Gadget freaks take note: Wi-Fi coming to a shelter near you

Rocket-warning sirens to go off throughout country as part of Home Front Command drill of multi-sector war.

An Israeli boy runs up the stairs in a public bomb shelter. (photo credit: REUTERS)
An Israeli boy runs up the stairs in a public bomb shelter.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Air raid sirens will go off across the country twice on Tuesday, as part of a nationwide Home Front Command war drill simulating conflict on multiple fronts.
The sirens will sound at 11:05 a.m. to test school responses to heavy rocket attack, and again at 7:05 p.m. to prompt civilians to seek cover in pre-selected safe areas.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry’s National Emergency Authority has begun installing free Wi-Fi Internet connections in bomb shelters in northern front-line communities, the authority said on Monday, the second day of the Home Front Command’s national drill.
“The online shelters project... is designed to improve the ability of civilians to access information and emergency centers, and to communicate with relatives and emergency services while staying in bomb shelters,” the authority said.
A pilot program of Wi-Fi connections began in Kiryat Shmona in recent months, and is now being expanded to 50 public shelters in Safed, Nahariya, Tiberias, the Amakim region, Migdal Ha’emek, Acre, Shlomi, Sakhnin and other areas.
The program is set to cost millions of shekels.
“The Internet has a growing role in the ability of the defense establishment to communicate with the population during emergencies,” said Betzalel Traiber, deputy director-general of the Defense Ministry. “The Internet allows for real-time messages to be sent on sirens, and lifesaving instructions.
Hence, we see the importance of connecting public shelters, where cellular reception is limited, to the Internet.”
The drill is set to last through the week. It is not based on any concrete military assessment of a conflict but is instead aimed at preparing the civilian sector and offensive military sites for the scenario of unprecedented projectile attacks on Israel.