Thursday, January 27, 2011

Goodbye Color-Coded Travel Alerts!

We've been "orange" for a good 10 years now, haven't we?

I'm talking about the panic-provoking, color-coded security alerts that, thankfully, are now being phased out by Homeland Security.

The Associated Press yesterday leaked an announcement that Janet Napolitano is expected to make today  about the replacement of the old system by the so-called "National Terrorism Advisory System". The NTAS will be a more targeted system, alerting only those who can respond officially in potential terrorist situations. When there's an alert that the public needs to be aware of, Homeland Security will make a specific announcement and then rely on the press and social media sites to get the word out.

Its a step in the right direction, wouldn't you say? Instead of needlessly alarming the public about situations over which they have no control, alerts will be put in place for those folks who can actually make a difference.

The new system is expected to be in place by the end of April. 

An update (2:41 pm): Napolitano just made the planned announcement. Here's what she had to say about the new threat system during a speech as George Washington University, as reported by

"When we have information about a specific, credible threat, we will issue a formal alert providing as much information as we can." That information will include a summary of the threat, steps authorities are taking to guard the public and what the public can do, she said.

"The alerts will be specific to the threat. They may recommend certain actions or suggest looking for specific suspicious behavior. And they will have a specified end date." 

Thank you Janet! Sounds good to me.

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