Frequency of Message
The frequency of an AMBER Alert issued through EAS and other
broadcast venues is a critical component of the AMBER Alert plan.
Broadcast media representatives sometimes wrestle with the issue
of how frequently an AMBER Alert message should be broadcast. AMBER
Alert coordinators should work closely with the primary, cable,
and secondary broadcasters in their area to establish a clear plan
of operation for how quickly and how often the primary alerting
station will activate the EAS for an AMBER Alert message. These
decisions should be delineated in formal MOUs or other agreements
before the AMBER Alert plan is put in place.
The following are some guidelines for frequency and content of
- Primary stations should determine the best procedures for
providing updated information for further EAS activation or crawl
until the law enforcement agency terminates the Alert.
- The initial activation by the local primary station will give
every media outlet information about the abduction. Local media
outlets, working with their AMBER Alert coordinator, can determine
if and how they will participate, whether they will interrupt
all programs with the initial AMBER Alert message, delay the
AMBER Alert message until the next break, or relay the information
through another method such as a television crawl or newsbreak.
- The television message can take the form of an audio announcement
and/or an onscreen visual announcement.
- Television broadcasters can choose to include a repetitive
crawling message at the bottom of the screen or do cut-ins with
news anchors or other personnel.
- Any message should include a phone number for the public to
call. In audio reports, the phone number should be repeated at
least twice during each announcement.