Tag Archive | Hezbollah

Air-raid Siren Plans

tzeva adom, air raid siren, rocket attacks, kassams, grads, israel, security, hamas rockets, israel, peace, safety, color red

The Hebrew on top says, “Warning!” On the bottom, it says, “Color Red,” (the highest level of alert).

Back in January, I joined a Hebrew-language forum on a site that caters to religious Jews.  As with all communities, it takes a while to get used to the unwritten rules.  I had a few ups and downs, but have pretty much become part of the online community and settled in.

Last night someone started a thread on what to do when there is an air-raid siren.  She asked for tips from people living in areas that get a lot of sirens and rockets.  She has two kids: a two year old who sleeps in the next room, and a baby who sleeps in the parents’ room.  Their “protected space” is an alcove by their front door.  She has 60 seconds to get them both in.  And her question was how should she do it, if her husband happens to not be home at that moment.  If he is home, it’s simple – they each take one kid.  But if he’s not, how will she manage to get both kids into the protected space within 60 seconds?

It’s a really sad question, and a tough one, too.  It’s something that I think about a lot.  Right after Shlomo was born, Yitzchak and I made an earthquake plan and a rocket plan and a chemical-weapon plan.  And we started putting together an emergency kit, equipped to deal with all three situations (it’s not finished yet – most of what is missing is food and appropriate clothing for chemical attacks).

Her question got a lot of answers.  Some people said that they just gave up – they can’t get all their kids into the protected space within fifteen seconds, and they can’t choose, either.  Some people said that 60 seconds is a lot of time.  I guess that depends.  But if your protected space is nearby, and you have  a minute and a half until the rocket falls, that time can feel like forever (I know).  One person said that technically they have fifteen seconds, but she often hears the rocket fall within that time.

And the saddest response was someone who wrote that they listen to where the siren is coming from, and if it’s not close, they don’t go.  That means that they’ve been listening and detecting where the siren is coming from for way too long.

And that’s really, really sad.

Just remind me – who is occupying who over here?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Me, I’m not willing to give up my minute and a half.  I want to move somewhere where we’ll have at least that amount of time, and if we have two minutes, all the better.  I know that in the middle of the night it’s not fun.  But at least in the daytime, when you’re not necessarily beside a safe room, you have time to run.

And I won’t rent an apartment without a safe room.  And the safe room will be the kids’ room.

One person wrote that during Operation Cast Lead, she was in charge of a branch of one of the youth groups, and her branch invited a branch from the line of fire to join them.  The two branches started playing tag.  Guess who ran faster . . .

Then, of course, there’s always the emotional effects of the sirens.

I think the best thing that could happen is that Hamas, Hezbollah, and the other terrorist organizations will get mad at each other and do the dirty work for us.  Then, at least, we will have quiet.

In the meantime, Netanyahu doesn’t seem to care about what’s happening, as long as it doesn’t affect him personally.  Neither does the rest of the world, of course, but that’s not surprising; it’s pretty much expected.








Note: Not every apartment has a safe room.  Sometimes the “protected space” is just the space the has the fewest outdoor walls and is not the kitchen or the bathroom.  Some apartment buildings have a first-floor bomb shelter that all the tenants use, even the ones on the fourth floor or higher.  And some apartment buildings don’t have anything, and you have to choose, in a split second, whether to make a run for the neighborhood bomb shelter (which may be too far away or too old to be really safe) or the stairwell (which may be better than staying where you are but not necessarily is it 100% safe).  

Israel, Syria, and Egypt

israel, syria, lebanon, middle east, middle east maps, israel syria egypt lebanon, israel war, syria war, jordan, middle east conflicts, israel maps

from The Israel Project

Suddenly, my internet works again.  I can check my email, the news, and work, while Shlomo is sleeping.

And I realize that even though we have good news, that no one was killed in Judea and Samaria during 2012 because of terror attacks, that is very isolated good news.  The rest is worse.

I have been skimming and skipping articles on the Syrian rebellion.  I know that the IDF changed the rules of engagement, and I’m pretty sure they widened the border area to keep Israel’s north safer.  So, I felt better.  Then I read Arlene’s blog, and I remembered something that I had forgotten, or chosen to forget: The Syrian government is losing control.  They are on the brink of collapse.  They have one of the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons in the Middle East.  This stockpile, if not moved or destroyed, may well fall into Hezbollah’s hands.  And we all know what that means: Bad news for Israel.

And I read more, and remember, and realize, that things never really calmed down after Operation Pillar of Defense.  For that matter, they did not calm down, really, since Operation Cast Lead.  We are on the brink of the third intifada – not that the second one ever really ended.  That, to me, is more scary than Syria.  War with Syria is one thing.  Intifada is another.  Intifada, to me, means bus bombings and restaurant bombings.  These I cannot deal with.  Air-raid sirens and bombs falling are something else.  These I can deal with, very simply: Everything is canceled, we all stay home.  I work as usual, Yitzchak continues studying.  We go to a bomb shelter when needed, and we are safe, even if our stuff may not be.  This I can deal with.  Worrying about buses being blown up or turned over, or restaurants being blown up (not that we go to restaurants, but still), or riots in random neighborhoods – this I cannot deal with.  (Not that I don’t deal worry about it anyways . . .)  There is no warning siren, there is no safe place to run.  Yitzchak thinks that a third intifada will take the form of rockets.  I hope and pray that he is right.

And then there is Egypt, which is also undergoing a serious civil war.  Luckily, they are not as immediate a concern as Syria is.  But a concern they certainly are, and it is just a matter of time.

Maybe I should stick my head back into the sand.  It was much more peaceful there.

More good news is that Israel has had less terror attacks this past month than in the previous months.  Thank G-d.  These are miracles, true miracles.  Perhaps it is because security is tight, and we are on guard.  No matter what the reason, it is definitely a miracle, and we need to say, thank G-d.  But, we cannot rely on this miracle to continue.

And now, more than ever, I am grateful that I work from home, on the computer.  It gives me flexibility, and it allows me to not obsessively worry about Shlomo’s safety, because usually, I am with him.

May G-d protect us and keep us healthy, safe, and secure.  I will not leave my country, but sometimes I seriously contemplate it.  G-d helped us win the war in 1948, He helped us win the war in 1967, and he helped us in 1973.  War is ugly, war is cruel.  But G-d has helped us, against all odds, and I pray that He will do so again.