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  • Writer's picturejeannettesutton

Missing Person Alert Using Plain Language

We frequently see missing persons alerts that are incomplete, difficult to read, and filled with acronyms and jargon. This makes a difficult condition to communicate effectively even more difficult to act upon. As WEA is used for more conditions that outside of imminent threats to the public, it becomes more important for agencies that use the IPAWS system to communicate well to prevent audience disengagement or decline in organizational credibility.

In this case, we see a message that is fairly complete (source, hazard/missing person, location, guidance to the public) and is communicated in plain language. Notably, the 360-character message says the person is "in the Angier area" but the 90-character message (not shown) is more exact stating "Mabry Rd area."

Some text is repeated (dementia), the headline of the message doesn't clearly state "missing person," and there is no phone number listed in reference to "notify HCSO."


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