Ridge Says Terror Color Code May Need New Shading


Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Tuesday that the government should reconsider how it warns people about security threats, conceding that its color-coded scale has invited “questions and even occasional derision.” Ridge’s remarks came at a meeting of the Homeland Security Advisory Council – created to advise the secretary on how to run the sprawling new department.

Ridge, who plans to step down after President Bush names a successor, defended the color-coded warnings, but said the public may want more specifics when the threat level is changed, according to the Associated Press. “I think the system is here to stay,” he told reporters. “I just think that we need clearly to take a look at what kind of information do we need to give to the public.” The warning system assigns red, orange, yellow, blue and green, in descending order of risk, but it has sowed confusion since being adopted in 2002.

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