Amber Alerts are an important tool to raise awareness of child abductions. The emergency alert system has been implemented in NY state since ’02. The alerts are broadcasted via multiple mediums for years – radio, tv, online and road signs. Now you’ll be able to receive the alerts via text.

The new system was announced by state police at a news conference in Latham. You can sign up for the alerts at nyalert.gov.

Amber alerts originated in 1996. It’s an acronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was named after a 9 year-old who was abducted and murdered in Texas in 1996 – Amber Hagerman.