FAQ for Broadcasters
Q: What is a station's liability?
A: An Indiana Broadcaster that participates in the Amber Alert program in Indiana and broadcasts the contents of an Amber Alert notification received from the Indiana AMBER and Silver Alert Center (IASAC) of the State Police, has civil immunity. The information that is broadcast over the airwaves MUST come from the IASAC. See Indiana Code 10-13-5-8.5
Q: What is the protocol for the Amber Alert program in Indiana?
A: There is a very strict protocol that the police agencies use to determine if an abduction has occurred. Every missing child will not necessarily activate an Amber Alert. The local law enforcement will make that determination. If you receive calls from citizens about their missing child, refer them to their local law enforcement.
Q: Can the station mention the name and/or broadcast a photo of the child that is abducted?
A: The only information that a station can broadcast and ensure it has civil immunity must be delivered by the IASAC over the EAS system, broadcast fax, e-mail or information placed on the amberalertindiana.com Website by the IASAC.
Q: How does the Indiana Amber Alert system work?
A: After all criteria are met on the missing child, the local law enforcement will contact IASAC. The IASAC will activate the statewide EAS Amber Alert. EAS is the primary notification means for AMBER Alerts. The IASAC send the alert to the LP1 (Local Primary 1) station in Indianapolis (WFBQ-FM). WFBQ-FM will then send the alert statewide, again using the EAS. The notification will also be disseminated by multiple secondary means (fax, email, and social media).
Q: How will stations receive updated information if the Amber Alert is activated in Indiana?
A: Stations shall log on to the website: www.amberalertindiana.com and the IASAC will keep the site updated with any new information on an alert.
Q: Will stations be notified when an Amber Alert is canceled?
A: Yes, the IASAC will send a broadcast fax to stations as well as email notification. Stations can also log onto www.amberalertindiana.com website to see if the alert is still active.
Q: What if critical information is received regarding an abduction; will there be another message over the EAS regarding the new information?
A: If significant new information becomes available that could be material to the case, a new alert may be issued by the IASAC using the EAS.
Q: Should calls come to the stations?
A: NO, Stations should state in the broadcast "do not contact this station". Anyone having information on an Amber Alert can call 1-888-58AMBER.
Q: Will stations receive notice when the child is found?
A: Yes. Once the child has been located the AMBER Alert will be terminated.
Q: What if the station is unattended at certain times of the day.
A. Stations are encouraged to develop Amber Alert protocols that will allow them to implement the Amber Alert program for their local listening area. While the initial alert will air if the EAS is left in the automatic mode, stations will need plans to staff their stations to continue sharing the information after the initial broadcast.
Q: How can I better educate my station and ensure that Amber Alert works well?
A. The IBA has sent all broadcast stations in Indiana the "Broadcasters Recommended Guidelines" and will continue to keep broadcasters informed on this program. The recommended "Broadcasters Guidelines" for the Amber Alert program can be found on www.amberalertindiana.com.
Stations can request additional copies from the IBA @ 1-800-342-6276 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educate all station personnel involved with the EAS and the News Department on all aspects of the statewide Amber Alert Plan.