Earthquake in Israel Preparedness Training

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Two weeks ago, a 3.6 earthquake rippled through Northern Israel. Throughout Israel over the past year there have been over 1000 microquakes registering 2.0 or higher on the Richter scale. Moderate quakes of 7.1, offshore of Eilat in 1995 and a 5.3 in 2008 were felt throughout the country. The history of Israel’s killer quakes occurring approximately every 80 years (1927, 1837, and 1759) is not encouraging either. A government appointed inter-ministerial committee projected that a 7.5 quake along the Carmel-Tirza Fault and the Dead Sea-Jordan Rift could cause upwards of 16,000 deaths and 80,000 injuries. 96,000 of the homes of the 650,000 in the projected area would be rendered uninhabitable.

IDF and Home Front Command would spearhead any national response. Their experience in Haiti, Turkey and other disaster zones has helped them hone their skills. However a disaster of this magnitude would overwhelm existing national resources. Standing security forces would have to be augmented to prevent opportunistic cross-border and/or internal belligerency. Needless to say this would come at a significant cost to the available manpower for search and rescue operations. Home Front Command guidance to United Hatzalah has instructed its volunteers to prepare to be self-sufficient in their home district for the first 48-72 hours of a significant incident. This includes search and rescue, emergency medical treatment and eventually evacuation.

United Hatzalah has been developing various plans to deal with this eventuality. One key element is the I SAVE (Ani Matzil – אני מציל ) plan. Similar to the US CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) program, the United Hatzalah I SAVE plan trains and activates civilians to work in concert with their local United Hatzalah volunteers until additional and sufficient local, national or international resources are in place. Since United Hatzalah volunteers are intimately familiar with their local environment and its unique risks and needs they are going to be the first line of defense of any significant incident. United Hatzalah Senior Coordinator Eli Beer explained “Activating squads of local citizens is a real force-multiplier.”

Technologically, United Hatzalah is already ahead of the curve with its Moskowitz LifeCompass Command Technology. Not only does the GPS based system have the ability to activate civilian resources via registered 3G cellular phones, the system is not location dependent and can be managed from any site outside of the affected area. In the likely event that the telecommunications system will be compromised a remote system can identify and communicate via remaining communication alternatives. In a worst case scenario the system can communicate with United Hatzalah volunteers, registered civilians and national rescue services staged at the periphery of the communication “black zone”.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


1 COMMENT

  1. Solution – Give the arabs (muslims) the land for a while – at least until after the next big quake. They get finished off. We move back and rebuild. Moshiach comes and shoin! 🙂

    Seriously though, Israel should be prepared. Chas V’shalom anything so tragic should happen.