Tourist Tip #92 Rocket Siren Protocol When Driving

A red light may mean stay put in your car but a Red Alert means high-tail it out of your vehicle and get yourself to safety.

Ruth Schuster
Ruth Schuster
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Ruth Schuster
Ruth Schuster

You may be the type to roll up the windows, blast the radio and turn your car into a mobile karaoke bar. But if traveling in the line of fire these days, particularly in vulnerable southern towns and cities, you may want to keep your radio low and windows open to hear a possible Red Alert.

If you're driving along a city street and hear a rocket-warning siren, first of all, stop the car on the side of the road. Make sure to leave the road clear, though.

The driver and all passengers should get out of the car. If possible,all should enter the stairwell of an adjacent building, making sure to keep as far as possible from windows that could shatter. If not possible, and if there is no wall to hide behind, lie on the ground on your belly next to the car and protect your head with your hands.

Make sure to lie on the right side of the car, meaning, on the sidewalk side of the car, not in the street. Not everybody heeds (or hears) warning sirens. There is precious little point in protecting yourself from a rocket only to get run over.

The Home Front command advises returning to business as usual only after 10 minutes. While the farthest rockets fired from Gaza that can reach the greater Tel Aviv area only take 90 seconds to get there, there's always the possibility that more than one rocket was fired. One may hear "the boom"– the rocket's explosion or interception by Iron Dome – after those 90 seconds or so, but there could be another en route. So, based on the official advise, you can get back into the car and resume your journey within ten minutes.

While about it, the Association for Road safety in Israel begs to note that safety belts are mandatory in Israel, for driver and passengers alike, including the ones in the back seat. So buckle up before you drive on.

Demonstrating proper technique for a Red Alert when you're in the car.Credit: Nir Kafri

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