Drill sirens sound around Israel

Civilians move to bomb shelters as week-long emergency exercise peaks.

warning siren 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy )
warning siren 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy )
Sirens sounded at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning throughout Israel, announcing the peak of the Home Front Command's emergency preparedness drill.
Residents were asked to move to the nearest shelter when the alarm was sounded, and to remain there for ten minutes. Hundreds of deaf citizens in the center of the country also received page warnings to special beepers to notify them of the sounding of the emergency siren, Channel 2 reported.
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Col. Chilik Soffer, head of the Population Department in the Home Front Command said regarding the drill that "every country in the world trains for emergency scenarios like earthquakes and fires. Here in Israel we train for those, as well as for enemy attacks."
Soffer added that state had an arrangement with hundreds of hotels across the country to host people evacuated from their homes due to a threat.
"We have 200,000 rooms in hotels and youth hostels all over the country for people who want to leave their homes, but have no alternative arrangements or family members they can stay with. We are also working on arrangements with local authorities to make up a list of families who are willing to take in people who were evacuated in their homes," said Soffer.
"We saw that this happened naturally during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and aim to have it better regulated through the Home Front Command," he said.
Ron Friedman contributed to this report.