Gaudy markings now decorate the walls of buildings after the great calamity had come to pass.


They are trying to send a compressed message, but you might be too confused regarding the meaning of those numbers and symbols.

Even if you haven’t gone through a major disaster, you should know the urban search and rescue markings by now.

These markings are sprayed on building walls to inform members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as civilians in the affected area, of the places’ status.

Why is it wise to know these USAR markings? Because you can learn what happened to the building and family residing there, can stay out of trouble, and even use this to your advantage.

Before highlighting the different use cases of these symbols, let’s discover what they mean first, and how they look.

1.Single Slash: You will spot this whenever a search and rescue mission is undergoing. This sign is mainly useful to rescuers because they can avoid duplicate building searches and know where their other peers are.

2.Cross Sign with notes in each quadrant: This appears after the search party has gone out.

They will leave notes for key aspects of their search as follows:

– Left quadrant: used for identifying the unit; appears as a unique tag or as a military number.

– Top quadrant: informs of date and hour when the mission took place.

– Right quadrant: informs about threats identified inside.

– Bottom quadrant: used for announcing the number of survivors and/or victims. The info is usually divided by a slash and looks this way 0/0, if there were no casualties.

3.Squared Cross Section: A “keep away” sign which indicates there are dangers inside the marked building.

How Will Knowing These Signs Benefit You as a Prepper?

If you are looking for a rescue party and spot a single slash on a building, you’ve found them.

If you are searching for neighbors and friends, you will gain insight on their status without having to search the place. You will save time, and even avoid unsuspecting dangers.

Now that you know the marking’s meaning, you have the ability to draw them yourself. Use this to your advantage if you want to deflect unwanted intruders.

The risk of being robbed during a calamity or crisis increases exponentially.

Reason why painting a visible squared cross section will make robbers think twice before entering your house.

Even if looters don’t fall for this trick, leaving behind a squared cross section with info in its quadrants will still let them know the house has been searched and there are dangers inside.

Make use of this knowledge the best you can. It would be wise to stack a can or two of spray paint in your bug-out bag in case a sudden and severe turn of events occurs.

Bump a sticker on the cans with the USAR marking scheme in case you forget some of the details or your family would ever require this knowledge.

Whatever the case, it’s best to be prepared and be aware of all the essential details during an event.

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