DHS kills color-coded terror alerts

After seven long, risible years, the US Department of Homeland Security has at last decided to end its color-coded terror alert scheme. As Wired's David Kravets puts it: "Apparently the terrorists have cracked the five-color threat advisory code."

DHS to End Color-Coded 'Threat Level' Advisories


    1. Yarrr, Jenny, they spent enough of that time telling us we was all Yellow.

      The blinky sign in the San Jose Airport driveways tells us the National Fear Level is “High Orange”, which either means “Wolf Wolf Wolf and a Half” or else says California’s TSA folks are paranoid because they’ve been using the medical marijuana.

      1. I knew we’d been at red and yellow before, but it seemed to me it’d been unchangingly orange for quite a while. So that link told me exactly what I wanted to know; thanks!

  1. I was under the impression they were going to replace it with odor-coded alerts, but realized all the different levels just plain stunk.

  2. I’ve been alert, not alarmed, for some time now. Does this mean I can go back to being completely numb?

    1. Does this mean I can go back to being completely numb?

      As long as you are comfortable about it.

  3. OK. Let’s start the clock.
    In how many minutes and how many times subsequently will Fox News
    and their ilk imply that, by getting rid of the color coding, the Obama
    Administration is: (A) making the US less safe; (B) knowingly and
    making the US less safe.

    I expect both versions to flourish in the wild, with the more hysteric,
    like Michelle Malkin and Coulter, opting for opinion (B). And, Hannity and Beck.
    And O’Reilly and Goldberg. And, well, all of them, I guess.

  4. What I want to know is, what message are they going to play over and over again in airports now? Are they going to replace the old “The terror alert level is orange. You should remain calm while being deeply uneasy and a touch hypervigilant.” message with something new and equally unpleasant?

  5. But how will future generations ever be able to understand M. Night’s political allegory “The Village?”

  6. The color-code system was never understood by the general public and was never intended to be given the attention it received. Each color level had a corresponding set of rules for federal agencies and was probably one of the better ways to allocate resources with the least cost and impact. For example, if the threat went from yellow to orange, our federal agency would make changes in anticipation of a possible move to red. No; the color alert codes were not useful to the average person, but they allowed for a simple, swift and pro-active response by the federal government. Instituting the color-code system was a tactical decision, I just hope eliminating it wasn’t a political move in response to late night comics.

  7. The Death Star has cleared the planet!
    The Death Star has cleared the planet!!!
    Thats no death station, it’s just the moon… again

  8. I’m happy this is gone. It always made me feel like I was in a dystopian sci-fi novel when the creepy voice at the airport announced that THE CURRENT THREAT LEVEL IS ORANGE.

  9. The main problem I always had with the color coded system, is that whoever devised it must’ve flunked elementary school science.

    Red -> Orange -> Yellow … Blue -> Green? What the heck?

    Hello? “Roy G. Biv,” anyone? It’s like they couldn’t decide between a rainbow or a traffic light metaphor…

  10. I honestly thought this would never happen.

    For the record, the MARSEC threat scale is totally different than the DHS color-coded advisory scale. MARSEC has to do with protection of ports, and for each MARSEC level, there are clearly defined criteria for what causes a change in MARSEC level, clearly-defined tasks that the entities at the port are required to carry out at each MARSEC level, and clearly-defined ways in which security procedures change. I did some work on a port once and was required to complete MARSEC training as a prerequisite for admission. MARSEC is what the DHS system wanted to be, but wasn’t.

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