Most of us are familiar with the international distress signal, SOS. In Morse code this is represented by three dots, three dashes and three dots, or " . . . - - - . . . ". You may have heard this pattern in movies (such as Titanic) or even commercials (SOS pads). But very few of us carry our telegraph keys everywhere -- so how do we take advantage of this simple safety option?
Thankfully 911 operators know the SOS signal and can send help even if you can't talk.
If you are in an emergency (such as choking) and cannot speak (or need to remain quiet) you can either tap the receiver or press any button in patterns of three and help will be sent. You don't need to worry about long and short dashes - only sets of three - as the operator knows the pattern.
This works best from a land-line as the operator will be able to trace the call and its location quickly. Cellular phones can also be triangulated but will take longer - this depends largely on the service provider.
Its also one of the best uses for a safety whistle! Rather than blowing long blasts to attract attention (which will sound like something that most of us would rather avoid), blow short toots in three's. If you have the presence of mind, group the three toots in groups of three. And if you are a concert-whistler, use the Morse code " . . . - - - . . . ".
Are there any other ways that you can think of to send this signal? Lights (including brakes)? Car horn? Stomping your foot?
One more way to stay safer wherever you go.