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What happens when an AMBER Alert is received?
o AMBER Alert broadcasts have a unique audible signal and vibration. It is intended to indicate the urgency of the message and make the alert accessible to people with hearing or vision-related disabilities. The message will contain a limited number of characters and provide basic information.
o In the case of an AMBER Alert, the message would indicate that an AMBER Alert has been issued for your area and, relevant information about the missing child, and if possible, the abductor and/or vehicle used in the abduction.
How do AMBER Alerts work?
o Once law enforcement has been notified about an abducted child, they will decide whether or not to issue an AMBER Alert based on their AMBER Alert program's criteria. They will provide the geographic area where the alert should be issued as well as any available information about the child, abductor, or suspected vehicle used in the abduction.
o Once issued, the alerts are distributed by broadcasters and transportation agencies. They are also sent to NCMEC which redistribute the alerts to a network of secondary distributors that includes internet service providers, digital billboards, truckers, and others.
How are AMBER Alerts distributed to cell phones?
o AMBER Alerts are distributed to cell phones as part of the AMBER Alert program's secondary distribution through the Wireless Emergency Alert program (WEA).
What is the Wireless Emergency Alert program?
o The Wireless Emergency Alert program is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It distributes notifications from authorized federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies that alert customers with capable devices of imminent threats to safety or an emergency situation. The messages are intended as a supplement to the existing Emergency Alert System, which broadcasts alerts over radio and television.
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