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Major Improvement: Amber Alerts Will Now Include An Option Where You Can Text Back ‘Yikes’ After Getting A Mobile Notification

It’s always such a helpless feeling when an Amber Alert pops up on your phone and reports a missing child in danger. It can seem like there’s no good way to respond, which is why the child abduction alert system’s latest innovation is so welcome: Starting today, Amber Alerts will include an option where you can text back “yikes” after getting a mobile notification.

This is great!

The improved Amber Alerts will begin with a description of the abducted child, the suspect’s car, and other details about the abduction, and will then feature a one-touch dial option that lets you respond to the alert with the word “yikes.” So within seconds of learning that a 6-year-old boy was abducted by a man in a gray sweatshirt, you can fire off a “yikes” to quickly communicate your feelings about the potential tragedy.

A second notification will then pop up confirming that the Amber Alert team has received your response, and that they know you thought “yikes” and are upset about the abduction. According to officials, in cases where an update to the Amber Alert is issued warning that the kidnapper may be headed for the border, the system will allow you to either respond with the word “yikes” a second time or hit an alternate button to respond with the phrase “Awful. Just awful.”

What a win-win! Way to go, Amber Alert!