FORT DODGE, IA—As she does every morning, local resident Wendy Trotter, 33, consulted the Department of Homeland Security web site Tuesday to check the terror-alert level before leaving for work. "I like to leave the house prepared," said Trotter, a cashier at a local Cub Foods. "I'd hate to assume that the level is still Elevated, only to find myself caught in a High-level situation. And if I didn't check, how would I know whether I need to coordinate necessary security efforts with federal, state, and local law enforcement and begin contingency procedures by moving to an alternate venue?"