Orange County Government, Florida
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Text to 911 in Orange County


Citizens and visitors in Orange County can now send a text message to 911 during an emergency or life-threatening situation. When seconds matter, a voice call to 911 is the best and fastest way for the 911 call taker to retrieve and deliver life-saving information. A text message may take longer.

When should you Text to 911 Things to remember about Text to 911
  • You are hearing impaired
  • You are speech impaired
  • Making a voice call places you in a dangerous situation
  • You have tried to call 911, but can’t get phone reception
  • Always provide your exact location and the nature of the emergency
  • Remember to silence your phone if you are in a dangerous situation
  • Avoid using slang, social media jargon or abbreviations
  • Do not send photos, emojis or videos
  • Do not send a group text

Remember – Call If You Can. Text When You Can’t


Texting Service Limitations


Response time is critical during an emergency. Text to 911 may increase the emergency response time. Additionally, texting to 911 is not a universal service. While available in Orange County, it is not available in all areas. If you try to text to 911 and the service is not available, you will receive a bounce back message advising you to make a voice call to 911.

Insufficient access to wireless or cellular service may cause the text message to be delayed or not received by the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Text messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, or other social media messenger apps may not support Text to 911.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


› What is Text to 911?

Text to 911 is the ability to send a text message (SMS) from your messaging-enabled mobile phone to your local 911 service. You must have a data plan to send a text message to 911. Please note, a texting 911 will typically take longer than a voice call. You should only send a text to 911 when a voice call is not an option.

› How do I use it?

Keep your message brief. Simply text your exact location and the nature of the emergency to 911 (no spaces or dashes). Additionally, respond to the 911 telecommunicators questions and instructions promptly and do not text photos, videos, slang or abbreviations.

› Who should use Text to 911?

You should only Text to 911 when a voice call is not a safe or viable option for the specific situation. Texting in an emergency may be beneficial if you are hearing or speech impaired, or if a voice call may place you in a dangerous situation.

› Can I Text to 911 from now on instead of calling?

A voice call to 911 is always the preferred way to access help in an emergency as a text message may take longer. You should only Text to 911 when a voice call is not a safe or viable option.

› Is Text to 911 available everywhere in the United States?

Text to 911 is not available in all areas. You can check the FCC Text to 911 Master PSAP Registry to learn where Text to 911 is currently available.

› How will I know if my Text to 911 message was received?

Text to 911 messages that were not delivered to a PSAP will receive an automated bounce-back message telling users their text did not go through and directing them to make a voice call to 911.