DHS replaces color-coded terror alert system
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is scrapping the color-coded alert system implemented after 9/11 with a new system designed to provide the public more detailed and useful information, Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Thursday.
Under the new, two-tiered terrorism advisory system, DHS will coordinate with other federal entities to issue formal, detailed alerts regarding information about a specific or credible terrorist threat.
These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an 'imminent threat' or 'elevated threat.' The alerts also will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals and communities can take.
Critics said the color-coded alert system, which has remained at 'orange' for several years, didn't provide any meaningful information to citizens, first responders and the private sector so that they could take appropriate responses.
The Bush administration was criticized in 2004 for raising the alert to 'red' during the presidential campaign without providing any tangible evidence of an imminent terror threat.
Alerts will be disseminated through traditional means as well as Facebook and Twitter.