Amber Alert On Phone: California Sends First Emergency Notice With New System

Thousands of people last night were a bit confused when they noticed an amber alert on their phones. It was the first time that California officials notified the public of an amber alert through their cell phones.

According to the LA Times, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department issued the Amber Alert for 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and 8-year-old Ethan Anderson. Police believe that James Lee DiMaggio, 40, killed 44-year-old Christina Anderson and kidnapped her two children.

The alert also told people to be on the lookout for a Nissan Versa with the California license plate number gWCU986.

The alert reached thousands of people in just a few hours and may go a long way to save Hannah and Ethan Anderson. Still, some people were a little shocked by the amber alert on their phone.

Craig Rosa, a producer for KQED Science, said that he almost drove off the road when his phone started beeping like crazy.

Craig said: “With an alert 10x louder than any other alert on the phone. We had no idea what it was… Almost ran off the road trying to shut the things off.”

KQED reports that the new wireless emergency alert system has been in place since the beginning of the year but this is the first time that it has ever been used in California. The system can also issue alerts about weather systems or other urgent matters.

CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader said that the wireless system will issue alerts to people who are in the effected area.

Clader said: “If you’re from Texas and that’s where your phone number is based and you’re traveling in California at the time of the Amber Alert, you’ll receive the text message about the Amber Alert in California on your Texas-based phone.”

Most new phones had the emergency alert system automatically updated. According to the LA Times, the only way to opt-out of the program is to contact your service provider.

Do you like receiving amber alerts on your phone? If you know anything about the whereabouts of Lee Dimaggio or Ethan and Hannah Anderson you can contact the homicide detail at (858) 974-2321 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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