Wireless Emergency Alert program used in Amber Alerts

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Wichita, Kan. -- Folks across Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri with smart phones got Amber alerts Tuesday evening -- many of them for the first time ever.

Shelby Camp says, "It was the first time I got one on my cell phone."

Laura Barnes says, "I got two Amber Alert text messages." Barnes says the message said, "Amber Alert Springfield, Missouri. It was very loud, beeping noise. Not like a normal text message. It was definitely an alert sound."

It was loud and got their attention which is the point unless, of course, your phone is set to vibrate alerts. You'd still get the text message.

Two years ago the federal Wireless Emergency Alert program was established for Presidential, Imminent threats, National Weather Service and Amber Alerts.

Brenda Hill is the spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless in Kansas and Missouri. Hill says the, "Wireless Emergency Alerts have been mandated by the federal government for about two years now. Started April 7th, 2012. It's a system that allows emergency messages to wireless subscribers of any company. So basically, if you're a smart phone user you can get these wireless emergency alerts on your device."

If you can't receive them you might check your notification settings. You can turn the Amber Alerts off in settings. The one you can't turn off is the Presidential alert.

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