2008, the Home Front Command has held annual information campaigns in an effort to set up a continuous channel of communication with the general public.
“Sometimes we do so through the media, at other times through social media and our website. We are in touch with civilians throughout the year, and want to ensure that we know how to reach them and pass on messages,” she said.
This year’s campaign does not include any of the celebrities hired in previous years as part of an effort to “put the family at the center of our message,” Tidhar aid. “We are putting out the message that civilians have responsibility. There are many things civilians can do.”
Even if all members of the public do not respond to the campaign, “they will remember the messages and know where to go to get relevant information,” if there is an emergency, Tidhar added.
Although the messages are aimed at preparedness for wartime, she said “[it] is also right for earthquakes and any other emergency. As soon as you prepare for one emergency... you’ll probably be able to deal with other kinds, as well.”