This month we bring you:
- New System for Cell Phones to Receive Amber Alerts
- Facebook Friends
NEW SYSTEM FOR CELL PHONES TO RECEIVE AMBER ALERTS
In the past, if someone wanted to receive Amber Alerts issued in their zip code, they had to sign up to receive it. A new FEMA system now provides Amber Alert messages to most cell phones automatically.
Wireless Emergency Alerts is a new national emergency alert system that sends concise, text-like messages to capable mobile devices.
Beginning January 1, 2013, wireless providers representing nearly 97% of subscribers started delivering these Amber Alert messages. Severe weather alerts began being issued last June. Most cell phones, but not all, are able to receive the alerts. Mobile users are not charged for these messages, but are automatically enrolled in this system.
The new Wireless Emergency Alerts system can deliver 3 kinds of alerts:
- Presidential Alerts—issued by the President or a designee
- Imminent Threat Alerts—including man-made or natural disasters like hurricanes & tornadoes
- AMBER Alerts—Geographically targeted alerts that meet the US Department of Justice’s criteria to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.
The Emergency Alerts are broadcast to all cell phone subscribers who are physically located in a specific geographic area, much like a radio broadcast. Any capable device will pick up the broadcast. If you are from Phoenix, Arizona and are visiting Detroit, Michigan while an Amber Alert is issued, you will receive the Detroit Amber Alert.
The Emergency Alerts use their own alert sound, which some people describe as a loud “weather alert.”
The first Florida Amber Alert for 2013 was issued on Monday January 14, startling many Florida residents. The message read, “An AMBER Alert has been issued in your area, please check local media.”
The message was designed to alert people that a problem exists, and direct them to the media to get details.
The Florida Amber Alert was for a 2 year-old girl who disappeared. You’ll be happy to know she was found safe hours later.
Amber Alerts save lives.
Since they began, 602 children have been found with Amber Alerts.
You can get further information on these alerts and check your cell phone carrier’s information by clicking here.
You can see the latest Amber Alert news, click here.
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We’ve had an interesting conversation with several of our Facebook friends this month.
We posted the question, “Can you think of some examples of “What If…” questions you can ask your children? We’ll start: What if we get separated at the park? Where should you go?"
Here are some of the suggestions from our members:
- What if someone says your mom or dad said you have to go with them. Are you going with them?
- What if someone grabs you. What are you going to do?
- What if someone asks you if you want to pet their puppy in a car?
- Set up a code word that is only known by the parent and the kid. If a person (stranger or not) approaches your child and says “I am here to pick you up” or “your mom sent me to get you.” Then that person should know the code word. Your child will ask “what is the code word?” If they do not know then your child is to run or start screaming.”
- What if someone you don’t know tries to pick you up at school?
We’re so glad our friends are sharing their great ideas. Please join the conversations on our Facebook page.
About Polly Klaas® Foundation
The Polly Klaas® Foundation is a national nonprofit dedicated to the safety of all children, the recovery of missing children, and public policies that keep children safe in their communities.
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