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Now you can text 911

Now you can text 911
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

I hope you never find yourself in a situation where you need to call 911 for help. In case you ever do, you have a very helpful new option.

Beginning today, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon will let you text for 911 help in some areas with 911 dispatchers.

You'll need to enter "911" in the number field, then state your emergency in the body of the text, then hit send. Call centers that are set up for receiving texts will then pass the message on to the appropriate authorities.

Don't text photos or video - the dispatchers can't receive them.

It's important to know that texting 911 isn't available everywhere yet. Here's an FCC list of where it is available. (This is a PDF. If you're having trouble opening it, you can update your default PDF reader or get a new one here.)

If Text-to-911 isn't available yet in your area, you can still call 911.

Need more information on the program? Go to the FCC's Text-to-911 page.

Here are some great apps to have on your phone in case of emergency.

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