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Entries in Color Code (2)

Thursday
Jan272011

Color-Coded Terror Alerts Retired by Homeland Security 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced Thursday that the color-coded terrorism alert system will end within 90 days. It will be replaced, she said, with a new two-tiered system to provide clear and specific information about terrorist threats and actions people should take.

"Today I announce the end of the old system of color-coded alerts. In its place, we will implement a new system that's built on a clear and simple premise: When a threat develops that could impact you -- the public -- we will tell you," Napolitano said. "We will provide whatever information we can so you know how to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities."

Napolitano called the new threat warning method the National Terrorism Advisory System. Napolitano made the announcement in a speech at George Washington University, where she also urged students to consider a career with the department.

Napolitano said that the new system, unlike the old one, will have specified end dates when there is an alert. Napolitano said that was possible because of better intelligence collection and analysis.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan262011

DHS to Scrap Color-Code Terror Alerts by April

Photo Courtesy - DHS dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- On Thursday, Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano will announce that the much-maligned color-code threat level, formally called the Homeland Security Advisory System, will be replaced with a more specific public alert system, according to officials briefed on the issue.

In July 2009, DHS Secretary Napolitano ordered a 60-day review of the system used to inform the public of the terror threat environment to see if it needed to be altered. The task force appointed by Napolitano was split on whether to keep the current advisory system in place. A report prepared by the Task Force noted, "Task Force membership believes the color-code system has suffered from a lack of credibility and clarity leading to an erosion of public confidence such that it should be abandoned."

The system has not been raised or lowered since 2006 and officials say they have been better able to tailor security procedures without making changes to the color-code system. While DHS officials declined to comment on the changes, which will be detailed Thursday by the Secretary in a speech at the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute, officials briefed on the issue say the new system will resemble terrorism alerts that are used by the United Kingdom.

The U.K. threat level system does not rely on colors but spans five levels from low -- meaning an attack is unlikely -- to critical -- indicating an attack is expected imminently. Currently the U.K. system is set at severe -- meaning that a terrorist attack is highly likely.

"The old color coded system taught Americans to be scared, not prepared. Each and every time the threat level was raised, very rarely did the public know the reason, how to proceed, or for how long to be on alert," said Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS). "I applaud the Secretary for her decision to create a common sense approach to alerting the public when credible threats arise."

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