Week-long nationwide civil defense exercise begins

During "Turning Point 5," Defense Ministry, Israel Police to test responses to bombardment of missiles from Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Iran.

IDFDrill311 (photo credit: IDF Spokesman)
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman)
A nationwide civil-defense exercise called “Turning Point 5” started Sunday. For the first time, the drill will simulate extensive damage to critical national infrastructure such as the water system and the electric grid.
During the weeklong drill, the Home Front Command, Defense Ministry’s National Emergency Administration, Israel Police and other emergency services will test their responses to a massive bombardment of missiles from Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Iran.
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Ahead of the drill, the NEA mapped out the nation’s critical infrastructure and analyzed the affect missile attacks on the facilities would have on the country’s ability to provide citizens with basic services.
Estimates in the IDF are that up to 800 missiles and rockets a day could be fired into Israel in the event of a war fought on several fronts.
“No water or electricity means no production, and makes it impossible to run the country,” a defense official said. “For this reason we need to know what are the most important facilities that we need to continue working, and what needs to keep on receiving water and electricity, and how to make that happen.”
Some 80 municipalities and local authorities will participate in the exercise, during which the Home Front Command will employ a system that sends missile warnings to cellphones for the first time.
The Home Front Command and the Defense Ministry will also simulate the evacuation of 300,000 people from northern and central Israel to the South.
The IDF has drawn up plans to create housing and infrastructure for such evacuees if needed. They might be housed in empty IDF bases.