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by Rick Wimberly: Best practices for emergency notification programs

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NCMEC Issues First AMBER Alert Through IPAWS CMAS/WEA
December 19, 2012
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On Tuesday, December 18, residents in Texas received the first AMBER alert issued through IPAWS' CMAS/WEA system.  The alert was issued in cooperation with the San Antonio Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

According to media reports, police say Jonathan Guillen, 23, abducted his son, Jonathan Jose Guillen Jr., after Guillen shot and killed the child's mother's boyfriend last Thursday.  Soon after the alert was issued, police say the car in which the child was last seen had been located, though the child has apparently not yet been found.

Just a few days ago, CTIA-The Wireless Association, The Wireless Foundation, NCMEC and Syniverse announced that on Dec. 31, 2012, the Wireless AMBER Alert program will end operations as a part of the nation’s transition to the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program.

The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) program is managed by FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) office.  Major mobile carriers are volunteering their participation in the program which gives alerting authorities the ability to send geographically targeted, text-like messages to WEA-capable mobile devices without the need for recipient sign ups.

You can check out this KXAN News video regarding the use of WEAs in this situation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with this baby and the family.

Best regards,

Lorin

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