WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Department of Homeland Security today announced it is replacing the color-coded system of alerting the public to terrorist threats with the National Terrorism Advisory System which is designed to communicate information about terrorist threats in a timely and more effective manner to the public, state and local officials, first responders, airports, and the private sector.
U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which has oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, released the following comment.
“I have spoken to Secretary Napolitano on the importance of the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to ensure that the alert system is working in the best way possible. The old color-coded system was too blunt an instrument, and I have long called for a more useful and informative approach.
“In 2007, Senator Lieberman and I authored a law that required DHS to revise the current system and to provide the maximum level of detail possible. Rather than rely solely on a color-coded designation, we wanted to make more information and specific guidance available to citizens, first responders, and the private sector, so that appropriate steps could be taken to respond to the threat.
“The Department must ensure that the new system will effectively disseminate threat information in a timely manner and provide sound guidance to the public and affected homeland security partners on the actions they should take to protect themselves and the nation. I urge DHS to keep communication lines open with our state and local homeland security officials and with the private sector so that implementation of the system meets the vision set by the Secretary.”