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NCJ Number: 204691 Find in a Library
Title: Homeland Security: Risk Communication Principles May Assist in Refinement of the Homeland Security Advisory System
Author(s): Randall A. Yim
Corporate Author: US Government Accountability Office
United States of America
Date Published: March 16, 2004
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20013
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
Publication Number: GAO-04-538T
Sale Source: US Government Accountability Office
P.O. Box 37050
Washington, DC 20013
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This testimony by a representative of the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) before the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations focuses on the proficiency of the Homeland Security Advisory System in fulfilling its mission to disseminate information regarding the risk of terrorist acts to Federal, State, and local government agencies, private industry, and the public.
Abstract: GAO obtained information on how the Homeland Security Advisory System operates, including the process used to notify Federal, State, and local government agencies, private industry, and the public of changes in the threat level. GAO also reviewed literature on risk communication to identify principles and factors to be considered when determining when, what, and how information should be disseminated about threat-level changes. GAO also researched the type of information that had been provided to the aforementioned entities regarding terrorist threats. Attention was given as well to the suggestions given to these entities by the Homeland Security Advisory System for implementing code-orange alerts. GAO found that the entities typically received general information from the Homeland Security Advisory System on why the national threat level was changed, but they did not receive specific information on such matters as threat locations or time frames; however, for the December 21, 2003, to January 9, 2004, code-orange alert period, information was received that the aviation industry and certain geographic locations were at particularly high risk. The entities have been provided with suggested protective actions for responding to increases in the threat level from code yellow to code orange. Federal, State, and local government officials have indicated they need more specific threat information. Federal agencies want more information on likely locations and types of terrorist threats. One State official indicated that receiving more specific information about likely threat targets would enable the State to focus its response on high-risk threats. In most cases, the State has no recourse but to blanket the State with increased general security measures. One local official recommended that specific information about the location of a threat should be provided to law enforcement agencies throughout the Nation, not just to localities believed to be threatened; this would allow other local governments to determine whether they might be indirectly affected and respond accordingly. 33 notes
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Communications; Counter-terrorism tactics; Crime prevention planning; Interagency cooperation; Intergovernmental relations
Note: Downloaded March 17, 2004.
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