Star Trek Expanded Universe

Red alert

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A red alert (also condition red or code red or general quarters) is the highest emergency alert on a Starfleet starship.

When Red Alert is called, a loud warning klaxon begins blaring, accompanied by flashing red warning lights. All Starfleet personnel are required to report to duty stations — even those who were sleeping at the time. In addition to this, there are a number of things that occur once a red alert is sounded:
  • All crew members are to report to duty, whether that be their primary duty station or a secondary duty station within five minutes. Those crew members asleep at the time are to report to duty within fifteen minutes.
    • Secondary stations can include medical duty. On larger ships, a good portion of the crew receive training as medical technicians. Much of the crew is used as "damage control", where the crewmembers presumably help to fix minor damage to the ship and perform basic engineering tasks, under the direction of the primary engineering team.
  • On starships that have the ability to separate the saucer section, the crew prepares for possible separation.
    • Backup crews for the main bridge standby in the event separation is called for.
    • Crews for the battle bridge also go on standby status in case separation is called for.
    • Non-essential crew and other individuals (such as civilians and mission specialists) are moved to the saucer section.
  • The security division also makes a number of preparations.
    • They make sure escape pods access ways are clear, so that if crewmembers and civilians need to evacuate the starship they can get to the escape pods without any interruption.
    • Security teams are stationed at key areas throughout the ship.
    • Sensors record and track the locations of all individuals aboard the ship. This is used to determine if unauthorized access by an intruder occurs. (The ship's computer also helps with this function)
    • All security teams are placed on standby status.

A rarely used variation of this alert is the "double-red alert", which is only used in extreme, time-critical situations.

In the TOS episode "The Conscience of the King", Captain Kirk declared a "double-red alert" when a phaser set to overload was planted in his cabin in a failed assassination attempt.

On space stations, red alert procedures are similar to those of starships. Civilians either return to their quarters or are placed in special shelter areas. Public areas are closed down for the duration of the crisis.

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