National Terror Alert
After reviewing the available information, the Secretary of Homeland Security will decide, in coordination with other Federal entities, whether an NTAS Alert should be issued.
NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available.
These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an imminent threat or elevated threat. Using available information, the alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat.
Imminent Threat Alert
Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.
Elevated Threat Alert
Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States.
The NTAS Alerts will be based on the nature of the threat: in some cases, alerts will be sent directly to law enforcement or affected areas of the private sector, while in others, alerts will be issued more broadly to the American people through both official and media channels.
NTAS Alerts contain a sunset provision indicating a specific date when the alert expires - there will not be a constant NTAS Alert or blanket warning that there is an overarching threat. If threat information changes for an alert, the Secretary of Homeland Security may announce an updated NTAS Alert. All changes, including the announcement that cancels an NTAS Alert, will be distributed the same way as the original alert.
The NTAS Alert - How can you help?
Each alert provides information to the public about the threat, including, if available, the geographic region, mode of transportation, or critical infrastructure potentially affected by the threat; protective actions being taken by authorities, and steps that individuals and communities can take to protect themselves and their families, and help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat.
Citizens should report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement authorities. The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign across the United States encourages all citizens to be vigilant for indicators of potential terrorist activity, and to follow NTAS Alerts for information about threats in specific places or for individuals exhibiting certain types of suspicious activity. Visit to learn more about the campaign.
What can you do now?
Download a copy of the Department of Homeland Security's "National Terrorism Advisory System Public Guide" .
Develop an emergency plan, share it with family and friends, and practice the plan regularly.
Create an emergency supply kit for your home and car.
Know how to contact your utility companies for emergency procedures.
Keep recommended immunizations up-to-date.
Know what natural and man-made hazards are likely in your area and what measures you can take to protect your family.
Look at volunteer opportunities in your community, such as Citizen Corps or Medical Reserve Corps.
What about businesses ?
Develop written emergency plans to address all hazards. Include an emergency communications plan.
Encourage and assist employees to be prepared for personal, natural and technological emergencies.
Conduct training for employees on your emergency plan(s).
Develop continuity of operations plan to include designating alternate work facility/location and telecommuting for business
National Terrorism Advisory System
(Replaces the former color-coded Threat Advisory System)
The National Terrorism Advisory System, or NTAS, replaces the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). This new system will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector. It recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the nation’s security, and should always be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the United States and what they should do.