Codes on Alerts and Indicators

From International Dictionary of Marine Aids to Navigation
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Alert code Meaning
Emergency Alarm Highest priority of an alert. Alarms which indicate immediate danger to human life or to the ship and its machinery exits and require immediate action.
Alarm A high priority alert requiring immediate attention and action.
Alert An announcement of abnormal situations and conditions requiring attentions.
Caution Lowest priority of an alert. Awareness of a condition which does not warrant an alarm or warning condition, but still requires attention out of the ordinary consideration of the situation or of given information.
Warning Condition requiring immediate attention, but not immediate action.

Source: IMO Res. A1021(26)

(VTS40, IALA Guideline no. 1110 refers)

International Maritime Organization

International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities - AISM