For only the second time since its inception last March, the national terror threat level was raised from yellow status to orange on Feb. 7, giving citizens an awareness of the high risk of possible terror attacks, although citizens in Fort Collins may not be concerned.
According to the Homeland Security Directive, there are five levels of possible threat, each level receiving a different color.
Green is for a low terror threat; blue is for “guarded;” yellow is for an elevated risk; orange for high risk and red signifies a severe risk of terrorist attack.
At CSU, however, the likelihood of a possible terrorist attack may not be the first thing on people’s minds. For some, the terror threat level is just like other government warnings that the citizens of Colorado receive.
“The way I look at the [terror threat system] is the same as the way I look at the fire danger levels you see posted on the highway,” said Nate Timmons, a junior English major at CSU.
Timmons believes the raised level of terror threat is not enough to change the daily activities of his life.
“It’s not going to change the way I get up and do things in the morning, that’s for sure,” he said.
The raised level of threat doesn’t worry others at CSU because the terror threat system and its color-coded levels can be unclear.
John Krattenmaker, a junior restaurant and resort management major, isn’t that concerned about the raised threat level.
“I didn’t really know what [the different terror alert levels] meant when they were raised, so I didn’t really care that much,” Krattenmaker said.
More education on the different terror threat levels and their possible meaning to public safety might make a difference Krattenmaker said.
“I didn’t even know that there was a color system,” he said.
Not all students feel so safe from the possibility of a terror threat, however. Some can see reason for concern.
Joe Marshall, a junior history major, believes the raised level of terror alert isn’t reason for alarm, but shouldn’t be overlooked either.
“The [raised] terror alert doesn’t scare me so much; it’s the fact the government is telling people to go out and buy plastic sheeting and duct tape. That makes me believe there is a possibility [the government] knows something that we don’t,” Marshall said.
For students like Marshall extra precaution is a necessary first step every student and citizen should take.
“People shouldn’t think the end is near, but everybody should be cautious of their everyday surroundings,” Marshall said.
According to Monica Fields, Volunteer Coordinator and Disaster Services Director for the Centennial Chapter of the American Red Cross, people who want to learn more on the terror alert threat system and suggested preparations can go to the following places for more information:
* Center for Disease Control: www.bt.cdc.gov
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: www.hhs.gov/disasters/index.shtml
* Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov
* American Red Cross: www.redcross.org