It is important to be prepared for all eventualities, to have a plan in place and to know how to protect yourself and your family in the event of a national emergency. Pikud Haoref (The Home Front Command) have cited that the main threats for Israel at this time, in terms of national emergency, are rocket/missile attacks and earthquakes. They have released recommendations on precautions that should be taken and how to act should such an emergency arise. An outline of their guidelines are listed below. For questions, up-to-date information and follow-up, please visit the Pikud Haoref (The Homefront Command) website (or www.oref.org.il in Hebrew) or call 1207 (104 for English), lines are open 24/7.
In the Event of a Rocket or Missile Attack
Choose a Shelter
There are different types of secure spaces that you should go to in the event of an attack. The place you choose will depend on where you have access to and the time it will take you to get there. The options are:
- Mamad (residential secure space), Mamak (floor secure space), Maman (institution secure space).
- Bomb Shelter (underground or overground), this can include a private, shared or public shelter).
- Secure inner room.
Please note: The advice for those living on the top floor of a building without access to options 1 or 2, is that if there are more than three stories, you should go down two flights of stairs. If there are only two stories, to go down just one flight of stairs.
Creating a Secure Inner Room
Recommendations are to choose a room that is the innermost room of the building and that has the minimum number of external walls. The room should be able to be sealed off and should have few windows and openings. In addition, there must be no large glass windows and the walls should not be covered in ceramic porcelain, tiles, mirrors or glass.
How Much Time do you Have?
Please see www.oref.org.il or call 1207 to find out how much time you have in your area if not listed below:
Equipment for the Shelter
- Food in sealed containers
- Emergency light
- Communication devices
- Fire extinguisher
- Copies of important documents
- Cell phone charger and batteries
- Water in sealed bottles
- Personal belongings: money, clothing, candles, medicine etc.
- Sealing equipment
- First-Aid kit
- Things to help pass the time
- Important phone numbers
Instructions for When you Hear the Siren
- Private car
- Stop on the side of the road and enter a nearby building. If it isn’t possible, exit the vehicle, lie on the floor and guard your head and neck with your hands.
- Public Transport
- Crouch below window level and guard your head and neck with your hands.
- If possible, enter a nearby building. If not, lie on the ground and guard your head and neck with your hands.
- Enter the shelter or inner room and close doors and windows.
- Enter the inner room and lie on the floor guarding your neck and head with your hands.
Instructions for a Non Conventional Attack
- For Shelters
- If the rubber gasket around the door and window is in good condition, closing the openings will seal off the room. If there is an air purification system in place, turn it on. Put on your gas mask.
- Inner Room
- Seal off windows, air conditioning vents and electrical outlets with heavy plastic strips and heavy duty duct tape. Close the door and seal with duct tape. Place a wet towel on the floor to block the opening. Put on your gas mask.
- Private car
- Turn off the engine and air conditioning, close windows and other vents and put your gas mask on.
- If possible, enter a nearby building. If not, put on your gas mask, lie on the ground and guard your head and neck with your hands.
- All buildings should be checked that their safety and stability are up to standards.
- If below standards, they should be reinforced using Tama 38 (national outline plan 38).
- All heavy furniture that can be, should be attached to the wall.
- Other items in the house that could be considered a danger in the event of an earthquake should be anchored or strengthened.
What to do During an Earthquake
- Get out to an open space (if possible in a few seconds). If that’s not possible, get into a Mamad, Mamak, Maman or staircase (if possible in a few seconds). If you’re unable to do this, get to the inside corner of the room or under a heavy table (close to its leg). Make sure you are not near external walls, windows, mirrors or shelves.
- Bend on your knees, lean to the ground and cover your head. If you are in a wheelchair, you should lock the chair and cover your head.
- If you are outside:
- Stay in an open space away from buildings and electricity poles
- Watch out for falling objects
- Watch out for unstable walls, wall coatings, air conditioning compressors, broken glass and torn electrical wires.
- If you are in a car:
- Stop immediately and stay in the car until the shaking stops.
- Get away from bridges, intersections, buildings or electric wires.
- Refrain from staying under a cliff or a steep slope for fear of landslides.
- If you are on the beach:
- A strong withdrawl of sea water indicates a tsunami could come.
- Leave the beach immediately and get as far away as possible.
- If you can’t get far from the beach, climb to fourth floor or higher.
- Do not return to the area for the next 12 hours.
How to Act After an Earthquake
- Shut down main power and gas switches
- Put out fire
- Get to an open space
- Listen to media communications
- Go to municipal assistance points
- Do not attempt to get into damaged buildings
For additional information, contact the Home Front Command Information Center, tel. 1207.