Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The “NEW” National Terrorism Advisory System

by Kelly Klatt

Well ….. The DHS finally did it !    They decided the old color coded Homeland Security Advisory System was no longer working … News Flash.          We now have the National Terrorism Advisory System a much simpler two level program with expiration dates.  Kind of like that quart of milk in your frig.

The DHS explains it this way …

“The National Terrorism Advisory System, or NTAS, replaces the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). This new system will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.

It recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the nation’s security, and should always be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the United States and what they should do.”

The new two levels of alerts are:

Imminent Threat Alert

Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.

Elevated Threat Alert

Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States.

NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available.

These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an imminent threat or elevated threat. Using available information, the alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat.

The NTAS Alerts will be based on the nature of the threat: in some cases, alerts will be sent directly to law enforcement or affected areas of the private sector, while in others, alerts will be issued more broadly to the American people through both official and media channels.

What does that mean to you and me ?    Not all the information will be going to all the people all the time.  But the good news is, these alerts will expire, unlike the old system that just seemed to never change and eventually became irrelevant.

Sunset Provision

An individual threat alert is issued for a specific time period and then automatically expires. It may be extended if new information becomes available or the threat evolves.

So there it is …  no more pretty rainbow of death, just a two tier method of keeping us on the edge of our seats.  Let all hope and pray that this program continues to keep us all informed and safe.

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