Alerts & Notifications

Missing Persons Alerts Program in Pennsylvania

The State of Pennsylvania has established an alert system to help find missing elderly people or children whose cases don't meet Amber Alert criteria.

by Rick Wimberly / February 21, 2011

No, this is not Amber Alert.  The State of Pennsylvania is trying to fill the gap between an Amber Alert and other missing persons situations.  Truth is that very few cases meet the Amber Alert criteria, even when children are involved.  So, Pennsylvania has created the "Missing Endangered Person Advisory System" or MEPAS. 

MEPAS is to be used to help find missing people whose cases don't meet Amber Alert criteria.  The MEPAS criteria is broad:  to help find people in unexplained, involuntary or suspicious circumstances who may be in danger.

MEPAS alerts are not as extensive as Amber Alerts where authorities often activate the Emergency Alert System (EAS), place info on digital signs, and use a wide array of public alerting systems.  MEPAS advisories will be sent to broadcast stations, newspapers, online sites and emergency services near the person's last known whereabouts.  They'll in turn use their methods to spread the word.

A nice consortium developed the system.  It included law enforcement, emergency management, broadcasters, the Department of Aging, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Different states have different systems for spreading the word on missing persons who don't qualify for Amber Alerts.  It's nice to see Pennsylvania develop a specific and "branded" initiative.

All the best,

Rick