AMBER Alert Broadcaster Requirements

AMBER Alert Broadcaster Requirements

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NOTE: The following SOP is offered only as one example of how broadcasters could write their SOP for the Nebraska AMBER Plan. Each participating station should choose an approach that works best for that station to broadcast the AMBER Child Abduction Alerts.


AMBER is an acronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.

Because 75% of children who are murdered after being abducted by strangers are killed within the first three hours after an abduction, the AMBER plan calls for law enforcement agencies to provide radio and television stations with an immediate alert upon the confirmation of a child abduction that meets the AMBER criteria.

All participating stations will break programming to broadcast the alert and subsequent information provided by law enforcement.


1. Stop regular programming.

2. Optional introduction or AMBER Child Abduction Alert activation:
“This is an AMBER Child Abduction Alert – please stand by for important information.”

3. One second pause (no audio).

4. Send EAS Header Code 3 times (as required to trip EAS decoders). 
~ The originator code must be “EAS.”
~ The event code must be “CAE.”
~ The location code must be the county where the abduction occurred.
~ The time code or duration should be two hours.

5. One second pause (no audio).

6. Eight second attention signal (853 and 960 Hz tones).

7. Activation announcement.
“We interrupt our programming to activate the Emergency Alert System.”
“The (name of the investigating agency) requests activation of the Emergency Alert System to broadcast an (AMBER Child Abduction Alert, Update or Cancelation) for  (county where abduction occurred) until (clock in time 2 hours).”

8. AMBER Plan message. (Insert message from Nebraska State Patrol EAS message, including description of abductor, child, and law enforcement contact information.)

9. Termination Announcement
“This has been an AMBER Child Abduction Alert. We now return to regular programming.

10. One second pause (no audio).

11. Send EAS End of Message Code 3 times (3 times is needed to release all EAS decoders).

12. Resume normal programming.

Note:  An AMBER Alert Cancelation will be activated only when a child-abduction case is resolved within the first 24 hours.  If that happens, a final bulletin shall be issued through EAS notifying the public to stop looking for the child and/or suspect. If the child has not been found within 24 hours after the abduction, no EAS final bulletin shall be issued and the information shall be broadcast during regular newscasts.


The following are suggestions for stations to consider in re-broadcasting the AMBER Child Abduction Alert information.

1. Stations should rebroadcast the alert a minimum of once every 30 minutes for the first 3 hours or until the alert is canceled (stations are encouraged to rebroadcast the alert every 15 minutes for the first two hours).

2. If the alert is not canceled within three hours, broadcasters are encouraged to repeat the alert as often as they deem appropriate.

3. If a station is not staffed 24 hours a day, then station managers should develop a protocol to assure the consistency of the program.