In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) replaced the color-coded alerts of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) with the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), designed to more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the American public. 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.
NTAS advisories – whether they be Alerts or Bulletins – encourage individuals to follow the guidance provided by state and local officials and to report suspicious activity. Where possible and applicable, NTAS advisories will include steps that individuals and communities can take to protect themselves from the threat as well as help detect or prevent an attack before it happens. Individuals should review the information contained in the Alert or Bulletin, and based upon the circumstances, take the recommended precautionary or preparedness measures for themselves and their families.
Individuals should report suspicious activity to local law enforcement authorities. Often, local law enforcement and public safety officials will be best positioned to provide specific details on what indicators to look for and how to report suspicious activity. The “If You See Something, Say Something TM” campaign across the United States encourages the public and leaders of communities to be vigilant for indicators of potential terroristic activity, and to follow the guidance provided by the advisory and/or state and local officials for information about threats in specific places or for identifying specific types of suspicious activity.