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Fast Facts: Terror Alert Levels

Fast Facts: Homeland Security Advisory System

Current Threat Level

August 12, 2005 – The United States government has lowered the national threat level for the mass transit sector. The country remains at an elevated risk, Code Yellow, for terrorist attack.

New long-term, sustainable security measures tailored to the unique design of each region’s transit system are now in place throughout the mass transit sector.

Many transit systems will maintain a strengthened baseline level of preparedness.

Individual transit systems should vary these security measures at any given time in order to make it more difficult to predict the security regime at any given location.

The United States Government will continue to closely monitor and analyze threat information and share that information, together with guidance for protective measures, with state, local and private sector authorities as well as the general public as part of the sustained national effort to prevent terrorist attacks and protect our homeland.

Recommended Activities

All Americans, including those traveling in the transportation systems, should continue to be vigilant, take notice of their surroundings, and report suspicions items or activities to local authorities immediately.

Everybody should establish an emergency preparedness kit as well as a communications plan for themselves and their family, and stay informed about what to do during an emergency situation.

About the Homeland Security Advisory System

The Homeland Security Advisory System is designed to target our protective measures when specific information to a specific sector or geographic region is received. It combines threat information with vulnerability assessments and provides communications to public safety officials and the public.

Homeland Security Threat Advisories contain actionable information about an incident involving, or a threat targeting, critical national networks or infrastructures or key assets. They could, for example, relay newly developed procedures that, when implemented, would significantly improve security or protection. They could also suggest a change in readiness posture, protective actions, or response. This category includes products formerly named alerts, advisories, and sector notifications. Advisories are targeted to Federal, state, and local governments, private sector organizations, and international partners.

Homeland Security Information Bulletins communicate information of interest to the nation’s critical infrastructures that do not meet the timeliness, specificity, or significance thresholds of warning messages. Such information may include statistical reports, periodic summaries, incident response or reporting guidelines, common vulnerabilities and patches, and configuration standards or tools. It also may include preliminary requests for information. Bulletins are targeted to Federal, state, and local governments, private sector organizations, and international partners.

Color-coded Threat Level System is used to communicate with public safety officials and the public at-large through a threat-based, color-coded system so that protective measures can be implemented to reduce the likelihood or impact of an attack. Raising the threat condition has economic, physical, and psychological effects on the nation; so, the Homeland Security Advisory System can place specific geographic regions or industry sectors on a higher alert status than other regions or industries, based on specific threat information.

Source: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security