FYI: You Can Now Text 911

Meghan Blalock

In today’s digital age, it may seem like a bit of a disconnect (literally) that you have to actually call 9-1-1 every time you’re in an emergency and need help. Well, the nationwide emergency assistance network is finally getting with the times: starting today, in certain parts of the country, you can text 9-1-1 for assistance.

MORE: 5 Easy Ways to De-Slob Your House

The service, which is called “Text-to-9-1-1” and has been in the works for some time now, is mainly considered a service for deaf citizens, those with speech disabilities, and other people who can’t speak—like, for instance and God forbid, if you were ever kidnapped and in a situation when you couldn’t talk but had access to your cell phone.

MORE: Need a Ride? Get a Lyft

How it works: if you’re in an area where this service has officially launched (you can check out the full list here), all you have to do is open a new text, type in 911, and send your message. The one recommendation made by the Federal Communications Committee, who is overseeing this launch, is that you always provide your location in your message. (This makes sense, since with normal 911 calls, your location is automatically traced.)

Head to the FCC website to learn more!