Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Exercise is good for you

The day started off overcast and misty. Today is the day of the Largest Ever Civil Defence Exercise In Israel - or at least the day when the public gets to participate in the fun.

At 11am there'll be an air-raid siren, at which point everyone is supposed to flee to their nearest shelter. The building where I work has two "protected space" rooms on each floor, equipped with blast doors, air filters and so on. Unfortunately, on my floor, one of these rooms is crammed to the gills with broken office furniture, and the other will hold 20, maybe 30 people with a push, Tokyo subway-style. Lemme see, how many people work on my floor - about 70-80.

Additionally, the Home Front Command instructions don't explain when you are allowed to come out of the shelter. Details here in English for the curious. They sent a cute little card to each home in the country, with a map indicating the warning time for each region. This ranges from 3 minutes around the Jerusalem area, 2 minutes on the coastal plain, "immediately" on the border with Lebanon (Hizbollah rockets), and 30 seconds for the communities surrounding Gaza (Hamas rockets). The map is surrounded by little dolphins, camels and boats, to offer some warm semblance of normality.

Some bigwig from the HFC was on the radio yesterday explaining that the army will do its utmost to ensure that the exercise doesn't turn into a real crisis. Gee thanks...

It turns out that our company isn't participating in the exercise. We're just far too busy doing whatever it is that we do.

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