Getting Brighter with Color Coding

| reports on some changes being considered to the color-coding threat system that would take care of some of my complaints regarding the uselessness of the system. The key part comes late in the story:

Rep. Jim Turner, D-Texas, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, recently introduced legislation to restructure the threat advisory system so that it is sector and regionally based. The legislation also would require the creation of standards for raising and lowering threat levels. The committee will begin the daunting task of designing the first Homeland Security authorization bill when Congress resumes later this month.

[Tom] Ridge acknowledged the possibility of restructuring the threat advisory system. He said the threshold for increasing the national threat level will be higher in the future because the country is stronger at code yellow than it was in the past, and the government can now target alerts.

"There is enough flexibility in the system to target regions or sectors," he said.

Focused threat warnings would help cities and states avoid the high costs that come with heightened states of alert, said David Heyman, director of science and security initiatives at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He estimates the government spends more than $1 billion a week when the national threat level increases.