Saturday, April 25, 2009

What Rhymes With "Orange"?

My family and my Crew use color codes. Due to the swine/avian/human flu break out, we are currently at Code Orange.

Color codes are a good way to lend structure to our thinking, planning, and actions. Like everything it seems I blog about, to be useful, these must be thought out, rehearsed, and agreed upon - in advance.

Emergency Medical System Codes

I am a volunteer firefighter and we actually respond to more medical calls than fires – we are typically closer to the scene than EMS, we have sufficient basic skills and gear, and when EMS gets there, we can help them carry gear and people. We also set up helicopter landing zones when required.

In our corner of the EMS world this is what we use:

Code Green
– the patient (pt) is fine, really
Code Yellow – the pt is fine but should probably see a doctor in the next 4 hours.
Code Red – yeah, we need to get this pt to the hospital right now.
Code Blue – they are not breathing on their own
Code Black – they are dead
Code Pink – (used more in the hospital than with EMS) – young pediatric pt

We refer to patients/victims by color code so responding/awaiting folks know what to expect. Example: if I am the first one to a car crash I may report over the radio that, “We have one Code Green, two Code Yellows and one Code Red – Start a helicopter and dispatch a second ambulance.”

Awareness Codes

The Grandfather of “Modern Pistol Shooting”, Jeff Cooper, came up with color codes for awareness. These were intended as aids to help one not get overtaken by the OODA loop. This is my interpretation of his work:

White – totally unaware. Asleep. Where most sheeple spend most of their day.
Yellow – relaxed awareness. Where one should spend most of one’s day.
Orange – alert, focused awareness – You have identified a potential threat and are beginning to take some action and mentally/emotionally prepare for immediate escalation.
Red – Combat is imminent or occurring.

Personal Preparedness Codes

As I wrote at the outset, my family and Crew use color codes to indicate, order,and organize our level or state of preparedness. As with the codes above, these are just a means, easily understood by all concerned, to focus us as a group. We can move forwards and backwards along the scale without too much drama and very little discussion. We have already had the discussions. For the most part, we have already done the rehearsals. The codes are to allow us to act – swiftly and methodically. Here is what we use:

Code Yellow – normal state of maintaining, improving our preparations and position. Relaxed. No sense of urgency. We continue to rotate through supplies, test new stuff, add to the homestead and so on. Normal day to day life with our family and Crew.

Code Orange - we have identified a specific potential problem. First we alert each other that we are in Code Orange and why. All vehicles get filled with gas and remain no lower than ¾ full for the duration. Stock is taken of food and water stores and short items are immediately topped off. This means we run to the grocery store and get gas on the way home. We may need to top off on critter feed; we may need to fill water troughs. If we were thinking of getting something (say, oh, a case of #2 shells) we do that also. We also continuously monitor various information sources – tv, radio, internet, scanners and contacts. After we top off and while monitoring we have the initial Code Orange meeting where we discuss what we know, knock the dust off of our Action Plan if we have one for this contingency and start setting out “trip wires”. These are planned actions we will take when certain events/actions occur. Example: Quarantine measures are enacted in Los Angeles. We then begin our own isolation as a group within 90 minutes. We tweak (based on specific unique factors) what will precipitate Code Red. We had our family meeting and the Crew telephonic alert last night, and the Crew meeting this morning.

Code Red - Most of this is OPSEC. For all intents and purposes, TS has HTF. Pre-planned actions are taken. These involve security, communications, medical and resources. Basically we fall back as a family, as the Crew, and start operating in close coordination with each other. We are not relying on anyone else for anything. We are thankful for stuff like electricity, water and so on but we are not relying on it. These are written out and rehearsed plans/actions. Honestly, we have never taken the time to do a full blown rehearsal but we have practiced the different aspects of our plan. We really need to do a 72 hour test…

Code Black - All of this is OPSEC. Black is a dark color and this is a dark place. This is for TEOTWAWKI. The rules have changed. Things will never be the same. We have discussed it. We have written trip wires, plans, and actions. We revisit thesea lot. We cannot directly practice a lot of Code Black stuff. But we can and do work on aspects of it. Code Black is not good.

So – we are at Code Orange.
We are comfortable here.
Where are You?

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 11:1

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America


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