TA okays 60 garages to be used as bomb shelters

Parking garages are not full-on bomb shelters but a stopgap for Tel Aviv residents who don't have shelters, councilman says.

Israelis in Bomb Shelter (photo credit: Amir Cohen / Reuters)
Israelis in Bomb Shelter
(photo credit: Amir Cohen / Reuters)
The Tel Aviv municipality said Wednesday that 60 garages, covering 850,000 square meters of territory, were approved to be used as bomb shelters for some 800,000 people in the case of a missile attack on the home front.
The municipality came up with this solution out of concern for those citizens stuck without access to a shelter or safe room at or near their home. There will be a little over one square meter available per person in these shelters, if filled to capacity.
The parking garages include the central bus station’s four-story, 83,000 square foot garage, as well as sites at Dizengoff Center, Rabin Square and the Azrieli mall.
The municipality said that all of the parking garages are up to the IDF Home Front Command’s standards for safe areas, and have access to bathrooms and running water. In the coming days the city will begin posting signs throughout the city indicating the locations of the parking garages, which will join the 241 public bomb shelters the municipality currently maintains in the city.
By Wednesday afternoon, the municipality’s website had uploaded an interactive map of the city showing the location of the garages.
Moshe Tiomkin, Tel Aviv city councilman and head of the municipality’s emergency readiness department, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the parking lots are not traditional bomb shelters, rather a solution for people who do not have access to their own bomb shelter or safe room. He said that most people in Tel Aviv do not have a bomb shelter in their building or close by, but that in case of an emergency, most people will be able to find some sort of shelter.
The municipality agrees with Tiomkin’s assessment, and refers to the garages as “places of cover” and not shelters.