Emergency Communications

The One-Word Communication Network



“I thought I would share with you an idea that my family and close friends have had in place a number of years. We call it the “One word communication network”. Here’s the idea: What if you only had time to say one important word to your family, and it had to get that message to them quickly before communications were lost, for whatever reason?

If that word is given, my family and any close friends that receive it, whether by phone call, text, or in any other way, that one word would tell them to act immediately. This one word is only to be used in the most extreme emergency situation.

Our special word is, “jellyfish”. It runs on the same simple lines as if someone shouted, “Fire! You would jump into action immediately. I recommend choosing a word that wouldn’t ordinarily be a part of your conversation. Since we live in the desert, we would rarely have an occasion to discuss jellyfish!

Since texting has become a big thing with cellphones, we also have saved the text word, “jellyfish” into our phones. We pray that we will never have to act upon this One Word code message, but at least we have a plan and a signal in place.

I originally saw this article on thesurvivalmom.com and thought, with our fast paced environment, this is a perfect way to spur an entire family to action.

It is quite amazing how much power we can put into a single word…

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Read more with these related articles from our site:

Life Without a Landline

Emergency Communications: Flags

Communication Breakdown – How to Stay in Touch after a HEMP Attack

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  1. Kurt Mowrer

    June 27, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    This concept was brought to my attention in a novel “ON The Beach” which is a 1957 post-apocalyptic, end-of-the-world novel written by British-Australian author Nevil Shute. In 1959 a movie of the same name was made. It was directed by Stanley Kramer and starred Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins. Rated 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Two High School buddies and myself still have our one word and plan in effect.

  2. Victor Barney

    June 27, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    I picked “Polar-Bear.” for my family.

  3. Kendra

    June 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    I heard a similar thing regarding the safety of children. Recently there was an attempted abduction not far from my parents house. A man drove up to a boy and said that his father had asked the man to pick the boy up. The boy asked the man for the password. This family had wisely set up a secret password and told their children that if they ever sent someone to pick them up they should ask for this password. Since the man couldn’t give the password the boy ran away and got help. The man was arrested shortly there after during a second attempt at abducting another child. Perhaps each family should have 2 passwords?

  4. Susan T

    June 27, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    We set this up when our kids were little. They were told unless it was Mommy or Daddy picking them up then he had to ask for the password and if they didn’t know it they were to run for help. Including people they knew like grandparents, even police they had to get the password. Otherwise refuse to go and if they were being forced to kick scream bite just anything. Told the school this too and if the cops showed up saying we were in an accident and they came for thr kids to immediately call my parents or grandfather to come pick them up as my kids would resist with extreme violence if necessary to being forced. Th3 school was a little upset until I pointed out several cases where children were removed fr9m schools by a person claiming law enforcement including dressing and driving what was painted as a cop car. Those children were murdered or never heard fom again.

    • Susan T

      June 27, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      Right now me and my son have a word in case SHTF and a plan in motion to do what is necessary to reunite. My daughter knows it but doesn’t think it will get that far unfortunately but she knows it.

  5. Karl

    June 27, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    This reminds me of a 1950’s (I think) novel called “Alas Babylon”. Yes, “Alas Babylon” is actually a 2-word phrase, but it was used by the people in the story just like these passwords mentioned in the article.

    This is actually a cool idea.

  6. TpC

    July 6, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    we picked the phrase ah, shit! but had too many false alarms and unneeded panic

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