Recently, I was driving back from a weekend on Long Island. Along the route, I passed several of those highway message signs that alert drivers to traffic and other roadway conditions. On this particular day, every sign I passed displayed a frightening message: Amber Alert! Tune in to local radio for more information.
For close to two hours, from Long Island to Connecticut, I listened to a variety of local radio stations, on both bands, AM and FM. Not once did I hear any information about this Amber Alert or the missing child. It was very frustrating. All I could do was imagine being the parent of that missing child, wondering why the Earth didn't stop spinning on its axis until my child was found.
In fact, I never heard anything more about the case, beyond the initial highway sign announcement. I can only hope that the ending was a happy one.
So, when I found out about the new Wireless Amber Alert system, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Syniverse and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, you can bet I signed up right away.
The premise is simple. You sign up online using your cell phone number and submit up to five zip codes for which you would like to receive Amber Alerts. The process takes less than 30 seconds. It's totally free. And you will only receive alerts for the specified zip codes; they do not sell or otherwise distribute numbers to third parties.
It really couldn't be easier. Just imagine, if it were your child, you would want every cell phone in your time zone to buzz with notifications until he or she were back safely in your arms, wouldn't you? Of course. It's a small step that might just generate some big results.
Sign up here.