The Israel Defense Forces Homefront Command has recently begun training dozens of Jewish American volunteers from across the United States to help Israelis in the advent of a devastating natural disaster.

Representatives from the Homefront Command, Israel Fire and Rescue Services and Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon flew last week to Atlanta to teach locals how to use household items in search-and-rescue efforts, and “prepare them for their call to action.”

Similar training sessions have been held in Israel since 2013, offered to civilians of various ages and no previous experience in the field. In the past, the Israel Fire and Rescue Service has trained firefighters and volunteers in the United Nations, some of whom came to Israel during Operation Protective Edge, the Carmel wildfire and other events.

Now, for the first time, Homefront Command soldiers are teaching volunteers.

Seven instructional sessions are planned for 2018. Hundreds of American civilians will be trained to cope and help in the aftermath of a natural disaster, both in Israel and in their own communities.

“We are giving [people] the tools to rescue themselves if an event occurs where they live, and also if we have to ask for international help during a similar event in Israel,” said Maj. Sivan Inbar of the Homefront Command.

Speaking to Israel Hayom from Atlanta, Lt. Inbar Levy of the Homefront Command said, “We’re talking about one particularly intensive day of training. There are teachers and doctors [among the volunteers], and we train them in how to act during an earthquake and how to save lives. These are not people who know anything about emergency situations, and now suddenly they get it.

“We teach them the fundamentals of basic rescue with household items. They learn how to use things that everyone has in their home—a drill, a car jack or bike helmet. We learned from events around the world that 90 percent of people who were trapped after earthquakes were saved by their neighbors.”