Toledo Talk

Amber alert....?

My cell phone went off on Christmas Eve day with the most alarming, "End Times" kind of bleating. Turns out to have been an amber alert text, which advised me to check with local media for details. I found nothing. Anywhere. And haven't seen anything about it since (unless I missed it during holiday festivities, which is possible.)

Anyone else?

created by luvtoledo on Dec 26, 2012 at 12:58:39 pm     Other     Comments: 17

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My brother got it, he has no idea what it's about either or why he got it. He's not online and never signed up for anything like that. He has Sprint, what's your network?

posted by nana on Dec 26, 2012 at 01:07:45 pm     #  

Was an abduction out of massilion Ohio.mother and baby had been found safe shortly after

posted by toddhuey on Dec 26, 2012 at 01:08:48 pm     #  

cool, thanks for the info!

posted by nana on Dec 26, 2012 at 01:14:31 pm     #  

I received it too. Thanks for clearing up the mystery.

posted by holland on Dec 26, 2012 at 01:20:25 pm     #  

Nana, I'm Verizon. All else, thanks for the info!

Kind of makes you wonder about the functionality of an amber alert, if you can't find out anything after one is issued. I understand Massillion is not next door, but it's apparently close enough to issue an alert, right?

Ohwell. Know we know.

posted by luvtoledo on Dec 26, 2012 at 01:22:05 pm     #  

I got the same text while I was driving. It was doubling alarming since my phone is bluetoothed to my stereo and was really freakin' loud. I didn't find any information about the alert until the next day. Not very effective at this point.

posted by MoreThanRhetoric on Dec 26, 2012 at 01:32:55 pm     #  

I got it too and I'm happy to get them, but without any other info or anything from the local media it was a bit confusing.

posted by SensorG on Dec 26, 2012 at 07:32:26 pm     #  

I was at a party and everybodies cellphone sounded off at the same time....we thought the place was on fire.

posted by max on Dec 26, 2012 at 07:48:30 pm     #  

If they can fit a basic description of a missing child on a highway sign, they could certainly fit one into 160 characters...or send a follow-up text message. One message to tell you there's an Amber Alert and a follow up with a description. Wow, that was hard to solve.

Considering (1) it's Christmas and (2) local media is a bare bones operation that likely will not have "more details" for several HOURS after a child goes missing, this should be a wake up call to local authorities. Don't depend on local media--do it yourself. There are not teams of reporters ready to jump on the story...sad to say.

posted by oldhometown on Dec 26, 2012 at 10:33:12 pm     #  

Just in case anyone was curious on the background of these messages (starting to move into my neck of the woods where I spend my Monday-Friday).

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is a national alert system that enables emergency management officials to rapidly disseminate warnings and safety information via text alerts to wireless phones based on their geographic location. WEA are sent from public safety entities certified by their State government and the Department of Homeland Security to have the messaging responsibility and are broadcast to a geographic area, not to specific phones. And although wireless networks are capable of delivering WEA messages, not all area/municipalities are capable of issuing WEA messages. There are three types of WEA communications:

1. Presidential Alerts - This alert can only be sent by the President of the United States. It is extremely rare to have a Presidential Alert (the last one was for WWII).

2. Imminent Threat Alerts - This alert is broken down into two levels: Extreme and Severe. These alerts would include—but are not limited to—warnings of mandatory evacuations, tornadoes in the area or a chemical spill.

3. AMBER Alerts - America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response alerts will now be sent through the WEA system.

As for the carrier that I'm familiar with, starting in January 2012, all new handsets were shipped with this functionality turned on by default. In most cases, some or all of the alerts can be turned off manually via the messaging settings on the device.

posted by RBancroft on Dec 26, 2012 at 10:37:20 pm     #  

RBancroft:

I don't think anyone here objected to getting the messages...I think the problem lies within the extreme generality of the message itself.

Why can't a description of the subject of the Amber Alert be sent?

posted by oldhometown on Dec 26, 2012 at 10:41:43 pm     #  

oldhometown posted at 09:41:43 PM on Dec 26, 2012:

RBancroft:

I don't think anyone here objected to getting the messages...I think the problem lies within the extreme generality of the message itself.

Why can't a description of the subject of the Amber Alert be sent?

I didn't think anyone was objecting, I was just giving some background as to where, why and from whom the messages originate.

And don't get me wrong, I completely agree with the generality problem. Because even if they couldn't have included a description of the subject, at least including where the alert originated from points people in the right direction when looking for more information.

posted by RBancroft on Dec 26, 2012 at 11:10:24 pm     #  

Another one this morning. Woke us up a few minutes before the alarm. Again no details.

posted by SensorG on Mar 13, 2013 at 07:01:18 am     #  

I got one at 6:31am with details. It was a car description and license plate number for a car associated with an AMBER alert in Rock(something or another) West Virgina. Seemed a little distant, but I am no amber alert expert.

posted by justread on Mar 13, 2013 at 07:25:37 am     #  

I think they only have 90 characters or so to put the alert in. Not even the full 160 for a SMS.

posted by anonymouscoward on Mar 13, 2013 at 08:26:30 am     #  

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/03/amber_alert_issued_for_missing_1.html

Missing 16 yr. old girl, 7 month old girl, driven by a 57 yr. old woman ( who MAY have sexually assaulted the 16 yr. old) may have driven to Ohio from Rock Cave W. Va.

W. Va. plate 2LW 179 2003 tan Ford Taurus

posted by holland on Mar 13, 2013 at 09:18:31 am     #  

This one was canceled just about an hour ago. Both kids were found safe. There were some errors in the information, however. It was a 57 year old MAN (the 16 year old's stepfather) driving the car and the text that I received said that he was 6'8"... when later reports said 5'8".

I'm sure that in the effort to get these bulletins out, mistakes will be made, but those are some pretty big ones to get wrong--especially when you're relying on the public for assistance!

posted by valbee on Mar 13, 2013 at 11:37:45 am     #   3 people liked this