By now, I’m sure that most Ontarians know of this:
ONTARIO AMBER ALERT IN EFFECT pic.twitter.com/qJod9JnATM
— AMBER Alert Ontario (@AMBERAlertONT) May 14, 2018
By the time that you read this, I’m really hoping that there was a happy conclusion to the Amber alert.
Hearing about it was an experience for me. I always have my cellphone muted. I don’t want to be known as the person who constantly has beeps and bops coming from their pocket.
So, I was really surprised when I received the alert Monday.
Not only was the sound from my phone but it was really loud. It was the first time that I’d received an alert like this on the phone. For some reason, I didn’t get the test alert that was supposed to be sent out last week. https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/real-amber-alert-sounds-as-officials-probe-how-mobile-alert-system-tests-failed-1.3928793
It was a reminder that technology isn’t always what you think. In my case, my phone was perfectly muted. Yet, the message came through loudly – really loudly – and clearly. In fact, I didn’t know that my phone could be that loud. Even when amplifying the sound, once you go over half volume, I get a warning that sounds at this level could be damaging.
Interestingly, when I grabbed my phone to see what was happening, there was a full screen message on display. I tapped on OK, hoping that would silence the phone. It did but had the side effect of making the message go away before I had a chance to read it all.
Fortunately, my weather application was broadcasting the same alert and I was able to go in there and read it in its entirety. In a couple of minutes, the same alert was broadcast on satellite television.
The really good news is that such an important message like this was broadcast effectively on a number of different media.
Ever the teacher though, I can imagine a classroom where students have all their devices set to mute as per school or classroom policy and then all going off at the same time with this alert. I know that it got my attention and I jumped with just my one phone; I can’t imagine 30 going off at the same time!
Surely this procedure will have provided enough information to the Ontario Provincial Police to resolve things
It’s also a good idea to follow @AMBERAlertONT. Do that right now.
Addendum – just received another message that the boy was found safely