Tips for the Road #5 – Codes

This is the Fifth installment of my ongoing series of Random Survival Information.

Now we take a look at codes, both secret and public knowledge.

Back in the days of actual hobos roaming around, they developed their own codes to mark the people and places they were passing by. Here is some of that code;

The use of these marking is certainly on the decline over the decades. However, bad economic times could make them useful once again. It is better to be in the know.

Next Up is Morse Code.

You do not have to be a boy scout to know the basics. Morse code is a tried and true form of communication in emergencies.

American Sign language is also useful when needing to communicate without words. Being able to communicate with a deaf person might also come in handy.

Tactical hand signals may not be for everyone. But if you are trying to work with anyone in law enforcement or the military, it is better to speak their language.

Small groups should also work out their own private signals and codes. There will be times when you are not alone, yet still want to say something privately. Hunches, and ‘I saw it in your eyes‘ do not work as well as a previously agreed upon code word or gesture.

What are Urban Search and Rescue Markings?

These markings are sprayed on the side of residences searched by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) responders. The markings meaning is broken down as follows:

  • Single Slash: This means that FEMA responders have gone inside and that a building search is in progress. This helps reduce duplication of search effort, and lets other responders know where their teams are searching.
  • X with Writing in Quadrants: This means that a search has been completed.
    • Left Quadrant: Search team’s identifier “tag”, usually a short acronym or military number.
    • Top Quadrant: Time and date search team left the building.
    • Right Quadrant: List of hazards present (if any)
    • Bottom Quadrant: Number of survivors and bodies found. Usually noted in that order: 0/0 for no survivors and no corpses.
  • X with a Box around it: This means “Do Not Enter”, usually because it is dangerous. Article here at TruePrepper

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