Homeland Security to Retire Color-Coded Terror Alert System
Posted on Apr 20, 2011
The Department of Homeland Security has finally caved in to widespread public disdain for its color-coded terror alert system and will replace it with a new, simpler system next week.
The original warning system, introduced in 2002, offered five threat levels ranging from green (low) to red (severe) without expiration dates or clearly defined criteria. The new system, rolling out April 26, is dead simple by comparison. —KDG
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the color-coded terror alert system will be replaced next week by two warnings — elevated and imminent.
The new warnings could be conveyed to the public through Facebook and Twitter. Unlike the colors, the alerts will have expiration dates.
The past system described the threat in five colors, from green, low risk, to red, severe.
Napolitano says the threat picture in the U.S. is currently at an “elevated baseline,” and future public warnings will hinge on specific and credible intelligence above and beyond that threshold.
Flickr / Beatrice Murch