Some Tallahassee Residents Awaken to Amber Alert

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Tallahassee, FL-January 14, 2013

Many people around Tallahassee awoke to the sound of buzzing cell phones and a message from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, issuing an Amber Alert. The girl was later found and is safe, according to law enforcement.

But this marks the first time this technology has been in used Tallahassee.

This massive text blast and audible alert is called a Wireless Emergency Alert.

It's when people in a designated area receive a specific text alert.

Most newer phone already have the technology built into them. Their users automatically receive the alerts, regardless of their phone's area code as long as they are in the designated area of the alert.

Right now, only the national weather service and FDLE use this technology in Florida. But Dave Bujak who heads FSU's emergency management division, wants to add FSU to the list.

"This will help us pick up some of those lose ends like all the visitors, contractors, guests, people who are here for a one-time visit, they can still get the emergency alert," says Bujak.

Some students are on-board with the idea.

"It's a great way to let the entire student body know creatively and efficiently something's going on," says Peyton Moore.

"A lot of people right now are attached to their cell phones so I know that's a great way to get in communication," adds Jamie Rojas.

It's estimated about 25 percent of all cell phone users can be reached through this technology. However, that number is expected to increase as people buy newer phones.

It is possible to opt out of these alerts if you so choose. Users just need to go to the settings menu on their phones and turn off 'alerts.' FDLE recommends contacting your phone provider if you have any trouble.

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