A State Comptroller report released on Tuesday revealed significant gaps in coordination for the a possible emergency scenario between local and state authorities.
Officials from the State Comptroller’s office visited seven separate local authorities in order to examine each one’s preparedness for the possibility of war, and the degree of coordination between them and the Home Front Command, the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), and the Interior Ministry’s Security Department.
Despite the vast amount of resources spent in preparing the home front over the last five years, which included the creation of NEMA, as well as the conducting of many drills, the report states that the government has yet to define a division of power between local and state authorities. The report goes so far as to state that some attempt to “shirk their responsibilities” on the matter.
In its summary, the report points to a “grim picture” of continuing omissions and oversights that “need correction,” despite the fact that the situation today has been significantly improved since the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War in 2005. Along with NEMA’s creation, liaison officers with vast knowledge of the needs of the different authorities were appointed by the Home Front Command. Furthermore, each authority has taken part in yearly preparation drills.
It seems that the biggest issue is the fact that the Home Front Command does not have the authority to compel unprepared local authorities in case of an emergency. Furthermore, the Interior Ministry does not take responsibility for emergency situations (as evidenced by its conduct during last year’s Carmel fire), although it is officially responsible for them.
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