Quickly get your civilians to safety.
Normally, assigning a unit to a burrow is treated more like a suggestion than a command. This can be frustrating when you’re assigning units to burrows in order to get them out of danger. In contrast, triggering a civilian alert with gui/civ-alert will cause all your non-military citizens to immediately rush to a burrow ASAP and stay there. This gives you a way to keep your civilians safe when there is danger about.
How to set up and use a civilian alert¶
A civ alert needs a burrow to send civilians to. Go set one up if you haven’t already. If you have walls around a secure interior, you can include all your below-ground area and the safe parts inside your walls. You can name the burrow “Inside” or “Safety” or “Panic room” or whatever you like.
Then, start up gui/civ-alert and select the burrow from the list. You can activate the civ alert right away with the button in the upper right corner. You can also access this button at any time from the squads panel.
When danger appears, open up the squads menu and click on the new “Activate civilian alert” button in the lower left corner. It’s big and red; you can’t miss it. Your civilians will rush off to safety and you can concentrate on dealing with the incursion without Urist McArmorsmith getting in the way.
When the civ alert is active, the civilian alert button will stay on the screen, even if the squads menu is closed. After the danger has passed, remember to turn the civ alert off again by clicking the button. Otherwise, your units will continue to be confined to their burrow and may eventually become unhappy or starve.
The position of the “Activate civilian alert” button that appears when the squads panel is open is configurable via gui/overlay. The overlay panel also gives you a way to launch gui/civ-alert if you need to change which burrow civilians should be gathering at.
The functionality for civilian alerts is actually already inside the vanilla game. The ability to configure civilian alerts was lost when the DF UI was updated for the v50 release. This tool simply provides an interface layer for the vanilla functionality.