In Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties, you can now text 911 to reach emergency responders in the tri-county area. Texting to 911 can be a benefit to those who are hearing impaired or in a situation where calling may put them at greater risk such as domestic violence, while hiding from an intruder, or in a vehicle being driven by a drunk driver.
But remember: texting 911 should be used as a last resort, as calling 911 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 911 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.
Thanks to the New Monterey Neighborhood Association for this information. You can receive useful tips and news like this in their monthly newsletter, sent to all dues-paying members of the NMNA. (Dues are only $10 per year!)