What do the spray-painted markings on the houses mean?

Several of us that live in Sullivan, MO attended the CERT Training program given by the local Fire Dept. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. And we had to practice what to do and what the markings on the homes meant. It was very educational.


As we see the heartbreaking footage in the aftermath of the recent tornados in Oklahoma, just as we have in many other places throughout the country year after year, many people often wonder – who is spray-painting on the outside of the damaged houses and what do those markings mean?

Those are urban search and rescue (US&R) markings. They are left by US&R team members to record and display to other rescuers that a search has already been conducted there and what the results of the search were. As directed in the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National US&R Response System Recue Field Operations Guide, these search assessment markings are completed as such:

1)      A single slash is made upon the entry of the search team into the structure. To the left of the slash, the call sign of the unit as well as the date and time of…

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two brunette sisters busy with crafting, cooking, teaching, reading and living

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