Important information from the Home Front Command – Pikud HaOref. Safety Guidelines for Rocket Fire.
There is always a constant and real threat of war in Israel. It’s part of Aliyah and you just have to accept it. We all have to deal with it and prepare ourselves for rocket or missile fire. It is not always possible to board a plane to get out of harms way. For new immigrants who have never experienced this first hand, it can be a really trying time.
Many immigrants were not required to serve in the armed forces abroad but now that you are living in Israel, you might have to serve some time in the Israel Defense Force (IDF). In times of a threat, families may be separated when dads are called up for reserve duty and moms could be left to look after the children on their own. Taking care of your children during this time is challenging; Depending on the type threat, schools may shut down. Scary as it is, you may be required by law, to be at work. Children are out of their regular routines and might suddenly be thrust into the care of an elderly relative, a neighbor, friend or babysitter and possibly placed in a strange environment.
What happens when there is a threat?
In case of an emergency situation, the Home Front Command (Pi’kud Ha’oref) will issue appropriate instructions via the media. Instructions are generally in Hebrew, Russian, English and Amharic. Instructions via text messaging may also be sent through your mobile phone.
In case of an emergency, the Home Front Command, emergency and rescue services, government offices, local municipalities and volunteer organizations are well prepared and work together in helping Israel’s citizens through the crisis.
Safety Guidelines for Rocket Fire
Equip your secure area with these emergency items
- A digital device with internet access so that you can get continuous updates on the situation outside and other possible instructions. Have chargers, power banks or battery back-up wherever possible as there may be electrical outages.
- 2 liters of sealed bottled water per person, per day
- A kettle
- Good quality garbage bags that seal very well. Keep your garbage output to a minimum. You don’t want your room to be full of garbage or have to deal with unnecessary smells if you are forced to remain in a shelter for a number of hours.
- A non-aerosol air-freshener could be very useful.
- Non perishable food; tuna, corn, long-life milk, biscuits, energy bars, nuts, baby formula and baby food if necessary. Don’t forget the can-opener!
- Emergency lighting and/or flashlight with spare batteries.
- First aid; bandages, sterile gauze, plasters, tape, cotton wool, burn ointment, antiseptic, eye drops, tweezers, baby wipes (useful for lots of different clean-ups), paracetamol or similar
- Supplies of your regular medication and other emergency medications or equipment your may need; inhalers, walking stick etc.
- Small fire extinguisher
- A hard copy of emergency telephone numbers
- Access to or copies of important documents, medical records, prescriptions, identity documents, wills etc.
- Recreational matter (books, games etc.)
- A small bag for you and your family with your personal stuff, in case you are evacuated and cannot return home for a few days
- A few towels. You may not be able to shower or bath, but in the event of smoke or chemical seepage, you could place a wet towel at the bottom of the door that will minimize smoke or odors coming into the room.
- If you do not have access to a loo, you can improvise with a bucket (and a lid), a camping or chemical toilet. Camping shops have some great solutions.
- Mattresses, blankets, cushions, a fold-up chair etc. for your personal comfort
- Warm clothing. When in a state of shock one might begin to shiver. Have a sweatshirt or some warm clothes on hand in case you need to evacuate from your home.
- Best way to deal with suspicious and unidentified items
- Prepare your loved ones in case of an earthquake with these drills
- Best way to respond to terrorist attacks
Top Tips – Safety First
- Don’t over-stock your secure room or clutter it with unnecessary items. Any items that can injure you or are easily breakable, have sharp edges or are heavy, should be kept to an absolute minimum.
- Do not keep any aerosols or poisonous or flammable chemicals in the room.
- Make sure you are wearing comfortable and appropriate clothing at all times. You may have to leave your home in the middle of the night. Make sure you have comfortable shoes that you can walk, run or climb in.
The Home Front Command recommends that you be able to reach your secure room within a few seconds or minutes from the time the siren is sounded depending on your location, as per the adjacent diagram.
Should you be in your car when you hear the air-raid siren, the Home Front Command suggests that you stop your car, get out and head for the nearest building to seek shelter. Should there not be access to a building, lie face-down on the road and cover your head with your hands.
Scared you won’t hear the siren? If necessary, the Home Front Command will operate a silent air-waves radio station.
Sleep peacefully and leave your radio on the silent air-waves radio station. Only air-raid sirens and emergency information will be broadcast on this station.
Contacting the emergency services
- Pikud Haoref – Home Front Command: call 1207 (from any phone)
- Emergency numbers & contact information
Your friends found these useful…
- First aid for stab wounds
- What to do with those dusty old gas masks?
- Medical emergencies & healthcare