The cellphone coupled with the use of SMS does indeed allow for convenience and even a measure of covertness; I mean I can send a text to the Mr. while he is sitting in a business meeting, asking him to stop at the store and pick up a few things on the way home from work, and no one is the wiser. But in an emergency situation your cell phone may be useless and in a survival situation, leaving a cell trail is not exactly prudent nor would be communicating in a language that the vast majority of the population is well versed in.
Whereas an extremely large percent of the population is very familiar with SMS most are only mildly acquainted (if at all) with other, older communication forms. The true art of verbal communication seems all but obsolete in our modern society and that is to to say nothing of actual written correspondence but even where these forms of communication do still exist, subtler forms are even rarer.
When I was in second grade there were two deaf boys that came to our class several times a week. Some of the other kids made fun of them, to which I took umbrage, so I decided I wanted to be their friend which meant I would have to learn to "speak" their language. I was fascinated by their hand gestures and spent many a recess time "talking" to Jerry and Tim; and while I am not fluent enough In American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed American English (SAE) to be a translator and at this point, possibly not even practiced enough to carry on a decent conversation, I was able to teach my children hand signs to help them begin to communicate long before they could use even the most basic of verbal skills. When bickering would break out between my children I would impose a vow of silence, they were only permitted to speak using whatever sign language they remembered. I have also used sign language as a performance art in worship, the movement tends to convey an emotion and sincerity that is often lacking in our cliche "church" terminology.
But I digress. If nothing else, learning the Manual or Signed alphabet for Finger Spelling of words can be useful; especially when indicating to your husband that you desire to leave the social engagement you are currently participating in, KWIM?
See what I did there? LOL!
Sign language can also be useful in a preparedness or survival situation especially if there is a great deal of chaos or if evasion is intended as one can communicate with their intended contact without others being alerted to what is being said. The Military uses a form of sign language that is official referred to as Military Hand Signs, many are already familiar to folks such as the extended arm with upturned hand, palm facing forward, indicating STOP!
Another little used but widely effective form of communication is Mores Code. Most folks are vaguely familiar with the language of dots and dashes or dits and dahs; if nothing else people tend to recognize a specific three letter, Mores Code procedural sign...
If you learn no other communication technique/signal do remember... 3 of anything means distress/danger/trouble/need help. 3 blasts from a whistle or horn; 3 gun shots; 3 flashes of light from a flashlight, lantern, mirror; 3 puffs of smoke; 3 signal fires; remembering this can save a life, yours or another.
Some of these may not be the most practical as far as preparedness/survival usage but having a basic knowledge of them in our arsenal is not a bad idea.
*Note: Several of the images themselves are clickable links.
Bravo - Yankee - Echo, Bravo - Yankee - Echo