A tourist’s guide to how to prepare in case of rocket attacks in Israel
During rocket attacks in Israel, the streets in Jerusalem are full of people living life as if everything is normal. The Israeli attitude prevails; “we must not let the enemies stop our lives. Continue to live as usual while being aware of your surroundings”.
We are also aware that there are many tourists in the city and we want to make sure you have all the information you need.
What you need to know:
Mamadim: Secured Rooms
Miklatim: Underground Shelters
מרחב מוגן: Sign leading to a safe room in a building
What do you do if you hear a siren?
The Home Front Command has instructed citizens and tourists to…
- Take cover in a mamad or in a miklat (bomb shelter) during an air raid siren. The city has public miklats located in each neighborhood that have been opened up for use in case of a siren in Jerusalem.
- The siren system gives everyone in Jerusalem a 90 second warning before a rocket will land in the area.
- Anyone who is not near a protected shelter should lie down on the side of the road and use their hands to cover their head. (Never lie in the road)
- If you are in a car or bus you must exit the vehicle and find the closest building. The safest place in a building is the shelter or a mamad room inside an apartment. If you can’t enter one of these then go into an internal staircase. Israel may be one of the only places in the world where strangers will generously invite you into their safe room in times of crisis.
- In all buildings without safe rooms you should go down to the lowest floor possible to reduce the chance of injury.
- Once the siren has been heard, wait 10 minutes in the protected areas and follow the instructions.
- If you think a rocket has fallen near by do not approach the area until the security forces arrive. Rockets can have a delayed explosive attached to it.
It is also important to mention that Israel has invested a large amount of money in the Iron Dome which is able to intercept the rockets before they land in populated areas but there can still be falling objects of an intercepted rocket, so do not stand in an outside open area.
So our advice is to know where the closest safe rooms are, download the homefront command app in English to stay informed of threats and don’t stop to take a picture – if there is a siren take it seriously.
We contacted some of Jerusalem’s most popular tourist attractions to ask them what they recommend for their visitors.
JERUSALEM ATTRACTIONS – Where is their safe room?
Jerusalem Zoo: There are miklatim and mamadim throughout the zoo. Check with the guard at the entrance when you enter the zoo.
Cinema City– If there is a siren that goes off there will be announcements in the theater to direct you where to go. Follow the instructions. Many of the theaters are considered mamadim because they are underground. But there are also other facilities that are considered reinforced areas and safe areas within the cinema city complex.
Israel Museum: The Museum has mamadim and miklatim, depending on the building. The security guards will direct crowds to the proper locations in the event of a siren. If you are in the Youth Wing there is a miklat there. The Museum Store also has a miklat. The Shrine of the Book has a miklat as well. Anyone on the third floor galleries would be directed to go to a lower floor to the nearest safe room.
Bloomfield Science Museum: The Auditorium located on the basement level of the museum is the safe room. Guards have been instructed to guide visitors to the safe area quickly and there are also signs on the walls with arrows.
Mamilla Mall– There is an official miklat in Mamilla across the path from Renuar. There will be guards giving instructions who you can follow. Just to be sure make sure to ask a guard when you enter the complex. They have now posted signs around the mall directing people to shelters and the staff at Mamilla has also told us that the parking lot is a safe place to go because it is underground.
First Station– There are no miklatim or mamadim in First Station.
Hotels: If you are staying at a hotel make sure to ask when you check in where the closest miklat is. Internal staircases are also a good place to stand during a siren. The King David Hotel recommends that you go down to -1 and the Inbal Hotel recommends going down to -2 in their hotel.
Resources you should know about
Find more information on the Home Front Command Website
Download the Home Front Command App. It has an English option and asks you to turn on your GPS so the app knows where you are to give you the correct information.
We have not listed all of the attractions in Jerusalem. If you have a specific question about an attraction please post a comment here.