A guide for preparing your family and home for crisis and emergency situations


1. Download the Haifa at Your Fingertip app

to receive instructions during emergency (push notifications to the cellular)

2. Stock up with basic foodstuff:

2-3 six-packs of mineral water, dry ready to eat food in sealed packaging (canned food, snacks, baby food)

3. Prepare equipment for long power failures:

  • Charged emergency lights
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Means of communication for continuous updates – battery-operated radio (with extra batteries) and available media utilities: TV, computer etc.
  • A cell phone with a portable charger and backup batteries
  • A supply of medications and a first aid kit
  • Common nylon rolls (for sealing shattered windows)
  • Prepare the apartment's protected space (Mamad) and/or common shelters, whichever is safer

4. Prepare equipment in case of an earthquake:

  • A bag with a few days' worth of personal stuff
  • A phone list of family members and emergency services
  • Photocopies of important medical documents and IDs

5. During emergency leave only one cellular phone on

The batteries of the other phones will serve you in case of a long power failure. Save the cellular phones' batteries for when needed – now is the time for board games

Dear residents,

Are we really prepared for natural a disaster or a state of emergency?
In the last decade, Haifa Municipality revolutionized its emergency mechanisms and techniques, and is today a worldwide and Israeli leader in this field.

During those years, we have accumulated a lot of knowledge, and we would like to share some of it with you in this booklet, which will help you to prepare your homes and families.

Preparedness, acquainting the family unit with emergencies and preparing for them as detailed below, will assist us to address the crisis in general and to help each resident individually.

Just as we at the Haifa Municipality, along with security and rescue forces, continually drill ourselves, so do you the residents have the responsibility to take an interest, learn and prepare.

During the Carmel fire of November 24, 2016, which had a monumental potential of causing damage in life and property, we proved in practice that rapid response of emergency, security and rescue forces, aided by the municipality and civilian discipline, prevent a disaster.

Fortunately, the event ended with zero casualties.
I wish all of us peaceful days, and I hope we will not come to need these practices. Yours, Yona Yahav, Mayor


Make sure that all household members know where the most protected place in the house is, and are familiar with the emergency exits

Choose beforehand a meeting spot and a contact for the family, away from the area of the occurrence

Learn first aid and keep a first aid kit at home

Prepare family emergency kits including:

  • Means of communication: battery operated radio/TV/computer with internet access
  • A supply of medications and a first aid kit
  • Credit card details + cash
  • Spare keys for car and home
  • A can opener
  • A whistle (to call for help)
  • Flashlight and batteries/emergency light
  • Candles and matches/a lighter
  • A cellular phone with a charger
  • Items of emotional value
  • Foodstuff in sealed packages, such as canned food and snacks
  • Water – 4 liters per person per day (prepare for 3 days)
  • Essential documents (keeping copies out of the house is recommended, including on digital media):
    • Photocopies of Kupat Cholim cards
    • Photocopies of IDs, including driver's license
    • Prescriptions for chronic medications
    • A list of contacts and important telephone numbers
Remember! One of you should be in charge of the kit's maintenance (replenishing the water, checking the food stock and the equipment's function according to instructions – once every three months)
If evacuation is necessary, it is recommended to leave the house keys with security officials (neighborhood emergency team/community police)

It is also recommended that each family member will have a personal bag containing:

  • A change of clothes/underwear
  • Shoes
  • Hygienic products
  • A multi-purpose knife

Bear in mind your family's unique needs:

  • Baby food and supplies
  • Games and magazines
  • Pet food
  • Books and toys

Before leaving home:

  • Switch off main electricity switch
  • Turn off gas
  • Turn off water
  • Lock the house

The app you need

Your only way to communicate and get updates and instructions will probably be the Haifa at Your Fingertip app

Download here:


Recommended equipment for apartment/common floor protected space:

  • Means of communication: battery-operated radio/computer with internet access
  • Flashlight and batteries/emergency light
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Items that will pleasantly while away the time: games, magazines etc.
  • Sealing: nylon rolls for shattered windows
  • Family emergency kit (see above)

Common shelter – required equipment:

  • Functioning lighting, including emergency lights
  • Functioning toilets, running water and a proper water container
  • No unnecessary clutter
  • Sitting utilities

Preparing and keeping the shelter in order:

House committee's responsibility – Keeping and maintaining the common shelter to be used in case of an attack
Haifa Municipality's responsibility – Keeping and maintaining the city's public shelters in fine order. If necessary, the City will also help to enforce keeping of common shelters in working order
According to Shelter Maintenance bylaw, each property owner/holder has to keep the shelter or protected space under their responsibility in clean and working order so that it can be used whenever the need arises


Preparation of home and family:

Most injuries during an earthquake are caused by collapsing shelves and heavy objects, glass shards, fires and gas leaks. Therefore:
  • ‭Secure bookcases, TVs, furniture and shelves to the walls‬
  • ‭Make sure the following item are firmly secured:
  • ‭Solar and electric water tanks, gas cylinders, air conditioners and their compressors
  • ‭Store poisonous and flammable substances away from heat, in a locked place
  • ‭Position heavy items on low surfaces
  • Train the family to be prepared for earthquakes
  • Show the kids where the emergency exits, electricity switches, gas and water faucets are
  • ‭Determine a meeting spot for when the need for one arises.‬

While in the building:

If you find yourself inside a building during an earthquake, move quickly to a safe place, according to the following priority:
  • An open area – if possible, quickly out to an open space (in few seconds!)
  • Protected space (Mamad) or stairwell – if it's impossible to immediately exit, move swiftly into your Mamad; do not shut the door. When no Mamad is available, exit to the stairwell, and if possible proceed onward to the exit and steer clear of any building
  • Under a table or in a room's inner corner – if the previous instructions cannot be followed, duck for cover under a heavy piece of furniture, or sit on the floor against an inner wall and use your arms to protect the head and face. If in a wheelchair, lock the wheels and protect your head!‬

Instructions for people in open areas:

An open area is the safest place to be!
  • Stay in the open and far away as possible from buildings/pylons
  • Beware of falling objects (masonry, air condition compressors, glass shards, snapped power lines etc.)
Important – do not stay in underground shelters during an earthquake!

Instructions for people in vehicles:‬

  • Come to a safe stop and remain in the car until the tremor is over – the car protects you!‬
  • Avoid stopping under or on a bridge, in an interchange, near structures, at the bottom of a steep slope, or next to pylons

Proper behavior after an earthquake:‬

  • Do not light fire or turn on a switch of any kind (including use of cell phones) for fear of explosion as a result of a gas leak
  • Get out of the building and remain in an open area, away from buildings
  • ‭Prior to exiting the building shut gas taps and the flat's mains ‬
  • Renewal of electricity and gas supply will be performed only by a qualified technician
  • ‬Do not enter damaged buildings unless reentrance was approved by a structural engineer (unless for rescue purposes)
  • Listen to the media for information and instructions
  • Be prepared for aftershocks These occur minutes or days after the quake, and might collapse buildings weakened by the first tremor ‬

Trapped under rubble:‬

  • If there are people trapped under the debris in your proximity, judiciously use available resources for lifting heavy items, such as car jacks or iron rods
  • If possible, administer first aid‬
  • If trapped under rubble, try to extricate yourself
  • ‭Cover your respiratory system with a clothing item to protect from the dust, and avoid exhausting yourself with shouts
  • Tap on piping or walls or blow a whistle to enable rescuers to locate your position‬
  • ‭Do not light fire


Defense against missiles and rockets

Attention! Upon hearing the air raid siren in Haifa one has to reach a shelter in 60 seconds!

Warning areas in Haifa:

Haifa – Haifa 75 | Kiryat Haim and Shmuel – Haifa 70

Instructions for choosing a protected space:

The protected space will be chosen according to the time one has (60 seconds) from the moment the siren sounds, according to this priority:

1. The apartment's protected space (Mamad) or the common floor space (Mamak): are the preferable choice; get in, shut the windows and doors

2. Shelter: In a building – as long as it is located inside the building and is reachable via an internal staircase regardless of warning time Public shelter – provided it can be reached within the required time after the siren sounds

3. Internal stairwell: Inhabitants of the upper floor in a building of three stories or more that has no Mamad, Mamak or inner shelter, will descend two floors and remain in the stairwell. Inhabitants of the upper floor in a three storied building that has no Mamad, Mamak or inner shelter, will descend one floor and remain in the stairwell

4. In case there is no Mamad, Mamak, shelter or inner stairwell: Chose an inner room with minimum external walls, windows and apertures, or chose a bathroom or restroom, steer clear of ceramics, china and glass, all of which might shatter. Do not stay in a building's entrance lobby, as there is risk of shrapnel and blast waves from missiles falling nearby. In case of emergency, leave front door open for the benefit of people caught outside

Outside of a building:

  • In a built-up area – get into a building and act according to relevant instructions
  • In an open area – lie flat on your belly on the ground and protect your head with the hands

In a vehicle:

  • Pull up safely and cautiously to the side of the road
  • Get out of the vehicle and enter nearest building or shelter
  • In case shelter can't be reached – lie flat on the ground on your belly and cover your head with the hands

Important: Home Front Command telephone service center: 104
One can exit the protected space After 10 minutes unless otherwise instructed. Steer clear of unidentified objects. In case you have spotted a rocket or a suspicious object on the ground, alert security forces and keep passerby away


How to act when a fire breaks:

1. Alert firefighters as soon as possible (102 from any phone)
2. Try to extinguish the fire right when spotted by available resources (extinguisher, water hose, bucket, wet rag or whatever other suitable means)
3. Remove from the area any materials that might help the fire spread
4. Make sure all family members have evacuated the place and are not trapped
5. Set a meeting spot for the family in case of emergency
6. If fire spreads out of your control, leave the place, close the door behind you and tell the neighbors to evacuate the building and stay far from the fire
7. If trapped in a building and the smoke outside the room is too thick for you to get out, stay where you are and crouch, seal all cracks in the doors and close all windows (actions meant to avoid smoke penetrating from within the building or from without)
8. Check to see if no billowing smoke is seen from one of the exterior windows and if so open it to allow fresh air to enter (do not open a window if there's fear that smoke can reach it)
9. Try to make your whereabouts known immediately
Beware! Do not spray water on electric equipment or electrical systems!


During an incident:

  • Get indoors and immediately shut the apartment's exterior windows and doors
  • Turn off heating and cooking stoves, turn off air conditioners, shut air vents of any kind, and turn off water and gas supply
  • Enter the protected space. Close doors and windows and seal other apertures as thoroughly as possible. It is recommended not to heat the room; smoking or lighting a fire are strictly prohibited
  • When outside – immediately enter the nearest available closed space
  • When in a vehicle – immediately close the windows, doors and air vents (air condition included), and drive away from the area safely, via routes specified in the media
  • If symptoms of exposure to hazardous materials manifest – such as queasiness, headaches, shortness of breath, skin burns or eyes and nose irritation – wash the irritated part and report to medical agents
  • Listen to instructions published in the media and act accordingly
  • Once the incident is over, ventilate the house well
In case of hazardous materials leak, the required action is: stay in, turn air conditioners off. If outside – enter an inner room in a nearby building In any case, staying inside is preferable to staying outside

What do we do in case of a Tsunami?

What is a tsunami?

Tsunami is a series of unusually long waves, occurring mostly in oceans, mostly because of earthquakes. When the waves enter a shallow area they might rise, flood and hit the coast with great force. Tsunami waves come in series that can last for hours; the first wave is not necessarily the largest or the most devastating.

Signs indicating the possibility of an approaching tsunami:

  • A strong earthquake.
  • A pronounced sudden ebbing of the sea (low tide) and/or a strong noise emanating from the sea.
  • What to do when noticing signs of an approaching tsunami

    • If you are on the beach during an earthquake, or when an alert sounds, leave the area at once, to avoid the tsunami that might flood it.
    • Stay at a distance of at least one kilometer from the beach, or up Mount Carmel, or move to safe zones/marked gathering zones (those areas are out of harm's way).
    • Those who are unable to leave the beach area should go to the nearest building and go up to the fourth floor, at least.
    • Do not drive a vehicle. Leave the roads free for the passage of emergency forces and/or evacuation transportation.
    • Do not return to the beach for 12 hours after the quake.
    • Always listen to the media for instructions.
    • Know the signage:


    It is preferable to avoid unnecessary tension in extreme situations

    Stop and check: "frightening or dangerous?" – are you now in a dangerous situation, or just feeling fear? This is what to do to assuage the fear:

    Offer human warmth and attend to basic needs:

  • Drink, eat (sweets as well) and sleep regularly
  • Enable display of emotions – crying, frustration, rage, love, sadness etc.
  • Try to unwind by breathing deeply, exhaling slowly and rhythmically and relaxing the shoulders
  • Restore and maintain order:

  • Try to resume routine activity as soon as possible
  • Share your future plans with family members and assign tasks
  • Look for up-to-date reliable information:

  • Find a reliable as possible source of information and fill in family members, according to age
  • To refute errors contact security forces (neighborhood emergency team/community police)
  • Enhance the sense of belonging:

  • Stay by your children and support them
  • Talk with family members about their experiences
  • Share previous life experiences and successful coping in similar situations
  • Make contact with the extended family
  • Encourage activity:

  • Encourage family members to make small choices in order to restore a sense of control: what to eat and wear, physical exercise, games, encouraging mutual help, cooking together, strolling/hiking, and if one is so inclined, saying a prayer
  • If you are unoccupied, offer your help to people in your proximity
  • It is important to adopt a positive view and not lose hope! If there's no improvement, address a specialist!
    Remember! Different people react in different ways to different incidents. In times of emergency respect and regard any reaction as common and proper


    We have gathered all of the emergency phone numbers and the important tasks you need to do, so that in real time, everything will be ready and accessible for you