Project: Reader Reaction — Alerts

A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked about the national terror alert, which was recently lowered from orange (a high risk of terrorist attack) to yellow (a significant risk).
Some responses:

“I believe the national terror alert is that warm blanket trying to avert lawsuits caused by terrorism. I do believe it is useless. It has been proven time and time again that anyone at any time may be killed no matter what precautions have been taken. As an example, look at our own presidents. They are about as secure as anyone in the world and they are still killed. I think we should always beware of what is happening around us and never get complacent about our own safety. Bad things do happen to good people no matter what we do to protect ourselves.” — Jim Sitterly, Clovis

“While the alert level is designed to trigger events within federal, state and local government agencies, it should also remind us to be more vigilant. Terrorists will not strike us based on our current alert status, they will strike us based on their own readiness. The system should remind us all to take note of our surroundings and the people and events in them. The terrorists whom we should worry about are most probably already in the country and established in communities. Public awareness may be the key to early detection.” — Bob Baker, Clovis

“I believe the terror alert system is a great system. We need to consistently be aware and alert to what is occurring not only on the national/international level, but especially in our local communities. Individuals should also be prepared for any type of disaster that could affect their area, and if they are unsure of what the hazards are or how to be prepared, they should contact their local emergency management office or their local emergency planning committee.” — Ken De Los Santos, Clovis (He is Emergency Management Director for Clovis/Curry County.)

“Lowering the alert level is not a big deal. I wonder how many people pay attention to it. I have seen people act like it is no big deal here in Clovis. It would take an attack to make it come home to a lot of people who have never been in harm’s way.” — Dan Toledo, Clovis

“While concerned, and aware that all acts of terrorism cannot be thwarted, I feel that our defense systems are maintained at high alert at all times. I feel relatively safe and do not live in constant fear. I would be more concerned if I lived in Washington, D. C., or anywhere on the East Coast.” — Harold Burris, Clovis

“I’m with the others that say it only alerts terrorists to the best time to catch us napping. It’s also like televising the war and letting our enemies watch what our strategy was so they would know where to hide the next time. Only those in a position of “need to know” should be advised.” — Gerald “Ski” Majewski, Clovis

“The reason for the current system of terror alerts is that the government found itself in a Catch 22 situation. If they said nothing and some terrorist act occurred, they would be condemned for not notifying the populace. On the other hand, if they notified the populace and no terrorism occurred, they would be condemned for unduly raising the level of tension. … No thinking American can dismiss the threat of terrorism out of hand. We should assume a constant level of risk, and adjust that level personally, depending on where we are … and the activity we are involved in. The chances of some group flying an airliner into Hotel Clovis are not nearly as high as the same group flying an airliner into the Trans America Building in San Francisco.” — R.L. Render, Clovis

“No matter what the government did to warn off any terrorists attack someone would complain. … All of us should be aware of everything going on around us at all times. We are responsible for our own safety — not the government.” — Ardyth Elms, Clovis