In January, the Department of Homeland Security announced that they'd be scrapping their fun color-coded scariness warning system on grounds that it is "ridiculous." (Okay, they never explicitly admitted that.) Later this month, the Homeland Security Advisory System, which incited panic but never really told you what to do about it, will be replaced with the all-new… National Terrorism Advisory System. Plus ça change, right?
But in fairness, the NTAS does sound at least slightly more practical than its predecessor. According to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, the NTAS is
a new system that's built on a clear and simple premise: when a threat develops that could impact you — the public — we will tell you. We will provide whatever information we can so you know how to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities.
This will come in the form of, yes, Tweets (and Facebook messages, if you happen to "like" the Department of Homeland Security just as much as you like Oreos and Antoine Dodson). Napolitano also said the new system, which goes into effect on April 27, will provide alerts "with a specific end date." That's good, since the old system was kind of, um, a White Noise-esque call to a national state of continual low-level anxiety. You might say.