Text Messaging and 911

emergency text messageYou know that you can call 911 from your cell phone (if you have service) or satellite phone (if you have one) when you’re in a wilderness emergency, but can you send a text message to 911?

The simple answer is that the ability to contact 911 using text is currently only available on a limited basis in a few markets.

Not really so simple, eh? And for this reason, you should not rely on text to reach 911. But someday in the future, this service may be more reliable. As reported on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) text-to-911 website, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have voluntarily committed to provide text-to-911 services by May 15, 2014 in all areas where a call center is prepared to receive text messages.

And an important rule will go into effect next week, on September 30, 2013, to help protect people who may try to text 911 during this transition time. Also reported on the FCC text-to-911 website is the news that the FCC is requiring that by this date “all wireless telephone companies and certain other text messaging providers…send an automatic ‘bounce-back’ message to any consumer who tries to send a text message to 911 where this service is not yet available.”

Want to learn more about mobile devices and emergency response?
Read my article on the About.com Survival Skills website:

“How to Call for Emergency Wilderness Rescue”

Photo © Flickr® user k4dordy.

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