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Agency Actions in Response to the National Elevated Alert Level

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Office of the Press Secretary
February 7, 2003
For Immediate Release

Today, Secretary Ridge and Attorney General Ashcroft announced that the national alert level is being raised from Yellow (Elevated Risk) to Orange (High Risk). As a result, many agencies that will be a part of the new Department of Homeland Security on March 1, are taking additional steps to increase their protective measures. Following are examples of additional steps being taken by some of these agencies. These are provided as representative examples, and should not be construed as the complete Federal response to the increased threat level.

Border and Transportation Security Directorate

Transportation Security (Transportation)

  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners will increase the number of random examinations conducted at airport security checkpoints.
  • Federal Air Marshals will be assigned to a greater number of flights.
  • Parking at airports will be impacted.  The amount of parking spaces may be reduced and/or there may be increased random inspections of vehicles in and around the airport facility.
  • TSA will increase perimeter security in and around airports.


Customs (Treasury), Immigration (Justice) and APHIS (Agriculture)

Passengers

  • Customs, Immigration and Agriculture inspectors will be questioning more people more closely as they cross the land border, or enter the United States through international airports.  As part of this process, they will also more closely scrutinized travel documents.
  • Customs inspectors will increase the number of vehicles referred to secondary inspection areas for closer scrutiny with non-intrusive inspection equipment.


Cargo

  • Customs inspectors will increase the number of cargo containers and trucks that they identify for additional screening with non-intrusive inspection equipment.


Between Ports of Entry

  • The Border Patrol's Special Response and Border Search and Rescue teams nationwide have been placed on standby and are prepared to deploy to address specific threats as necessary.


Federal Protective Service (GSA)

  • FPS will increase security at Federal Buildings by performing additional checks of hand carried items and by increasing random searches of vehicles.
  • FPS will closely coordinate with local police to reduce any potential vulnerabilities to federal facilities.
  • FPS will strictly enforce parking rules, and severely restrict vehicular parking within 300 feet of federal buildings.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • FEMA is placing the on-call Emergency Response Team -National on ALERT.
  • FEMA is in regular contact with security Points of Contact to collect and disseminate threat and intelligence information.


Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate

National Infrastructure Protection Center

  • Continue all security requirements for previous Threat Conditions
  • Provide alert information to Infragard program and Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) points of contact
  • Contact affected ISACs at least DAILY to collect and disseminate threat and intelligence information
  • Be prepared to release additional sector-specific warnings and alerts, as indicated by the warning source material
  • Review plans for and be prepared to immediately implement SEVERE (Red) Threat Condition measures
  • Place all analysts on-call
  • Place all watch standers on-call

National Communications System

  • Continue all security requirements for previous Threat Conditions
  • Review plans for and be prepared to immediately implement SEVERE (Red) Threat Condition measures
  • Place all watch standers on-call
  • Establish daily contact with the NCS membership top share threat and intelligence information


Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office

  • Continue all security requirements for previous Threat Conditions
  • Review plans for and be prepared to immediately implement SEVERE (Red) Threat Condition measures
  • Be prepared to respond to questions from the Private Sector

Federal Computer Incident Response Center (FedCIRC)

  • Continue all security requirements for previous Threat Conditions
  • Contact security Points of Contact at least DAILY to collect and disseminate threat and intelligence information.
  • Review plans for and be prepared to immediately implement SEVERE (Red) Threat Condition measures
  • Additional actions determined if there is a cyber nexus to the alert


Office of Energy Assurance

  • Continue all security requirements for previous Threat Conditions
  • Establish closer contact (daily) with industry to share information
  • Review plans for and be prepared to immediately implement SEVERE (Red) Threat Condition measures

U.S. Coast Guard

  • The U.S. Coast Guard is increasing its patrol operations with cutters, aircraft and boats, and is closely monitoring maritime activity.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is working with state, local and other federal agencies to increase security in the nation's ports and on waterways.


U.S. Secret Service

  • While the vast majority of steps are not observable to the general public, the U.S. Secret Service is and remains at a heightened state of alert.