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Delaware Health Alert Network #61

December 22, 2003 3:53 pm

Health Advisory

In conjunction with the U.S. terrorism threat level being elevated to Orange, the following was released from the office of Governor Ruth Ann Minner:

In accordance with the federal government's decision Sunday to raise the domestic threat level, Governor Ruth Ann Minner, in consultation with Homeland Security Advisor Philip Cabaud and Safety and Homeland Security Secretary James Ford, raised the Delaware Homeland Security Threat Level to "High" or Orange as well.

"In our briefings with Secretary Ridge and federal homeland security officials today, there have been no suggestions of any specific threat to Delaware, but all of our citizens, communities and facilities are encouraged to increase vigilance and take appropriate security measures," Gov. Minner said Sunday afternoon. "We do not want people to disrupt their plans, especially at the holidays. But I ask all Delawareans to be aware of their surroundings, to take extra security precautions and to prepare for the possibility of attacks on America."

Gov. Minner said appropriate alerts were issued early Sunday afternoon to Delaware law enforcement and emergency agencies, companies and facilities by Cabaud and Ford.

The Delaware Homeland Security Threat Level recommends that at Level Orange:

  • Individuals and families should prepare for disruptions of normal activities and exercise caution when traveling;
  • Communities enforce parking of vehicles away from sensitive buildings and randomly search vehicles;
  • Schools limit visitors;
  • Businesses limit or escort visitors and increase security patrols; and
  • Governments place emergency management personnel on alert status.

A full list of recommended actions for can be found by going online to and clicking on "Preparing for the Threat of Terrorism."

The last time Delaware raised its terror threat warning level to orange was on May 20.

This is an Official
CDC Health Advisory
U.S. Terrorism Threat Level Increased to Orange

The following advisory was issued by the CDC on Sunday, December 21, 2003:

On Sunday, December 21, the nation's threat level was raised from elevated risk ("yellow") to high risk ("orange"), the second highest level of the Homeland Security Advisory System. The change was prompted by a belief on the part of the Department of Homeland Security that terrorists may attempt to attack the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security is taking measures across the country to raise preparedness to their highest levels. This includes increased security at U.S. borders and in the transportation, oil and food industries, as well as the mobilization of response and recovery teams across the nation.

At this time, public health officials are urged to be fully prepared to respond to terrorist attacks. Specific Public Health activities prudent at this time include:

  • Ensure that surveillance and reporting measures are active and alerted to report any unusual disease or disease patterns, or chemical or radiation events;
  • Review specific emergency response plans;
  • Evaluate facilities and personnel to ensure the safety and security of both;
  • Educate employees on emergency procedures;
  • Ensure sufficient staffing to respond to potential widespread or multiple events threatening the nation's public health; and,
  • Ready communications systems to meet the needs of all audiences, including emergency responders, clinicians and the general public.

HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are providing information to assist the public health community in increasing their level of preparedness for different threat agents. Information on threat agents is available at the CDC website at General information about the health effects of terrorism threat agents is available at and

CDC will provide additional information as it is available. For questions, technical assistance, or to report an event, please contact the CDC Emergency Operations Center - which is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day - at 770-488-7100.

Categories of Health Alert messages:

  • Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
  • Health Update: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.
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