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Text-to-9-1-1 is a new service in King County that will to help those who are deaf or…

hard of hearing, speech impaired, and anyone who might be unsafe if they were to be heard by an intruder or abusive partner.

While texting to 9-1-1 is a vital tool that increases accessibility to emergency services, the preferred method for those who can speak is to call.

If you do need to text 9-1-1 in an emergency:

  • Open the text messaging program on your cell phone
  • Create a new message
  • Enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field
  • Send the location of the emergency – including city – and the type of emergency help needed – police, fire, or medical – in the first message
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.
  • Type complete words, no abbreviation
  • Stay with your phone and be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from 9-1-1 call takers

There are limitation to text-to-9-1-1 including:

  • The system can only receive text, no pictures, videos, or emojis.
  • Texts to 9-1-1 are treated like all other texts, there is no priority.
  • Texting can be slower than making a voice call.
  • The system can only respond to texts in English.

Please help keep 9-1-1 available for those who need it. Do not send test texts. Text-to-9-1-1 is not for anonymous tips.

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About Laurie Hardie

Laurie is a rare Seattle-born Native. She has raised her children, but as a working mom knows how important it is to look and feel your best. She currently volunteers with Queen It’s a New Day, a non-profit organization in Everett, giving women a hand up to feel great inside and out. As a published author and life coach, Laurie is WARM’s Afternoon Traffic host with the philosophy of…” traffic is a lot like life, sometimes you have a speed –limit drive and sometimes you hit a slow-down or detour, but with the right guidance and information, we can all get through it together”.