AMBER Alerts

What is an AMBER alert?

This weekend, you might have been startled by an alarm coming from your phone. Did you read the message that popped up? Or did you just quickly swipe it away without looking? This weekend, the alert message was an AMBER alert for Rebecca Lewis, a young girl from Lakeland.  AMBER alerts may seem annoying at first. But paying attention could save a life.

AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Emergency Broadcast Response. While an acronym, the name is also a tribute to Amber Hagerman, a girl who was abducted and murdered in 1996. AMBER alerts alert the public to a missing or abducted child. They include descriptive information of the missing child, the accused abductor, or the abductor’s vehicle. These alerts involve the entire community in looking for the missing child.

Before an AMBER alert can be issued, it must be confirmed that:

  • An abduction has taken place
  • The child is 17 or under
  • The child is at a serious risk of injury or death
  • There is a sufficient description of the child, captor, or the captor’s vehicle to issue an alert.

As of August 2016, AMBER alerts have played a role in locating and rescuing 830 children. Rebecca Lewis, who was abducted on October 8th, was found safe two days later  in Tennessee. Thanks to AMBER Alerts, someone recognized her abductor’s car.

When an AMBER alert has been issued in your area, be on the lookout. If you see the child, immediately call authorities. Give them as much information as possible about the child’s location and situation.

Don’t disregard an AMBER alert. By becoming aware of the missing child, you might be able to help.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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