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Public Education

Things Everyone Needs to Know to Be 911 Ready

Help us help you!  In an emergency, seconds matter; being prepared can make a difference!  Talking through scenarios with other family members can help you Be 911 Ready!

Know when to use 911

Call or text 911 in an emergency:  to save a life, stop a crime, or to report a fire.  If you or someone else is hurt or very sick, call 911.  If you’re not sure if your situation is an emergency, err on the side of safety and call 911.  The call-taker can assess the event and guide you.  Call when you can, text when you can't!

Know your location

Emergency responders can’t help you if they don’t know where you are.  Train yourself to pay attention to where you are.  If you’re traveling, be able to identify the road, your direction, mile markers, exits, etc.  If you’re visiting a friend’s house, make a mental note of their address.  Make sure everyone in your home knows your street address.  Keep your address posted by your phone in case of an emergency.

Know your phone

We can call 911 from a variety of phones these days, which is great in an emergency.  However, not all phones and devices provide the 911 call-taker with your location information.  Wireline phones will provide your location to the call-taker, but cell and VoIP phones may not.  Contact your service provider for more information about the capabilities of your phone.

Remain calm

It may be hard to remain calm during an emergency, but when you do so, you make it easier for the call-taker to gather your information and get the right help on the way.  

Don’t hang up

If you have placed an emergency call to 911, stay on the line until the call-taker tells you it’s ok to hang up the phone.  They can dispatch help even when you are still on the line.  In addition, they may require more information or be able to provide you with assistance, so don’t hang up!

Don’t hang up

If you’ve called 911 by accident, it’s important to let the call-taker know.  If you hang up suddenly, the call-taker may call you back or may even send someone to your home to check on your safety.