When a child is abducted or is missing, an AMBER alert can be issued, should the case meet the criteria set by the program:
The child is under the age of 17.
There is an imminent threat to the child.
There is information to provide about the abduction.
AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, but is named after Amber Hagerman, who was nine years old when she was abducted in Texas. The AMBER plan spread across the nation after 2003 when President George W. Bush enacted a law to allow all states to have the same method as Texas.
For people over the age of 65 who are missing, a Silver Alert can be issued to help law enforcement find the missing person. A Silver Alert could also be issued for people who are cognitively or developmentally impaired.
Blue Alerts provide the public with information about a person who has injured and poses an imminent threat to law enforcement or the general public.
The Green Alerts notify the public when a vulnerable veteran goes missing.