Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade will participate in a nationwide Home Front drill simulating a surprise missile attack next week. At 10:00 AM on Tuesday, April 8, a warning siren will sound for a minute and a half. All pupils and teachers will have to proceed to a protected area or shelter within one minute of hearing the siren. They will have to stay in the shelters for an hour, where students will participate in fun activities. A day prior, on Monday, the Education Ministry will hold a full-day exercise in preparation. Schools in the communities surrounding Gaza and in Ashkelon will be exempt from the drill. The education system usually holds emergency drills once a year. This year's drill will be incorporated into a nationwide emergency exercise next week, which will run from Sunday to Thursday. The nationwide drill grew out of the lessons from the Second Lebanon War, when emergency services did not coordinate their activities as well as they could have. The Education Ministry laid out its part in the plan and its goals at a press conference on Thursday. The drill is meant to teach effective behavior for all sorts of emergencies, with an emphasis on missile and rocket attacks. The incorporation of the school drills into the larger drill is intended to ensure that emergency services and school services will work well together during an actual emergency. While the exercise on Tuesday will take place at schools all over the country, there will be five major centers of activity: Yokne'am in the North, the Ben-Gurion School in Givatayim, Givat Ze'ev near Jerusalem, the Ibn Sene School in Kafr Kasim (where Education Minister Yuli Tamir will be) and the Noam Orot School in Netivot. Selected schools will take part in the drill on Wednesday and Thursday as well. General preparation for emergency situations occurs year-round, including: updating relevant data; checking emergency gear; drills for every type of emergency; lectures by Home Front personnel; and first aid training for 10th graders. The Education Ministry and the Home Front Command will also make sure parents have filled out the brochure given to them earlier in the year to help them determine where their sheltered area is located. More information about procedures for emergency situations can be found on the Home Front Command Web site at www.oref.org.il or by calling 1207.