Aug 6 2013
Amber Alert Sent to California Cell Phones August 5, 2013 Evening

Amber Alert Sent to California Cell Phones August 5, 2013 Evening

Did you hear an odd sound yesterday evening? Is your phone registered to a California address?
Then you are part of what is a developing program to alert people in an area of some danger or request the assistance of people to keep an eye out for say a suspect or vehicle wanted.

On Verizon iPhones the message pops up and made a sound, but where do you find the message after you close your window?

Some info on what these alerts are about and what the system is.

The emergency alert system is a voluntary emergency alerting system that is being developed by the federal government to deliver/transmit alert messages to mobile devices.

There are three types of emergency alerts available to customers with emergency alert capable devices: Presidential Alerts, Imminent Threat to Life & Property Alerts, and Child Abduction/Amber Alerts.

Here’s a description of how the new WEA system works and who can initiate it.

“Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), also known as CMAS, is a part of a national alerting system called IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System) that enables emergency management officials to rapidly disseminate the warnings and safety information via text alerts to wireless phones based on the phones’ geographic location. The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA is responsible for receiving the alerting information and forwarding the alerts to participating wireless carriers such as Sprint. Such alerts may come from the President of the United States; the National Weather Service, state or county public safety officials. This system is integrated into the same national alerting services that serve television and radio today.”

I, for one, would rather have the very rare alert than not. I’d like to know when a fugitive that’s possibly armed and dangerous is fleeing through my area rather than not. I want to know when there are weather emergencies and other emergencies so that I may act appropriately. I can deal with a little noise on my phone and the interruption for a couple of minutes to possibly help save lives.

For all of those saying the sound is jarring. That’s what it’s supposed to be. It’s important. It made you look at the alert and read it!

Any questions or concerns on the AMBER Alert message received on your phone should be directed to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), who manages the secondary distribution of AMBER Alerts.

Contact: NCMEC, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

For more information on the AMBER Alert Program, view the Frequently Asked Questions.

If you did not get an Amber Alert on the iPhone, you should make sure that Government Alerts are set to on. Grab the iPhone to get started. Go to Settings -> Notification Center -> Scroll down to Government Alerts and make sure AMBER Alerts is marked on as well as Emergency Alerts.

But how do you view the message that has by some chance been cleared or is no longer on the screen?

You can also sign up for your local community emergency alert system. These may have more detail on the Amber alerts and will also send alerts on other things like chemical spills, fires, street closings, etc. Go to to sign up for any local emergency alert service in the US.

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