Amid growing tension with Syria, the IDF Home Front Command will begin distributing gas masks at the end of the month, after a two year operation that included their collection and refurbishment.
Under the plan – drawn up by Col. Yossi Sagiv, head of the Home Front Command’s Gas Mask and Protection Kits Department – the masks will be returned to people’s homes by the Israel Postal Company, which beat out seven competitors for a Defense Ministry tender late last year.
The distribution is slated to take three years and will begin in Or Yehuda and then spread to other parts of the country based on which areas are under more immediate threats.
The Home Front Command began collecting the public’s gas masks in 2007 and has gathered more than 80 percent of them. It plans to complete the collection around the time it begins the distribution. Members of the public will receive the same rubber gas masks they had in the past, with improved filters – more effective against the various chemical and biological threats that Israel faces – but without the syringe of Atropine that was in the old kits.
Postal Company representatives will contact residents and schedule a time to visit and deliver the gas masks. Each family will be asked to pay a nominal sum of under NIS 30. The courier will also help fit the gas masks to the family members and explain how to use them.