On March 11th, 2002 someone at the newly created Department of Homeland Security decided it would be the best idea to let the citizens of the US know how likely we were to be hit by a terrorist attack using a simple color chart (pictured). These are the same people of course, that still think we shouldn’t be able to carry fingernail clippers or knitting needles with us on a 2 week vacation and should rather buy them when needed and throw them away or mail them to ourselves on the beach. Long story shortish, on January 27th of last year there was enough common sense to kill off the terror color chart, and it slipped into history with out a real bell, whistle, or any celebration.
Why do I bring this up? I find that there are tons of people that seem to believe we need to have an impending warning of doom at all times. Heck, weather.com has had some sort of weather advisory going on for nearly a week about pollen or a flash flood warning or something like that. Are these weather services, departments of the government, or newspapers really doing anyone a favor when the lowest we could get on their warning chart would be an “elevated status”? Shouldn’t the default for these warnings be “everything is fine” rather than “we are all PROBABLY in imminent danger.”
What do you think about all these different warning systems? Are they effective in letting you know how serious everything is, or do they make you disregard and real warnings and wonder why a siren is going off.