Emergency (E)
Any message having life and death urgency to any person or group of persons, which is transmitted by Amateur Radio in the absence of regular commercial facilities. This includes official messages of welfare agencies during emergencies requesting supplies, materials or instructions vital to relief of stricken populace in emergency areas. Only during designated emergencies will this precedence be used; when in doubt bypass using this Emergency.

Priority (P)
Important messages having a specific time limit. Official messages not covered in the Emergency category. Press dispatches and other emergency-related traffic not of the utmost urgency. Used for notifications of death or injury in a disaster area, personal or official.

Welfare (W)
A message that is either a) an inquiry as to the health and welfare of an individual in the disaster area b) an advisory or reply from the disaster area that indicates all is well should carry this precedence. These messages are handled after Emergency and Priority traffic but before Routine.

Routine (R)
Most traffic handled by stations will bear this designation. In disaster situations, traffic labeled Routine is handled last, or not at all when circuits are busy with Emergency, Priority or Welfare traffic.