Final Issues - Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS)

The Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) was developed in 2002 by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 3 to provide a national framework to allow government officials and citizens to communicate the nature and degree of terrorist threats. It characterizes appropriate levels of vigilance, preparedness and readiness via graduated color coded threat conditions. Each level has corresponding protective measures to help the government and citizens in decision-making of actions to help counter and respond to terrorist activity.

Low Condition - Green
Low risk of terrorist attacks
Refining and exercising preplanned protective measures.
Ensuring personnel receive training on HSAS, departmental, or agency-specific protective measures.
Regularly assessing facilities for vulnerabilities and taking measures to reduce them.


Guarded Condition - Blue
General risk of terrorist attacks
Checking communications with designated emergency response or command locations.
Reviewing and updating emergency response procedures.
Providing the public with necessary information.


Elevated Condition - Yellow
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.
Implementing as appropriate contingency and emergency response plans.


High Condition - Orange
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.


Severe Condition - Red
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.
Increasing and redirecting personnel to address critical emergency needs.
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