Bikini Alert

The alert system explained on Wiki:

The BIKINI state was an alert state indicator previously used by the UK Ministry of Defence to warn of non-specific forms of threat, including civil disorderterrorism or war. Signs giving the current alert state were displayed at the entrance to government buildings and military installations. It was established on 19 May 1970. According to the Ministry of Defence, the wordbikini was randomly selected by a computer.[1]

Whilst similar to the DEFCON alert states used in the United States, the BIKINI levels were defined by the section of the military or organisation rather than UK-wide, and as a result, countermeasures and reactions to differing states may differ as acutely as from building to building. The highest levels of alert, RED and AMBER, were only intended to be maintained for limited times. The WHITE state has never been used in the history of the system.

It was replaced by a more general and public terrorism alert status, UK Threat Levels, an alert state system in use by the British government since 1 August 2006.

  • Red = Information has been received about an attack on a specific target. It can also mean “red alert”, meaning the United Kingdom is at war, especially if there’s a likelihood of a nuclear strike .
  • Amber = There has been specific information received and there is a substantial threat to government targets. It can also mean “high alert”, which could be a transition to war.
  • Black Special = There is an increased likelihood of an attack, but no defined target. It can also mean “potential terrorist threat”.
  • Black = There has been an assessment made that there is the possibility of an attack, but no defined target. It can also mean “possible civil unrest”, meaning safety can’t be guaranteed.
  • White = No information available about a specific threat. It can also mean “situation stable”

10 Comments CherryPie on Mar 5th 2013

10 Responses to “Bikini Alert”

  1. He he the MoD is so full of sexism and racism. ;o)
    How come there’s no Yellow code?

  2. Ginnie says:

    HA! And “randomly selected by a computer.” No wonder we often say “What???” or “HUH????” :)

  3. jamsodonnell says:

    A former boss at the Home Office worked in EP at one point he told me one time after I visited Kelvedon Hatch that many civil servants would refuse to man these bunkers if the balloon went up preferring to die with their families

    • CherryPie says:

      That is an interesting thought. I have often wondered about the point of it all if everything was going to be destroyed. You would need families to even have a chance of restarting society. But the aftermath would awful and would you want to?

  4. james higham says:

    All right, you sucked me in on that one. :)

  5. Lisl says:

    I remember this well, Cherie – I used to work for the Navy Support Command, and we had alerts like this quite often