The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a new terrorism alert system today.
The old color coded system, called the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS), has been scrapped in favor of a more savvy, media, internet and social media based system, called the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS). Rather than the former green, blue, yellow, orange, and red color coding we had all became familiar with, there will just be two threat levels: “elevated” and “imminent.” No colors are involved.
The new system was announced on January 27th of this year, and has gone through a 90 transition period. In designing the new system, the DHS said they took into consideration the recommendations of a special advisory task force that studied the color coded system in 2009. According to the DHS, the new system will base alerts on information from the FBI, CIA, and other organizations, and the alerts will include as much unclassified information as possible.
The new alerts will be disseminated through DHS’s website, the media, and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, according to the guidebook that DHS has put out about the new system. Their Twitter alerts will be at: twitter.com/#!/ntasalerts, and on Facebook, the alerts will be at: www.facebook.com/NTASAlerts. The DHS guidebook about the new alert system is located at: www.dhs.gov/files/publications/ntas-public-guide.shtm.
At the time of this writing – no alerts are currently active. With the previous color coded system, the alert level was never below yellow.