How to contact 911
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled and using a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency::
- Always contact 911 by making a voice call, if you can.
- If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled, and text-to-911 is not available, use a TTY or a telecommunications relay service, if possible.
- Remember – in most cases now, you cannot reach 911 by sending a text message.
In some circumstances, you may be able to reach emergency services in the United States by sending a text from your cell phone. This capability is only available in some areas. If at all possible, you should make a voice call. If you cannot make a voice call, a relay service or tty is the next choice.
Note that text-to-911 isn’t just for people who have difficulty using the telephone. Texting may be quieter than a voice call, which may help in some unsafe situations.
Here are some quick facts and FAQs.
More information, including a signed and captioned video, is available here.
The FCC maintains an Excel spreadsheet of locations where text-to-911 is available, updated monthly.
The FCC has adopted an order requiring wireless carriers and other text services to provide text-to-911 service within 6 months of receiving a request. The request must come from the emergency call center.