Hagana Ezrahit is a common sense resources guide about
Civilian Defense and Emergency Preparedness in Israel


One of the things we have come to expect, and take pretty much for granted these days is instant communications and access to news and information. We have come to depend on telephones, mobile phones, SMS and email for communications, and the internet for our news and information. These technologies are terrific, but, as New Yorkers discovered on 9/11, they are likely to fail when you need them the most. In the event of a wide spread infrastructure failure, these resources may be unavailable for an extended period of time.


When a disaster occurs, if the power distribution and information networks are still functioning, they will quickly become overloaded, as calls to emergency services such as ambulance, fire and police take precedence. If power goes off, telephone service, both fixed and mobile, as well as internet access, will cease to work.


With a little planning and minimum investment, you can prepare yourself for the possibility of emergencies in the future, and avoid being out of touch when you most need to be.

Some of the requirements for creating an emergency communications system include:


  • It should be easy to operate and have effective range.
  • It should be inexpensive.
    (i.e. low initial cost, low maintenance and no monthly fees)
  • It must be readily available when needed.
  • It must be able to operate “off the grid”.
  • It must operate with replaceable, easily available batteries, and not depend on battery chargers that require “plug-in” power.

Personal Communications

When the phones stop working you’re going to need a method to communicate with family and people in your community to coordinate and implement emergency plans. For short range communications the logical choice is one of several models of “Private Mobile Radios”. These are small license free, handheld two way radios that are about the size of a cell phone that provide point-to-point communications with a range of a kilometer or more, depending on terrain and building density, etc. For information on models and availability, click here.

News and Information

During an emergency, information about safety and relief programs are essential to survival. Without internet and television (which you can’t take with you in the event that you must leave your home) your essential link to news and information is a portable radio. For recommendations on models and availability,  click here. For a reference of English language broadcasts that can be received in Israel, click here.

Okay, now what?

With your emergency communications tools in hand, the next step is to organize your community with a response plan in the event of an emergency. For a comprehensive discussion of community planning, click here.