Just days after a storm claimed the lives of four people, authorities across Israel are bracing for a new bout of turbulent winter weather, which is expected to begin Wednesday and will continue throughout the weekend.
Firefighters, police officers and volunteers will be deployed throughout the country, and police are warning people to avoid using elevators in the event of power outages and flooding.
Local authorities are also preparing for the storm. In Tel Aviv, sandbags have been distributed in locations designated as emergency centers.
Nahariya municipality in the north, which saw devastating flooding last week, will move to an emergency footing in the afternoon hours.
According to the forecast, the weather system will affect most areas of the country.
Large amounts of rainfall are expected, leading to flooding across the country, especially in the north and the center, where thunderstorms are also forecasted.
During the day, the rain will spread to central Israel, temperatures will drop and it will become colder than usual for the time of year.
A snowstorm is expected at Mount Hermon on the Golan Heights, and there may be light snow Wednesday morning on the northern Golan.
In the evening, the rain will reach the northern Negev with fear of flooding. There may also be wind gusts of up to 80 km per hour.
Police are bolstering their forces and are urging the public to contact the emergency hotline in the event of any unusual incidents. In addition, the police recommended people avoid traveling or hiking in areas prone to flooding.
"Avoid travel on roads where there is flooding, keep your distance [from other vehicles], and reduce your speed during inclement weather," the police said. "It is advisable to cancel trips that are not necessary or to areas that may be flooded."
Fire and Rescue Service Commissioner Dedi Simchi has instructed all districts to prepare for various scenarios, with a focus on a quick response.
He ordered operational reinforcements at fire stations throughout the country and placed volunteer units on full alert.
The Fire Service also said that in the event of flooding, people should avoid subterranean parking lots and refrain from using elevators below ground level.
Last weekend, 25-year-old couple Dean Shoshani and Stav Harari drowned when after becoming trapped in an elevator in their Tel Aviv building's underground parking lot, as it filled with floodwater.
Rescue services also advise people to avoid open spaces and stay away from antennas and trees in the event of a lightning storm.
The Electric Corp. also announced it is on high alert and has halted disconnections for people who have not paid their bills.
It has warned there is zero chance that the power grid will emerge unscathed from the severe weather.