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New AMBER Alert system for mobile phones in Wisconsin

New AMBER Alert system for mobile phones in Wisconsin

By Jay Sorgi. CREATED Mar 6, 2013

MADISON - People in Wisconsin will automatically have AMBER Alerts sent to their cell phone.

The State Attorney General's office says that authorities will use the Wireless Emergency Alert system to send alerts to mobile phone users at no cost.  Their phone must be WEA-capable.

“AMBER Alerts notify people of a critical situation and therefore, are never to be taken lightly,” Attorney General Van Hollen said in a statement.

“Previously, mobile phone users would need to sign up to receive AMBER Alerts on their cell phone. While users may opt out of this new system for receiving alerts, I encourage people not to do so, but rather to try to help law enforcement in these urgent situations.”

If you travel outside of Wisconsin, however, you would not necessarily receive an AMBER Alert for an applicable situation in the state.

The state says that the Wireless Emergency Alert system doesn't know people's cell phone numbers, but "broadcasts the alert for mobile devices within range of the cellular towers in the affected area."

Click here to see if your phone is WEA-capable.

According to the state, directions for opting out of AMBER Alerts vary by device, so people need to contact their service provider.