Many people all over the country have been shocked, a little surprised and even woken up by these mysterious emergency Amber and weather alerts by the number 43362. Everyone wants to know: how do these messages get on my phone and how can I make them stop?
FEMA released this program, the national cell phone emergency alert system “relying on Broadcast SMS to push notifications to smartphones for weather threats, Amber alerts and Presidential alerts. The system went live in New York City at the end of 2011, and should be live in most of the United States.”
FEMA has received criticism for not educating the public more on the alerts, although they struggle with giving out too much information. "There's a very delicate balance between how much is enough and how much (alerting) is too much." Damon Penn who oversees the program, told the Huffington Post.
The alerts are provided through most cell phone carriers, including Verizon and AT&T but not all phones will receive them. The best way to find out if your phone will receive the alerts is by contacting your service provider.
Amber alerts began in 1996 in Fort-Worth, Texas when Amber Hagerman was abducted near her home in Arlington, Texas. Broadcasters and local police teamed up in order to find her and now other missing or abducted children across the country.
If you don't want to keep receiving these alerts text STOP to 43362 and if you would like more info, text INFO to 43362. So the next time you receive one of these, do not panic go back to sleep, go back to work or cancel them all together.