Notes: I don't do anything different when the color-coded, terror alert changes color. Do you? That's because it isn't related to anything measurable, so they end up meaning nothing to me.

I live in an area periodically threatened by hurricanes, and hurricane warnings mean something real to me which is wind speed. So long as the storm is described as a tropical storm or even a category-one hurricane, I may board up, but I don't evacuate. If it rises above that, I board up my house, grab my pets and take off. Unlike the terror colors, the hurricane warnings signify a quantifiable danger to me.

I do want to be informed of terror threats, but I think Tom Ridge would do best by dropping the color system and simply describing the threat to us.