CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN'T... that is the message being spread by Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito County emergency communications centers. You can now text 911 to reach emergency responders in the tri-county area. Texting to 9-1-1 can be a benefit to those who are hearing impaired or in a situation where calling may put them at a greater risk such as domestic violence, while hiding from an intruder, or in a vehicle being driven by a drunk driver.
Texting 9-1-1 should be used as a last resort as calling 9-1-1 is faster; text messages can take longer to receive and may come in out of sequence. Location accuracy isn’t always as good as calling and, if you’re roaming or the text can’t get through, it will bounce back with a message saying “call 9-1-1."
Currently there are no language translation services available; all text messages to 9-1-1 must be in English using the Latin (regular) character set. The text messages should not include acronyms, emojis, or photos and they cannot be sent as a group message.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled and the service is unavailable, use a teletypewriter or TTY if available.