‘Turning Point 5’ home front drill to start in June

IDF (Zahal) Website

During the annual nationwide civil defense drill, citizens will practice entering protected spaces and a new text message warning system will be tested

Date: 28/04/2011, 2:13 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

Head of the Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Yair Golan and Minister for Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai presented on Thursday (Apr. 28) the details of an upcoming annual nationwide civil defense drill.

More than 80 local authorities will participate in the “Turning Point 5” drill, which will start on June 19. The population will practice entering protected spaces in private homes. Also, a text message warning system will be tested.

During the course of the drill, two sirens will be sounded, one in the morning and one in the evening, to give the population the opportunity to practice entering protected spaces at homes, schools and places of work.

The Home Front Command noted that mass shelters will be opened this year in order to test large-scale evacuations. The scenario being trained for includes hundreds of missiles and rockets striking throughout Israel daily. Government offices are participating in the drill and the security cabinet will discuss practical dilemmas in real-time.

“We do not want to scare anyone,” said Maj. Gen. Golan. “A citizen who knows and understands [the situation] can also cope better during an emergency. Citizens do not panic easily. They know how to differentiate between routine and emergencies and they need to be ready for any eventuality.”

For the first time, a special Home Front Command text message warning system will be tested. The system can send text messages to second-generation and above cellular devices. The system will warn citizens in real time according to location. According to the Home Front Command, tests of the system will be conducted over the next two years