As the “worst storm in decades” raged on through Saturday, causing damage and power cuts around the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a conference call with leading ministers, as well as senior military and police officials and the president of the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), to address the nation-wide crisis caused by the heavy snows.

Speaking with the officials, the prime minister said the state’s first priority was saving lives.

“Priority must be given to locating elderly people in need of treatment, to opening all routes to all areas still lacking electricity, and bracing for floods,” he said.

Netanyahu spoke with Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Energy and Water Resources Ministry Uzi Landau, Welfare Minister Meir Cohen, Police Chief Yohanan Danino, IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz and IEC president Yiftach Ron Tal.

Earlier Saturday, Ya’alon praised the government’s response to the crisis, which he said was relatively swift considering the “surprising magnitude” of this weekend’s storm.