Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Communications

Emergency Codes

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I have been thinking about coming up with a system which can get information to others quickly that summarizes information in a survival situation.

I came up with a color coded list for various events. These are set up in a basic square with four equal parts. Here is an example of the beginning chart.

Next, we characterize each square as an area. From top left to bottom right you have sections 1,2,3, and 4. Section 1 is the Region you are in. Section 2 is the state you are in. Section 3 is the County you are in. Section 4 is the city you are in.

We then use color codes to represent certain occurrences. When doing this we assume that what is color coded in Section 1 is also true in Sections 2-4. Such as if there were a hurricane covering the region you would make that color green with the descriptor 'Hurricane' with its name if you know it such as 'Katrina'. Since it is covering the region it is assumed to be covering Sections 2-4 and needs not to be repeated again unless there is no other information to give for that particular area.

The color codes are as follows:

Red - Fire
Orange - An epidemic or pandemic. Label if quarantine is in effect.
Yellow - Disruption of food/ water supply via becoming unfit for consumption or from drought, famine, or pestilence.
Green - Natural Disaster. Label specific type of Natural Disaster. (Heavy Precipitation, High Wind, Tornado, Hurricane, Ice/Sleet, Freezing temperatures, flooding, earthquake, volcano, thunderstorms, damaging winds, fog, hail, snow, tsunami, High temperatures, Natural fires, ect)
Blue - Civil Unrest, Riots, Looting, High Criminal activity, mass casualties.
Violet - Nuclear Detonation/ Explosion.
Black - Homeland Invasion, Terrorist activity, Martial Law, Negation of Rights via Government during a State of Emergency.
White - All Clear/ Neutral
Gray - EMP burst, Electrical and/or communication disruption.
Brown - Chemical/Biological/Hazmat.

If there is more than one problem in a certain area use a block inside a block to illustrate this with a short discription.

Next, in the right hand corner of each square, use a number to illustrate how bad the situation is for you.

1 - Normal
2 - Cautious
3 - Alert
4 - Life Threatening/ Need assistance
5 - Situatio FUBAR

The final product looks like this:

I tried to make this easy so that people could communicate small bits of information in different ways. You could even make a flag out of this is you needed to (minus the words). It can be expanded upon depending on the medium of communication and time available to do so. You could give this information to family member, friends, and forum members to give them quick information. Less or more information can be given depending on your circumstances and status.

In this instance we have a survivalist who had their preps ready. Based on the example we can gather this information - we have a Category 3 Hurricane in region 5. There is massive flooding with statewide power outages. There is looting and deaths in Orleans County and police have started confiscating citizens protective sidearms. Due to the chemicals, deaths, and other circumstances the water in the city is contaminated and not fit to drink. According to this chart, our survivalist believes their greatest threat comes from the flooding. This can be a tool not only for communication but for planning as well.

If someone were communicating over radio they could state : "Section 1 Code Green Cat 3 Hurricane. Section 2 Code Green/Gray Flooding and Power Outages. Section 3 Code Blue/Black Looting, Mass Casualties, 2nd Amendment Nullified. Section 4 Code Yellow Contaminated Water. Situation 4"

Well, I hope everyone likes this. It took me a little bit to come up with it. Let me know what you think. Is a system like this effective? What are it's strengths and weaknesses?

I like the general principle of coded communications but this one has some weaknesses. 

It seems a bit redundant.  If you are going to color code the emergency and then write it or say it why do both?  Also the colors are too confusing and many would not associate those particular colors to that emergency.  Maybe a symbol would be better - that way you wouldn't need to write words also and you don't have to go looking for crayons if your color printer is not working in a SHTF situation. 

I like how you divided up the square into different regions but in many or most situations you will only need one or two of those boxes.  This again leaves you with the task of deciding how to fill in those other boxes and again being redundant.  Maybe using concentric boxes, starting with the smallest region would allow you to decide how many to use and avoid redundancy.  You would simply stop filling in boxes where the emergency stops or where your knowledge stops. 

I love the idea (+1) and if it gets wide acceptance than we have a good way of transmitting vital information to others.  These could be quickly drawn up on a sheet of paper and fixed to signs, cars, bridges, etc.   

Thanks for your reply Jwatt. I knew that there were some weaknesses to this, but wanted some input. The color thing is definitely an issue if you do not have colors. I steered away from symbols mostly because not everyone is artistically inclined (me being one of them) and what may look like a tornado symbol to me might look like something else to another person.

The redundancy is to me being more specific. Like I mentioned less or more info could be used based on your situation. The color codes may not make sense to everyone. However, I say that about other forms of symbols and communication too. To some people green may mean pollution, but to me it means nature.

I don't know. Maybe it was useless for me to try and come up with something when there are other things out there. I just was trying to think of a system which could give as much information as possible in a small nugget. Perhaps if a section is not used a diagonal right to left slash could be used. Perhaps the person needs to only reference the areas that need talking about.

At its simplest form you could just have the colors. Or the first letter of that color in a square. Br for Brown. BL for black.

Do what makes sense for you because it will probably make sense to others as well. 

One problem i have with the color system is that i am color blind.


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