During the any type of actual emergency for which we prepare, a police scanner can be a very useful tool. Whether it be a riot and civil unrest or some sort of natural phenomenon, such as a wildfire, listening to your scanner can allow you to be on the front lines as far as information is concerned. You don't have to wait for the news to tell you something is coming, because you know it at the same time the authorities on the ground become aware of it, and this allows you a better chance of preparing for any future threat. The only problem is that they often talk in code that can sometimes be difficult to figure out.
Courtesy of Zipscanners.com, here is a detailed info graphic to let you know what those codes actually mean:
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