19 December 2002

Update on Distribution of Protective Kits
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

Special protective kits will be distributed to the autistic and mentally challenged population

The Commander of the Protective Kit Distribution Centers in the Home Front Command, Col. Eitan Ben-Moshe, said in an interview to the IDF web site that special protective kits will be distributed to the autistic and mentally challenged population. According to him, this is all part of the individual service that the Home Front Command gives to special populations. The Home Front Command is preparing itself to adapt the masks in the best way possible for this population. "The Home Front Command has equipped itself with special ‘Caesar’s Hood.’ These kits are specially adapted to fit the needs of the autistic and mentally challenged population," said Ben-Moshe.

"The ‘Caesar’s Hood’ is a special hood for the adult that seals around the neck, and is equipped with two filters which pump in fresh air. It is comfortable to wear and provides for maximum vision. These components make the kit user-friendly, and therefore the kit is suitable for those who have trouble wearing normal kits. These kits will be given to autistic people and people with mental challenges, who live in institutions or communities. The qualification for such a kit is determined by a set criteria decided on by a panel of experts," said Ben-Moshe.

Protective kits will be given to foreign residents living in Israel

Ben-Moshe noted that, in addition, according to already established plans, protective kits will be distributed to foreign residents residing in Israel in time of emergency.

"According to the evaluations, announcements will be published in the press that will call upon the foreign workers and their families to collect the protective kit in one of the "Mashbir Latzerchan" stores. A small deposit of 200 shekels (NIS) will be necessary, half of which will be refunded once the mask is returned," he said.

Ben-Moshe said that the Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with the Home Front Command will distribute the protective kits to tourists in hotels throughout Israel in a time of emergency.

He added that the Home Front Command has a sufficient reserve of protective kits for all the citizens of Israel. "The citizens are welcome to come to one of the protective kit distribution centers which are located all over the country, and people can refresh their kits any time." (The location of all the stations can be found on the IDF website.)

"The Home Front command has opened distribution stations all over the country," he said. "The location of the stations changes from time to time in order to provide better access to the citizens of Israel. The Home Front Command has opened distribution centers in the minority communities (Arab, Bedouin, Druze), as well as in the ultra-orthodox communities, and in the West-Bank. For details about the hours of operation of the centers, and their locations, people can contact the Home Front Command hotline at 12-55-111."

Improvements to the Protective Kits

"Since the Gulf War a number changes have been made to the to the protective kit," said Ben-Moshe. "The ‘Crib’ kit, which was supplied to babies, has been replaced with the "Babysitter" kit. In addition, all protective kits issued to the population now contain a drinking straw which allows for drinking while wearing the mask."

The contents of the protection kit also include a syringe that provides a first-aid response to exposure to nerve gas.

The syringe should only be used when two or more of the symptoms appear: blurry eyesight, soreness of the eyes, tears in the eyes, increased mucous production, increased salivation, pressure in the chest, nausea and vomiting, tremors throughout the body and involuntary excretions.

More detailed information can be found in the pamphlet located inside every protective kit.