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January 26, 2011

Color Coded Alerts: Terror threat system may be discontinued

According to a report by the Associated Press, the U.S. Homeland Security Department plans to discontinue the use of color-coded terror threat alerts, an eight-year-old system designed to communicate threat levels to safety officials and the public.

Terror threats to the U.S. have been described since 9/11 as being green, blue, yellow, orange or red, depending upon the severity of the threat. The effectiveness of this "vague" warning system, however, has been questioned.

Mary Schiavo, Motley Rice aviation lawyer and former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, stated, "Since 9/11, other than for a few weeks, the United States of America has been at alert level orange. Because we are almost always at orange, the system and the color-coding have become meaningless and may have even encouraged complacency."

The Obama Administration has stated that it plans to create a National Terrorism Advisory System to address new ways to communicate threats and the government's means of handling them.

Read the full article on color-coded threat alerts by The Associated Press in The Washington Post.