It seems these days our phones just have a non stop buzz to them. unless you have them on vibrate and its just pulse after pulse. But do you happen to know what they are? I've got a nice little break down for you to help sort out what's what.

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Emergency officials figure the best way to reach us is our phone, even if you don't happen to have one which now a days is a low number. The rationale is everyone gets the same message at the same time which avoids confusion, but just gets annoying when 30 people in the room's phones go off.

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Weather Alerts

These are pretty self explanatory. The big thing to know is a watch means conditions are favorable for and event, a Warning means it's actually happening. The weather service recently changed it's definitions on this too

The Wireless Emergency Alerts Program (WEA)

This program was established as a partnership between the Wireless Carriers and The Federal Government giving certain Federal Agencies, State, Local and Tribal groups the ability to send messages to a predetermined area based on cell tower locations. Obviously we aren't going to get a tornado warning here in Amarillo for folks in the Belton/Temple/Killeen area but if a child is abducted from Killeen and Amarillo Bound the entire state will get an AMBER Alert with the description of the vehicle and child and where they were headed in hopes someone will see something and call it in. The alerts were named after Amber Hagerman who was taken from her home in Arlington back in 1996, it actually stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Early Response

There's quite a few other colors too

Let's look at the one most of us got the other night. A Blue alert, which was issued in Wise County, Texas (DFW area.) Blue alerts are issued for suspects who go on the run after injuring a law enforcement officer. Sadly the alert that went out a few days ago was called off after too many people complained about the alert. The officer involved in the Rhome, Texas shooting is actually going to be fine, but the suspect is still at large

Silver Alerts are for missing senior citizens 65 and older who may have a medical condition that may impair their safety and well being and who have been missing for more than 72 hours and documented that no other cause for them to be missing has been ruled out.

Clear Alerts actually are a way to fill the gap for someone who's too old for a AMBER alert and too young for a Silver alert, between the ages of 18 and 64. much of the same rules apply

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Here's another one, CAMO alert. You'll see this one for members of the military both active and discharged who suffer from PTSD or any other traumatic brain injury who has gone missing and their disappearance could be a danger to themselves or others.

The Department of Public Safety has more in depth info on each of these alerts on it's websites.

Each phone has the ability to opt out by checking your settings menu with the exception of presidential alerts. The messages themselves don't count against your plan either.

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