On Tuesday morning, sirens went off in schools across the country as part of the Home Front Command's ongoing program to test preparedness for emergency scenarios, specifically for missile attack.
This particular exercise was being held in conjunction with the Ministry of Education as well as the local authorities, and was preceded by extensive preparations in the various educational institutions, with instructors from the Home Front Command visiting schools in order to give teachers and students guidance on how best to respond in emergency situations.
The exercise was held at 10:05, during recess, in order to test the ability of students to reach a protected space as quickly and efficiently as possible from locations around the school premises, rather than from individual classrooms. It also aimed to highlight the level of preparedness of the teachers in a missile attack scenario, and enable an assessment of the suitability of the protected spaces, which are required to be regularly maintained.
Following the exercise, the results will be collated and then published in the form of a table ranking the local authorities according to their level of preparedness and ability to meet the demands of an emergency situation in their schools.
A spokesperson from the IDF stated that, "This is an exercise that was planned in advance, in the context of the overall framework of such exercises conducted by the Home Front Command ... Such exercises take place on a regular basis, in order to enhance the readiness of our schools with regard to dealing with emergency situations. The exercises are conducted in tandem with the Education Ministry and the various local authorities."
A total of 2,354,000 students took part in the exercise. Of these students, 1,831,000 are elementary and high school students and 523,000 are preschoolers. In addition, 201,000 teachers took part in the exercise.