Bomb Shelter (370).
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
In the coming weeks, the Tel Aviv Municipality will release a list of dozens of
underground parking lots that can be used by the public in the case of a missile
attack on the Israeli home front, the municipality told The Jerusalem Post on
According to the city, the estimated 50 or so parking lots
represent around 800,000 square meters of space and will serve as a solution for
those residents who don’t have a bomb shelter in their house or
Within the next few days, the city will publish a map on its
website showing the location of each of the parking garages, all of which the
city said will have functional bathrooms and running water.
municipality said that they are still implementing a wide-scale plan costing
nearly NIS 20 million to renovate the city’s public bomb shelters and safe
areas, according to standards laid out by the IDF Home Front Command. The city
says it currently operates 241 public bomb shelters, 111 of which include air
filtration systems to guard against a chemical attack. The city estimates
that the shelters cover some NIS 25,000 square meters.
Tel Aviv city
councilman Moshe Tiomkin, who is the head of the municipality’s emergency
readiness department, told the Post on Tuesday that all things considered, the
city is in good shape to deal with a war on the home front.
that those residents who don’t have a shelter in their building will be able to
take cover at the parking lots, and that the 340 public shelters operated by the
city are in “excellent condition.”
However, he added that the parking
lots are not a bomb shelter per se, but rather a place to run for cover for
those who don’t have access to their own underground safe room.
that although he doesn’t have exact figures, most people do not have access to a
bomb shelter in their building, but that the majority of people in the city will
be able to find some sort of cover if the missiles begin to fall in Tel
Tiomkin said that the shelters will remain locked until the IDF
Home Front Command gives the order to open them, at which point within 24 hours,
they will all be operational.
“At the beginning, it will be a shock, but
then people will be able to manage,” Tiomkin said, adding that “there is no such
thing as 100 percent, but we are basically in a good position, even though there
will always be unknowns and situations you didn’t consider.”
has Israel’s highest rental prices and is the economic center of the country,
Tel Aviv has one of the country’s largest percentages of older buildings
constructed before the First Gulf War, after which the construction of bomb
shelters became mandatory in all new buildings.
A wholly different
situation exists just south of Tel Aviv in Rishon Lezion, a boom town that has
seen high rates of population increase in the 1990s and 2000s, and is now the
fourth-largest city in Israel. According to the Rishon Lezion
municipality, over 90% of city residents have a safe room or bomb shelter within
The city also operates an additional 37 public shelters that
can take in 5,500 people, the municipality said. Like Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion
will also be able to accommodate spillover in underground parking
Still, with the war drums beating, Tiomkin advised that no
matter where Israelis live, they should take their future into their own hands
and not just rely on the government to protect them in case of
“People should take their fate into their own hands more. Go and
check that your safe room is ready, that you know where the nearest bomb shelter
is, that you have what you need. Don’t just be unprepared and then come later
with grievances against the government.”