Recent Amber Alert Was Delayed Several Hours For Many Cell Customers
As I was in my car picking up my kids from school on Tuesday, were heard the EAS system come over the car radio. This was no tornado warning. It was an Amber Alert. The kids asked what was happening and I explained that there was a child abduction and the alert was used to help find them quick. But it turns out this week's Amber Alert was hit and miss when it came to when you got it on your cell phone.
I received the alert on my phone a good two hours after I heard it on the radio. The initial wave of alerts was sent out at around 4 p.m. But many cell customers didn't get the alert until almost 7:30 p.m. That's way too much time when the lives of kids are on the line. Fortunately, the alert issued for three missing kids in Clay County, Iowa worked. The mother of the children was located and arrested on abduction charges.
Earlier this spring, a new system was installed to help issue Amber Alerts faster for the most serious child abduction cases in Iowa. The system was tested in May and worked like it was supposed to. But the alert issued this week shows that there is still some work to do.
To make sure your phone receives Amber Alerts, just follow these steps. For iPhone users, open settings, click on notifications, scroll down and enable government alerts. For Android users, click on message, click the options menu in the top right corner, scroll down and see emergency alerts.