Residents and visitors in Howard County and the state of Maryland can now text 911 in an emergency. Review the below Q&A for more information on the program.
Q: What is text-to-911?A: Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message from your mobile phone to 911 in the event you are unable to place a phone call.
Q: Can I text 911?A: Text-to-911 is not available everywhere and may not be available when roaming. In the state of Maryland, text-to-911 is available statewide with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. To text 911, you must be enrolled in your carrier’s text or data plan. If text-to-911 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message letting you know to contact 911 by other means.
Q: When should I text 911?A: Text-to-911 is intended for use in three primary scenarios:
1. For individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a speech disability2. For someone who is in a situation where it is unsafe to place a voice call to 9113. For an individual who is experiencing a medical emergency and may be unable to speak
You should only text 911 in an emergency. Prank-texters can be identified and prosecuted according to local laws and regulations.
Q: What are the challenges with text-to-911 service?A: As with all text messages, texts to 911 may take longer to receive and respond than a voice call. Texts also do not provide the location of the texter,