The Home Front Command is gearing for its nationwide emergency exercise, scheduled for June 19. The drill, dubbed "Turning Point 5" aims to test, among other things, a new system that will inform civilians of a real-time emergency via text-messages, as well as by sounding an air raid siren.
Currently, the Home Front Command's real-time emergency siren is a standard "hi-lo" siren. The HFC has been debating whether to issue a new "sound" in case of a unconventional missile attack on Israel, but eventually decided to keep using the tried-and-true sound, and provide the public with additional information via text messages and the media outlets.
Defense sources said the deciding factor was the Home Front Command's wish to avoid confusion, and possible panic, among the public.
The new Home Front Command warning system is due to become fully operational by 2012. In case of war the system will provide civilians with constant information on the nature of the attack; and in case of an unconventional attack – it will provide proper instructions.
The HFC aims to start a public campaign explaining the advantages of the new system in the next few months.
Home Front Command sources estimate that in case of national emergency 70% of the public will be able to evacuate independently.
Colonel Amir Eshel, the Home Front Command's chief operations officer, said the HFC will designate public spaces such as parks, as well as IDF bases, where civilians would be able to seek shelter.
All branches of the security forces would assist in civilian evacuation, he added.
Meanwhile, the Home Front Command is also gearing for "Turning Point 6" – an emergency exercise scheduled for 2012, that will focus on the possibility that Israel will be hit by a major earthquake.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook