After reviewing the available information, the secretary of Homeland Security will decide, in coordination with other federal entities, whether a National Terrorism Advisory System alert (NTAS) 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 public 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 of 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.