Texting to 9-1-1

Texting to 9-1-1

While texting is a great service, talking/calling 9-1-1 is preferred when possible.

Currently available for Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and C Spire customers in Mobile County.

The goal is to provide texting to 9-1-1 capability to the residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, as well as others who need to use text in emergency situations.

Text to 9-1-1 service should not raise your wireless bill. It’s funded by an existing fee that is already included in your phone service fees.

National Emergency Number Association (NENA) to 9-1-1 Tips

Call if you can, text if you can’t.

Can I send a text to 9-1-1?

Texting to 9-1-1 is not available in most areas. The 9-1-1 industry is committed to working with wireless carriers and the FCC to implement text-to-9-1-1 throughout the country in the next few years. You may check with your local 9-1-1 center or the FCC website to see if it is available in your area.

When text -to-9-1-1 is available in your area please remember : texting should only be used when you are unable to make a voice call to 9 -1-1.

How to text 9 -1-1 in an emergency:

  • Enter the numbers “9-1-1” in t he “To” field;
  • The first text message to 9- 1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed;
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9 -1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.

Below are a few things to know if you need to text 9- 1-1:

  • Text location information is not equal to current location technology.
  • As with all text messages, 9 -1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received.
  • Text -to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text -to-9-1-1
  • If texting to 9- 1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable , you will receive a message indi cat ing that text ing 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9- 1-1 by other means .
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9- 1-1 at this time.
  • Text -to-9-1-1 can not include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9 -1-1.
  • Do not text and drive!


There are a number of limitations with this system you should be aware of:

  • Location inaccuracies. It is critical that you know your location. Many people assume that exact location coordinates are automatically sent to 9-1-1 Centers. While this may be true for most wireline phones, 9-1-1 centers cannot always identify your location if you’re contacting us from a cell phone, and location accuracy is even worse for texting than it is for voice calls. So, just like when you voice call 9-1-1 from a cell phone, you need to be able to describe where you are so we can send you help.
  • Texts to 9-1-1 cannot include photos, video, emoticons or other multimedia elements.
  • 9-1-1 Centers will not be able to transfer Text to 9-1-1 calls to outside service providers such as crisis lines.
  • Do not send your message to multiple people in a group text, because this will stop the message from reaching a 9-1-1 Center.
  • Please text in English. At this time, language interpreting service isn’t available for Text to 9-1-1. 9-1-1 dispatchers will do their best to assist you if you aren’t able to text in English.