Voluntary organizations gear up to help people cope during Gaza operation

The iAPPs company develops a free iPhone application that locates the nearest safe place to be during a missile attack.

MDA blood drive. (photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
MDA blood drive.
(photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
As voluntary and other public organizations realized that Operation Protective Edge could continue for some time, they geared up to provide vital services to the population. Magen David Adom bolstered its professional and volunteer staffers to cope with any injuries or wounds on the home front/ Six people were lightly injured on the campaign’s first day from falling when running to a safe haven, and 32 suffered from anxiety attacks, MDA said on Wednesday. The first-aid organization established its highest alert level even over the weekend.
MDA is fully coordinated with the security forces, the Israel Police, the local authorities and relevant government ministries. It has also increased its blood donation collections. More information is available at 1-800-400-101 and at www.mdais.org/dam. It also updated MDA’s smartphone application to include the Home Front’s advice for giving first-aid in the event of burns, hemorrhaging, trauma and so on.
Meanwhile, the voluntary rescue organization United Hatzalah is urgently seeking out an additional 100 bullet-proof vests and helmets for its volunteers in the south so its volunteers won’t endanger their own lives as they save others. UH president Eli Beer said that a set of a vest and helmet costs $1,400.
Yad Sarah, which lends out medical equipment and performs services around the country for the elderly, disabled and lonely said that almost all its branches remain open, and its Nechonit service to take the wheelchair bound to medical institutions has been bolstered. Call *6444 for help. A special team has been set up to assist residents of the south. In addition, Yad Sarah volunteers have initiated phone calls to people who live alone to find out if they need anything.
The Interdisciplinary Clinical Center at the University of Haifa has opened a free hotline to help people suffering from anxiety and fears. The phone line is manned by psychologists and psychotherapists who advise how to cope with anxiety, disquiet and sleep problems, how to help young children cope and how to deal with memories from previous military conflicts. One may call 04-8288622 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. or leave a message that will be answered promptly. The center offers clinical communications, psychotherapy and occupational therapy services to people in the north.
The Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva offered free psychological counseling for children suffering from anxiety. The experts can be reached at 03-9244955.
Meanwhile, the iAPPs company has developed a free iPhone application to help people locate the nearest safe place to be during a missile attack. It can be accessed by going into this link: https://itunes.apple.com/il/app/secure-spaces/id467924709?mt=8. In addition, a short film on the application can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmipZU95rDw.