The IDF is set to conduct a wide ranging war drill on Israel’s home front next week.
The drill, called “Turning Point 5” will begin on Sunday and continue for five days until Thursday. The drill will include all the national emergency agencies, including the Home Front Command, the National Emergency Authority (NEA), local authorities, government ministries, security and rescue organizations, the education and welfare systems, and public and private entities.
This will be the fifth consecutive year in which the “Turning Point” drill is being held (similar drills were held in May of 2009 and May of 2010). The purpose of the drill is to prepare the general public and local authorities for emergency situations, as well as to improve the national preparedness for a defense emergency on the home front.
During the drill, sirens will be tested, the mobile alert system will be examined, guidelines for choosing a safe space will be reviewed, emergency kits will be distributed, and coordination between emergency organizations will be improved.
As part of the drill, sirens will sound next Wednesday throughout Israel at 11:00am and 7:00pm local time. When the siren is heard, residents will be asked to practice entering a secure area which will be selected in advance and stay in it for ten minutes.
The IDF noted in a statement it released that simply listening to and following Home Front Command’s guidelines proved as being a life saving measure in both the Second Lebanon War in2006 as well as during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008.
During the drill, schools and kindergartens across the country as well as military bases, government agencies and public institutions will practice entering protected spaces.
The Home Front Command will also test out project “personal message”, which is a system which sends an early warning message directly to mobile devices in case of emergency. As part of the test, SMS messages will be received by residents, principals and others in managerial positions in certain areas of the country.