Shriek! Texts on missing kids startle cell users

Shriek! Texts on missing kids startle cell users

The next time a child is abducted near you, your cell phone may shriek to life with an alert message.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The next time a child is abducted near you, your cell phone may shriek to life with an alert message.

A new national Amber Alert system officially rolled out earlier this month to millions of cell phones. The alerts are automatically active on most newer phones.

And they've already taken tens of thousands of people by surprise.

The newly-expanded emergency alert system is one way FEMA is trying to update how it reaches people with new technology. But local officials and others worry that poor execution may undermine its ultimate purpose, especially when people are startled and annoyed and choose to opt out.


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