Why should one lie flat on the ground if caught outside in a missile attack? It is never explained on Israel’s Home Front Command website – at least, not in English – and few people ever have time to discuss it.
But a military official took time to answer the question on an Israeli radion program Sunday afternoon after a 16 year old boy was badly hurt in a Grad missile attack in Ashkelon.
The boy was one of at least two people who didn’t make it in time to a safe space, and didn’t know what to do; he took cover as best he could – but he did not lie flat on the ground.
The boy suffered serious shrapnel wounds when a missile exploded in the area, shooting the shards of hot metal right into him. A nearby adult suffered lighter wounds.
“If you lie down flat on the ground, you stand a much better chance of survival,” explained the official.
“Most of the time the shrapnel flies in a horizontal direction, or at an angle. If for some reason the 30 seconds has passed – in Ashkelon, for instance they have only a 30 second window before a missile lands – whatever you do, don’t remaining standing! Get down on the ground and remain as flat as you can. If a missile lands in your area, there is a much better chance that most of the shrapnel will pass right over you, if you lie flat and do not move.”