FEMA Search & Rescue Symbols Guide

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Learn the meanings of FEMA symbols used in disaster search and rescue operations, including X markings and quadrant indicators for volunteers and emergency personnel.


Uploaded on Feb 28, 2024 | 1 Views


FEMA Search & Rescue Symbols Guide

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  1. FEMA Symbols Search & Rescue Following a Disaster, Weather Event, or Emergency Presented by the Texas Wing s Safety Team 1 1

  2. FEMAs S&R Symbol Again, we are seeing a FEMA Symbol in Maui as Military, First Responders, and Emergency Personnel search for survivors or conduct recovery tasks. After Hurricane Katrina we saw news reports of dwellings with an X near the entry doorway. Each segment of the X contains information informing the next searchers the status of that dwelling. But, what s this mean? 2 2 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  3. FEMAs S&R Symbol The symbol X is spray painted near the entry door facing the public street. The preferred color is RED spray paint, but supplies may be limited, and ANY COLOR IS ACCEPTABLE. The first symbol tells other rescuers if a search is currently underway. The second symbol tells other rescuers the results of the search. The last symbol tells other rescuers if the structure is SAFE TO ENTER. 3 3 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  4. SINGLE SLASH If there is only a SINGLE SLASH, that means a search is currently underway. This should prevent the next team from wasting time, telling them to proceed to the next structure. 4 4 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  5. BOTH SLASHES or X A complete X means the search has been completed. Additional information will tell the results of that search. 5 5 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  6. LEFT HAND QUADRANT The search team s tag or unit ID goes in the LEFT- HAND quadrant. 6 6 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  7. TOP QUADRANT The TOP quadrant shows the TIME the search team left the structure. Usually in 24-hour clock time. 7 7 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  8. RIGHT HAND QUADRANT RIGHT HAND quadrant shows any HAZARDS the search team found. If no hazards are found, this may be BLANK. There may be unfound hazards. BE CAREFUL. 8 8 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  9. BOTTOM QUADRANT Number of Survivors or Corpses found is placed in the BOTTOM QUADRANT. This may be BLANK. In the example, zero SURVIVORS and zero CORPSES found. 9 9 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  10. DO NOT ENTER If the search team believes the structure is NOT SAFE, the X will have a BOX around it. STAY OUT! 10 10 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  11. FEMAs S&R Symbol The FEMA Marking Symbols are uniform across the country and several other countries have adopted them. If you are assigned for a S&R sortie, be aware of these symbols. STAY SAFE and KEEP YOUR BUDDY SAFE. 11 11 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

  12. Thank you! 12 12 Volunteers Serving America s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.

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