ADVISORY: Select Committee on Homeland Security Hearing: "The
Homeland Security Advisory System: Improving Preparedness
through Effective Warning"
WHAT: The Select Committee on Homeland Security
will hold a hearing to evaluate how the Homeland Security
Advisory System program operates, and examine possible
initiatives both in Congress and at the Department of
Homeland Security to reform the system.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 4, 2004, at 12:30
WHERE: 2175 Rayburn House Office Building
The Homeland Security Advisory System - the color-coded national threat
warning system administered by the Department of Homeland Security - is
a constant, inescapable reminder that the Nation is engaged in a global
war on terror and may be at risk of attack. As the presidential directive
establishing the System notes, "[t]he higher the Threat Condition,
the greater the risk of a terrorist attack."
System's color-coded warnings have become the primary
means by which the federal Government communicates directly
to the public-rather than to and through State and private
sector officials-its bottom-line judgment on the risk
of terrorist attack at any given time. An increase in
the national threat level indicates a heightened risk
of attack on our homeland and, as a result, may have
direct implications for personal safety and far-reaching
effects on personal behavior, including travel and spending
patterns, with corresponding effects on economic conditions.
The reliability, timeliness, and relevance of the System's
national threat warnings must, therefore, be unquestioned.
There is, however, little understanding of how the
national threat advisory system actually works. This
hearing is intended to give Members and the public a
better understanding of how the System operates, including
the manner in which threat indications are brought to
bear on the decision whether the national threat level
should be adjusted. In addition, this hearing will give
Members an opportunity to explore possible refinements
to the System in order to tailor its warnings more closely
to the regions and critical infrastructure sectors that
may be at risk.
Chairman Cox has introduced
H.R. 3266, The Faster and Smarter Funding for First
Responders Act, which would
require that HSAS warnings specify the regions or economic
sectors to which they pertain.
on H.R. 3266 -- The
Faster and Smarter Funding for First Responders Act
Faster and Smarter Funding for First Responders Act Commonly Asked Questions
Security Presidential Directive-3
Security Advisory System
by Governor Ridge Announcing Homeland Security Advisory System