An Israeli “Fire Drill”

I greet my children when they come home from school with the standard – “Hi! How was school today?”

Tomorrow I will amend this a bit to ask, “How was the drill?” The “Pikud HaOref” (“Home Front Command”) will be doing a drill in schools tomorrow throughout the country. It is part of a larger week long drill simulating emergency situations here in Israel (basically being attacked on three fronts at once – from Lebanon, Gaza, and Iran). The emergency siren will go off at 10:00 am for a minute and a half. I am not looking forward to hearing it.

Those of us with school aged children received a notice from the Education Department about the upcoming drill, and they requested that we speak to our children about what they learned to do. They emphasized in the letter that talking about what to do and practicing during “normal” times will make it easier to do when an emergency arises.

Since we built our house after 1991, when a law was passed that all new housing must include a protected room (Mamad), we have a place for the kids to go to in an emergency. I just wonder what they tell the kids whose homes do not have this room, or what they tell them to do if they are at the basketball court. There are small bomb shelters scattered around our yishuv, but they were built a very long time ago when our population was much smaller.



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