The Prime Minister’s Office National Information Directorate, in cooperation with the National Emergency Management Authority and IDF Home Front Command on Monday 23 Elul 5772 held a study seminar on the issue of information and spokespersons during earthquakes. This was in preparation for National Emergency Week (the “Turning Point 6″ exercise) that will be held from 21-25 October 2012 and which will focus on the scenario of a destructive earthquake in Israel.
The study day was held as part of ongoing preparations to improve the preparedness of Government information systems and spokespersons for emergencies. During the day, participants were briefed on action plans for earthquakes with emphasis on strengthening contacts and coordination between Government spokespersons, professional agencies and local councils.
Attending the study day were Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter, National Information Directorate head Liron Dan, National Information Directorate managing director Yarden Vatikay, National Emergency Management Authority Director Avi David, Inter-ministerial Committee on Earthquake Preparedness Director Dr. Avi Shapira, IDF Home Front Command representatives, dozens of Government ministry and local council spokespersons, and representatives of infrastructure agencies and emergency and rescue organizations.
Minister Dichter said, “We must be prepared. The idea is that when an earthquake hits, we will be ready. This depends on systems functioning and the information that will be given to the public. This is an outline for a national disaster the likes of which have yet to occur in the State of Israel, and information systems must be able to respond properly.”
During the second half of the day, professional discussions were held on the role of spokespersons and information systems in various earthquake scenarios including during the first hours after an event, in the event of a collapse of electricity and communications infrastructures, regarding the functioning of the economy and Government ministries, and regarding the functioning of local councils.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)