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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776
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Inviting Tragedies?

There's a superstitious thought that when you invite tragedy, it happily walks through the door.
Israeli and American soldiers participated in Israel's largest civil defense, five-day drill, code-named Turning Point 6 on Sunday, October 21, 2012, putting soldiers, emergency crews and civilians through a simulated earthquake and a Tsunami.

Israeli and American soldiers participated in Israel's largest civil defense, five-day drill, code-named Turning Point 6 on Sunday, October 21, 2012, putting soldiers, emergency crews and civilians through a simulated earthquake and a Tsunami.
Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger / FLASH90

There’s a superstitious thought that when you invite tragedy, it happily walks through the door. A second, more pragmatic view, is that when you prepare for it, you are better able to cope. Israel takes the second view as today we once again take part in the Turning Point 6 nation-wide exercise preparing us not only for earthquakes, but several other disasters.

According to INN, yesterday’s drill included:

The IDF rehearsed an emergency scenario in which an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale takes place in Eilat at 11:00 a.m. and a second, even stronger quake, subsequently hits northern Israel.

According to the scenario, MDA then receives reports of thousands of buildings collapsing throughout Israel, damage to hospitals, power outages and more.

In addition, the drill included a tsunami wave, a school in ruins, a mass casualty situation on Nahariya’s train station, a crash landing of a jet plane in Eilat, building collapses at Hebrew University and two prisons, a train wreck and more.

The drill had MDA emergency crews treating 2,600 “casualties” throughout Israel, 1,800 of them in moderate to serious condition.

Over two THOUSAND casualties…take a look at this video – it is, in every sense, a real exercise. Yes, there are subtle differences – the soldiers are not running around – many are standing and watching. In a real tragedy, they would likely all be in movement, trying to help where the could. Another difference, the “wounded” soldier on the stretcher was smiling and talking to the other soldiers as they carry him away. These are the faces that calm us as we watch – let them smile. Let them laugh. Please, let it never be real.

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Paula R. Stern

About the Author: Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write. Visit Paula Stern's blog, A Soldier's Mother.

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