Office of Emergency Management

Homeland Security

Following the events of September 11, 2001, preparing for and responding to events which may impact homeland security, including both foreign and domestic terrorism threats, has taken on a greater emphasis within OEM.

In addition to local fire, law enforcement and EMS agencies, several other organizations partner with OEM in this regard including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Michigan State Police Emergency Management & Homeland Security Division, the Michigan National Guard 51st Civil Support Team and the 5th District Medical Response Coalition.

National Terrorism Advisory System

The National Terrorism Advisory System, or NTAS, replaced the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System. This system effectively communicates information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.

After reviewing the available information, the Secretary of Homeland Security will decide, in coordination with other Federal entities, whether an NTAS Alert should be issued.

NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available.

These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an imminent threat or elevated threat. Using available information, the alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat.

The NTAS Alerts will be based on the nature of the threat: in some cases, alerts will be sent directly to law enforcement or affected areas of the private sector, while in others, alerts will be issued more broadly to the American people through both official and media channels.

NTAS Alerts contain a sunset provision indicating a specific date when the alert expires - there will not be a constant NTAS Alert or blanket warning that there is an overarching threat. If threat information changes for an alert, the Secretary of Homeland Security may announce an updated NTAS Alert. All changes, including the announcement that cancels an NTAS Alert, will be distributed the same way as the original alert.


Imminent Threat Alert

Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.

Elevated Threat Alert

Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States.

Sunset Provision

An individual threat alert is issued for a specific time period and then automatically expires. It may be extended if new information becomes available or the threat evolves.

If You See Something, Say SomethingTM.

Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or call 911.

The "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign aims to empower people to monitor their own environment for suspicious objects or behavior on trains or buses, at stations and other public places. By being observant in these types of settings, you could drastically minimize the chance of danger and help to keep our state safer.

The public is reminded that, before an act, terrorists may use a variety of activities to find out more about their target, to test its security procedures, and to plan their attack. Everyone should be alert for the following suspicious activities:

  • Conducting surveillance: Be aware of individuals who are seen multiple times at the same locations, sitting in parked vehicles, waiting or loitering at stations for extended periods, taking notes or annotating maps, or showing an abnormal interest in operations and facilities.
  • Infiltrating secure areas: Be aware of individuals who are entering restricted areas, attempting to gain access into restricted areas or asking for security sensitive information.
  • Testing security: Be aware of individuals who are changing or tampering with locks, disabling surveillance equipment, compromising fences or gates.
  • Suspicious behavior: Be aware of unusual or out-of-place activity for your transportation and community environment.
  • Suspicious packages, bags or vehicles: Be aware of unaccompanied packages or bags placed in a discreet location or other obscured area, or unoccupied vehicles parked close to buildings, bridges, stations, terminals, or other critical structures.