National alert status at Orange - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

National alert status at Orange

^ Emergency Management Director Jimmie Arrowood ^ Emergency Management Director Jimmie Arrowood
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February 7, 2003

Albany-- A government official says the administration is raising the national terror alert from yellow to orange, the second highest level. That's a level that signifies a "high risk" of a terrorist attack.

Attorney General John Ashcroft says terrorists might attack lightly guarded apartment buildings and hotels, as well as transportation and energy targets.

Intelligence points to possible attacks to be timed with the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

In Dougherty County, Emergency Management Director Jimmie Arrowood said law enforcement has been notified. “The only thing we do is encourage those persons involved in some type of outdoor event, over the next few days, or people staying in hotels, motels to be particularly attentive to their surroundings. And alert to anything that might be out of the ordinary.”

The Albany Marine Base remains on Force Protection Bravo, the second lowest level of security. At Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, they remain on Security Level Alpha, the lowest.

So what does it all mean for us? Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge says the first step is taking "the time now to get informed."

He urges you to make plans on how to contact family members in an emergency and to pick a meeting place in case telephone service is disrupted.

The government offers more tips for creating a "disaster plan" at www.fema.gov.

posted at 5:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com