Text-to-9-1-1 when it isn't safe to call

When should I use Text-to-9-1-1?

  • When you are in a situation that is not safe to call 9-1-1
  • If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a speech disability
  • During a medical emergency that impacts your ability to speak

Can anyone Text-to-9-1-1?

Any text enabled device with a Wireless Service Provider (WSP) and SMS texting plan is compatible. This includes iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, Android Phone, tablets and some Windows phones and tablets that meet this criteria.

Uninitialized cell phones (phones without a service plan) and software texting applications (ie. WhatsApp, iMessage, Skype, Google Voice, Xfinity Home Phone/Television Texting) are not compatible.

Can I Text-to-9-1-1 in any language?

Text-to-911 is currently available in English only. However, access to additional languages is under development through the State of California.

Text-to-9-1-1 tips:

  • Enter “911” in the text “To” field
  • Your first text message to 9-1-1 should include the location and a brief description of the emergency
  • Push the “Send” button
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 Dispatcher
  • Text in simple words – avoid abbreviations, slang and emojis
  • Photos and video cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time
  • Do not text and drive
  • Voice calls to 9-1-1, when safe and possible, are always the best and fastest way to get help