Truckers on ‘ready alert,’ asked for vigilance under high-threat conditions

WASHINGTON (March 24, 2003) — When the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory System threat level was raised to “high” (Condition Orange) on March 17, truckers were asked to be especially vigilant about security. The industry’s largest lobby group, the American Trucking Associations, released a list of actions truck fleets should take in high-threat conditions:

*  Assemble a crisis-management team, verify their 24/7 contact information, and place them on “ready alert” in case conditions change.
*  Reduce your internal tolerance for “security anomalies” — overdue or missing vehicles unverified visitors, evidence of freight tampering, etc.
*  Review emergency/contingency procedures with your drivers, dispatchers, and key managers. Brief them on the threats that triggered the alert and how these threats may present themselves in the field.
*  Test your emergency communications systems.
*  Identify government and/or local emergency planning agencies, industry resources, and the like that can provide information or help.
*  Stay apprised of news and other information sources.
*  Report any suspicious activity to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force office or to the National Infrastructure Protection Center (202/323-3205;

The association says a Condition Red would be imposed based on
specific information of a pending or actual attack; the extreme restrictions under a Condition Red would likely be imposed only on the locations, facilities, or types of operations identified as targets. The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has said a Condition Red would not necessarily close the border, but would result in exceptionally strict security checks of drivers, trucks, and freight.

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