The Home Front Command has estimated that within two years Israel will be able to activate two different alarms during emergency times: One alerting a conventional missile threat and the other an unconventional missile threat. The IDF is still working on the technology.
The installations of the actual sirens will be completed by the end of 2010. The aim is to double the amount of sirens there were on the eve of the Second Lebanon War.
One of the most complex issues discussed during the Home Front Command drill Turning Point 4, which was held last month, was how to provide citizens with information on the type of fortification required ahead of time and the need to classify the type of rocket being fired.
According to the plan, during the firing of a conventional missile an alternating alarm will be heard signaling the need to enter a fortified area for 10 minutes, whereas in case of the firing of a chemical missile, a different alarm will be sounded, signaling the need for a gas mask and entry into a sealed room for a longer period of time.
The plan has thus far only been tested inside the IDF.
Distance to travel
Senior Home Front Command figures regard the 'integrated policy' system as a tool which can provide accurate and timely information on types of threats. However, recent evaluations suggest there are many more points to be decided on and the system would only become operational in 2012.
A senior IDF element told Ynet that once the system is activated it will be possible to sound a selective alarm thus avoiding paralyzing the entire country in vain.
He noted that in case of a conventional missile launch a suitable alarm will be activated which will be connected to the cellular phone network. According to the source, significant progress has been made on this aspect recently.
The Home Front Command is slated to finish installing all the new sirens and replace the old ones by the end of the year. A total of 3,100 sirens will be installed across the country and several dozens more in military facilities. Local radio stations will also activate alarms.