When a child goes missing, rapid and effective public alerts often play a crucial role in returning that child to safety. For this reason, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Management Office has partnered with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to ensure that life-saving AMBER Alerts can be disseminated to more people through more devices.
The AMBER Alert Program, also known as America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Plan, is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, and transportation agencies to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly enable the entire community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.
IPAWS and AMBER Alerts
When law enforcement has been notified about an abducted child, they determine whether the case meets their AMBER Alert program’s criteria. If it does, alert information is assembled, including: descriptions and pictures of the missing child, the suspected abductor, and suspected vehicle, along with any other information available and valuable to identifying the child and suspect.
Historically, this information has been disseminated through the Emergency Alert System, which leverages the communication support of radio, television, cable, and satellite providers (EAS Participants) and NOAA Weather Radio. In addition, AMBER Alerts may also be disseminated via Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Localities may also use digital signage or other alerting technologies if they are available.
Return to the FEMA IPAWS Home Page.