Precedence Meaning
Routine A Routine message is one that has no urgency aspect of any kind, such as a greeting. 99 out of 100 messages have a Routine precedence.
Health & Welfare An H&W message is one that is either an inquiry to the health and welfare (hence the term) of an individual in a disaster area or an advisory from the disaster area that all is well. H&W traffic will be handled before any Routine traffic is handled.
Priority A Priority message is one that has a specific time limit, official messages not covered by the next category, press dispatches and emergency-related traffic not of the utmost urgency, and notice of death or injury in a disaster area, personal or official. Priority traffic will be handled before any H&W traffic is handled.
EMERGENCY (always spelled out) An EMERGENCY message is one that has life-or-death urgency to any persons or group of persons. This includes official messages from welfare agencies during times of emergency requesting supplies, materials, or instructions, that are vital to relief efforts. These types of messsages should only be sent by Amateur Radio when there are no alternate forms of communication to a disaster area. EMERGENCY traffic will be handled before any Priority traffic is handled. When in doubt, do NOT use this designation!!!