Oklahoma residents can receive AMBER Alerts on cell phones

TULSA, Okla. – Statistics show that the first three hours after an abduction are the most critical in finding a missing person. By signing up for wireless AMBER Alerts, individuals could play an integral role in bringing home a lost or abducted child. Since the program launched in 1996, AMBER Alerts have helped find 426 children.

Jan. 13 is AMBER Alert Awareness Day, and U.S. Cellular reminds cell phone users that they can sign up to receive wireless AMBER Alerts via text message – free of charge. There are two steps to follow:

1. Visit www.wirelessamberalerts.org to register your phone number, including the area code, to receive text message AMBER Alerts. Individuals also can text the word AMBER followed by a space and your five-digit zip code to short code 26237.

2. Sign up to receive AMBER Alerts in your area by selecting the area(s) you are in most frequently. Individuals can enter up to five zip codes.

“The anniversary of the AMBER Alert is as good a time as any to remind people to sign up for wireless AMBER Alerts,” said Gene Thaxton, Oklahoma’s AMBER Alert coordinator. “When there is a child abduction, time is critical in the successful recovery of the child. The more people that we can get the information to, the greater the chance of apprehending the abductor and saving the child’s life.”

When a child goes missing or is lost, law enforcement issues an AMBER Alert and provides the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) with the information to include in the alert. NCMEC then formats the AMBER Alert information, which is relayed to U.S. Cellular. This information is sent as a free text message.

Individuals will only receive AMBER Alerts by enrolling in this program.

The 9,000 associates of U.S. Cellular believe a wireless phone enhances people’s lives and a wireless company should be in the business of bringing people together. U.S. Cellular has a wide range of monthly plans, including those with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited free incoming calls and options to prepay. The company has a growing catalog of phones, like the BlackBerry Tour and Pearl Flip and the touch-screen LG Tritan, which offer e-mail and Web access. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular is the nation’s fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier, serving 6.2 million customers across the country. To learn more about the company, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com.

Updated 01-11-2010

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