Amber Alert Awareness Day


January 13 is the 17th anniversary of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman’s abduction and murder, which lead to the creation of the AMBER Alert.image

According to “The AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child.”

How many times have you been watching tv, listening to the radio, or online browsing a news site when you see an AMBER Alert come across.  A child has gone missing- and the entire community is now called upon to find them.  What do you do?  I’m not a parent myself, but I am signed up for AMBER Alerts in my community, and if I see one come across I share it on Facebook, Twitter and whatever other channels I have.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year, more than a quarter of a million abducted.   In a missing child search, the first hour is critical.

Even though I am not a parent yet, I can sympathize with a parent’s biggest fear: that moment of panic. You’re at the mall or another busy location, you turn your back for one second, and when you turn back, your child is not there.  Instant panic.  You start frantically calling their name, looking through the store or wherever you may be.  And most times, they turn up after a few minutes.

But what if they don’t?  What if that panic continues?  Or what if your child is in trusted hands and you get a phone call that they can’t find them?  Parents do everything they can to prevent that moment from happening, but do all parents take that extra step to ensure if that moment does occur, their child can be found quickly?  If another child is lost, do you step in to help spread the word, hoping that if it was you, others would do the same?

Sadly AMBER Alerts are issued all across the country every week.  Some children are recovered quickly and safely, and others may not be.  January 13 is a day where not only parents, but all citizens should take a moment to recognize not only the importance of pre-planning for an emergency, but the importance of participating and support your community members in their time of need.

imageAt Smart911 we want to take a step in the right direction, by providing parents a way to prepare for an emergency.  In communities all across the country, parents are signing on to create a free Safety Profile for their household which is then immediately available to 9-1-1 call takers and response teams when someone in your family dials 9-1-1.

Imagine what a difference it would make if 9-1-1 had your child’s photo and description immediately.  It made a difference in a recent missing child call in Arkansas – click here to hear the call.

Smart911 wants to help you protect the ones you love.  Create a Safety Profile today.

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