COLUMBUS – Effective this week, a new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) is replacing the previous color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System that the federal government has used since 2002.
The new system, NTAS, will function differently than the color-coded system. These NTAS alerts will include summaries of the potential threat including geographic region, mode of transportation, or critical infrastructure potentially affected by the threat, actions being taken to ensure public safety, as well as recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to a threat. The Alerts will be issued for a specific time period and will automatically expire. They may be extended if new information becomes available or as a specific threat evolves.
“Today, Ohioans need to remain vigilant and prepared against potential terrorist threats,” said Ohio Homeland Security Executive Director, Robert C. Glenn. “The new NTAS system will allow for clear, timely and precise summaries so that the public can better protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
NTAS Alerts are designed to be released either broadly or to specific target audiences. Public NTAS Alerts will be publicly released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security via press releases, their web site and through social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter.
To more precisely prevent and protect against threats, the Alerts include a clear statement on the nature of the threat, which will be defined in one of two ways:
• Elevated Threat: Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States.
• Imminent Threat: Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terroris threat against the United States.
Ohioans are encouraged to participate in the “See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign, aimed at educating Ohioans on recognizing the possible signs of terrorism. Citizens should report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement authorities or by calling the Ohio Terrorism Tipline at 1-877-OHS-INTEL.
For a sample NTAS alert, log onto www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/MR2011/NTAS_Guide.pdf