1 (905) 554-2730 memberservices@oab.ca

Emergency Alerting

International Amber Alert Day 
January 13
 
Please consider airing this PSA throughout January, informing listeners of the importance of Amber Alerts and their role in keeping children safe.
 
 
 
 
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WEEK
MAY 3-7, 2021
 
The Ontario Association of Broadcasters invites stations to remind listeners how valuable RADIO is during an emergency.  Member stations are invited to run the following PSAs for the month of May and during Emergency Preparedness Week.
 
 
The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) is in an agreement with the Ontario Provincial Police Service (OPP) and Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management (EMOOFM) to spearhead the ongoing coordination of the “Amber Alert” program on radio and television stations across the province.  The OAB Emergency Alerting Committee is actively working to improve emergency communication, both between stations and their local emergency coordinators, as well as with EMOOFM and Pelmorex regarding the NAAD system. Amber Alert is a critical missing child response program that utilizes the resources of law enforcement and media to notify the public when children are kidnapped by predators.  

NAAD is the CRTC mandated emergency broadcast system, which is located and run from Pelmorex.  Emergency Alerts are initiated by the Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management Ontario.  Amber Alerts are initiated by the Ontario Provincial Police.

The provision of NAAD is a great advance to emergency alerting. But, it is limited:  it does not provide a rich source of information. That’s where Radio comes in.  As broadcasters, we are proud of our heritage of providing service during disasters. However, to provide the best quality of service, it is important that we are totally prepared should disaster strike.  
  1. INTERNAL – Have your stations planned for an emergency?
  2. EXTERNAL – Do local decision makers understand what you can do and how to work with you during emergencies?
  3. AT HOME – Do you and your families have a battery operated radio?

If your stations would like assistance in creating a plan for emergencies, contact memberservices@oab.ca. The OAB encourages all member stations to run Alert Ready PSAs.  These can be found here.  

 

 

Background

In 1996 the kidnapping and brutal murder of nine year old Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas made the community come together and think of innovative ways in which to make their community a safer place for their children. This is how the AMBER Alert system was founded. When there’s a confirmed case of a child abduction police notify their local broadcasters and supply them with all known information on the child, their abductor and any vehicle involved. The police now have thousands of sets of eyes trying to assist them in saving the child’s life and apprehending their abductor. Police believe the first two to five hours of an abduction are the most crucial. So it’s important to get the information on the missing child out quickly and often. In the US the program has gone nationwide.

How an Amber Alert is Activated

  • A request to activate an Amber Alert must be made by an Ontario law enforcement officer holding the rank of Inspector or above.
  • The request is send to OPP Headquarters.
  • The GHQ 24 hour Duty office is responsible for ensuring the Amber Alert meets the criteria and contacting the media via their requested method (based on time of day).
  • The GHQ Duty office is also responsible for canceling an Alert.

 

Criteria

Before an alert is initiated, the following three criteria must be met:

  1. Law enforcement agency confirms a child under 18 years of age has been abducted
  2. Law enforcement agency believes the circumstances surrounding the abduction indicated that the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death; and
  3. There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and/or suspect’s vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help in locating the child.