A new color-coded U.S. threat advisory system that creates a national framework and a common vocabulary so that government and the private sector can deal effectively and efficiently with threats of terrorist attack. Unveiled on March 12th, 2002, approximate six months from the attacks on September 11th on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, this new system adds to the system previously known as FPCON (unveiled June 2001, previously THREATCON). The primary difference and advancement of this new system is to be overlayed on a map, so threat assessment levels can be localized by region or state, and can therefore act accordingly. This new system allows certain regions to be aware of risks in their locality, without mobilizing the entire nation to a certain threat assessment level.

RED - Severe - Severe Risk of terrorist attacks

  • Assigning emergency response personnel and pre-positioning specially trained teams; Monitoring, redirecting or constraining transportation systems;
  • Closing public and government facilities; and
  • Increasing or redirecting personnel to address critical emergency needs.

    ORANGE - High - High risk of terrorist attacks

  • Coordinating necessary security efforts with armed forces or law enforcement agencies;
  • Taking additional precaution at public events;
  • Preparing to work at an alternate site or with a dispersed workforce; and Restricting access to essential personnel only.

    YELLOW - Elevated - Significant risk of terrorist attacks

  • Increasing surveillance of critical locations;
  • Coordinating emergency plans with nearby jurisdictions;
  • Assessing further refinement of Protective Measures within the context of the current threat information; and
  • Implementing, as appropriate, contingency and emergency response plans.

    BLUE - Guarded - General risk of terrorist attacks

  • Checking communications with designated emergency response or command locations;
  • Reviewing and updating emergency response procedures; and
  • Providing the public with necessary information.

    GREEN - Low - Low risk of terrorist attacks

  • Refining and exercising preplanned Protective Measures
  • Ensuring personnel receive training on HSAS, departmental, or agency-specific Protective Measures; and
  • Regularly assessing facilities for vulnerabilities and taking measures to reduce them.
  • Editors note:

    The color coded system was retired in 2011. There are now only two stages that we have to worry about and are defined as:

    Elevated: Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States.

    Imminent: Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.

    Don't you feel safer now?