home front SMS 311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
The IDF Home Front Command will launch its annual civil defense drill this
Two air raid sirens will sound on June 22, and some civilians will
receive a mock text message on their cell phones warning them of an incoming
The text message is part of a new cell phone alert system
that can deliver area-specific warnings based on the projection of an incoming
The exercise, called Turning Point 5, will be held
from June 19 to June 23, and will simulate hundreds of rocket attacks on Israel
from multiple fronts.
In 2010, during the Turning Point 4 exercise, some
50 percent of the population actively drilled moving into safe zones during the
air raid siren, a figure emergency planners say is impressive. The planners hope
more will take part this year.
The drill will see 80 local authorities
intensively respond to emergency scenarios during the five-day drill, Home Front
Command chief Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan and Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i
said on Wednesday.
“There is no parallel to this in the world,” Vilna’i
said of the exercise. He added that the security cabinet would assess some of
the scenarios introduced during the exercise, and the responses to
Planning officials said haredi and Arab communities remained the
least prepared for mass rocket attack scenarios, adding that they would be
working closely with those communities to narrow these gaps.
first time, the Home Front Command will also test a new radio network that links
its officials directly to police and other emergency
Television ads showing families hearing an air raid siren and
moving into a safe zone selected ahead of time will soon appear, together with
radio ads and bus posters.
Vilna’i said the Israeli public was more than
capable of being encouraged to think about emergency preparedness without going
into a panic.
Addressing the issue of gas mask distribution, Golan said
that the system of allocating the protection kits to civilians, which uses the
Israel Postal Company and the private Eltel company, overcame “initial hiccups”
and is now working efficiently.
“The level of service is very good. We’ve
had no complaints recently,” Golan said.