Tuesday, December 31, 2002

State of Hawaii

State adopts
security alert codes

The color system resembles
the federal anti-terror warnings

By Nelson Daranciang

A new Hawaii Homeland Security Advisory System includes recommended actions the public should take for each level of threat the state is likely to come under in a terrorist attack.

The threat level advisory system, unveiled yesterday by officials of the state Civil Defense and the American Red Cross, uses color codes to indicate the likelihood of terrorist attack: green for low risk; blue if there is a general risk; yellow if the risk is significant; orange for high risk; and red if the risk of a terrorist attack on the state is severe.

State agencies are on blue alert because of the relatively low threat here, officials said in unveiling the system yesterday.

The color code is identical to the system adopted by the federal Homeland Security agency in September because it is based on a plan developed by Hawaii officials, said Ed Teixeira, state Civil Defense vice director.

The Hawaii system has an additional level, black, in case the state has already come under terrorist attack.

The national threat advisory system applies only to federal agencies. States are free to adopt their own systems and to determine their own risk of terrorist attack.

The national threat advisory system is at yellow, and because the terrorist threat to Hawaii is very low, "we're maintaining a Hawaii guarded-plus (blue), which is basically about the same level we were at under our old system," Teixeira said.

Recommended actions for individuals, families, neighborhoods, schools and businesses under threat level blue include reporting suspicious activities to proper authorities and developing emergency communication plans. Hawaii started using its color-coded advisory system Nov. 29.

The American Red Cross and state Civil Defense will distribute brochures about the Hawaii Homeland Security Advisory System. The brochures are also available online at and

The state Civil Defense will let the public know of any changes to Hawaii's threat level through the news media. In case of levels red and black, the state will sound the emergency alert sirens, Teixeira said.

Hawaii Red Cross
State Civil Defense

E-mail to City Desk


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