Pikud HaOref - The Home Front Command
Heb: פיקוד העורף
Seasoned olim will remember 'HAGA' - Israel Civil Defense - first established in 1948. Their objective was "to take all measures required to protect the civilian population against attack by hostile forces, or to limit the results of such an attack, with emphasis on the need to save lives." Until 1973 and the Yom Kippur war no preparations had been made should a war reach the civilian population. The need then became apparent to guide the public in preparation and behavior in times of emergencies. In 1977 HAGA and other army units were combined to create a new unit - The Civil Guard. The main objective of the Civil guard at that time, was to ensure the security of settlements in rural areas and ensuring that their economic activity could proceed undisturbed.
Did you know? In years gone by, many Anglo olim served in HAGA, mostly, when they made Aliyah, they were a little too old to serve in active IDF units
If you were already living in Israel during "Operation Desert Storm", you will remember the threat of chemical warfare, the need to organize the distribution of gas masks and the need to prepare 'sealed rooms' within our dwellings and other public areas. Additionally there was the need to inform and instruct the public; how and when to use their gas masks, administer atropine (in the event of a chemical attack) and to communicate Israel's case to the outside world - Hasbara. With all this in mind, the Home Front Command as we know it today, was established.
Today, the Home Front Command is divided into 6 regions across Israel:-
1. The Northern District
2. The Haifa District
3. The Dan District
4. The Jerusalem District
5. The Central District
6. The Southern District
The Anglo-List also has numerous articles, practical tips and advice relating to emergency situations of all kinds; terror attacks, earthquakes, dealing with suspicious objects, first aid suggestions, emergency numbers, suggestions for the special needs community, calling emergency services and much, much more. Take a few minutes to read them through - your safety and the safety of your loves ones can be at stake.
Did you also know that the Home Front Command operates a silent airwave radio station during a state of emergency? You can also sign up for SMS emergency alerts on their website - www.oref.org.il
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