​Make Certain Emergency Responders Can Locate You

Check out our page on addressing tips to make sure help can find you if you have an emergency.

When You Call 911
Emergencies are stressful situations so it is important that you remain calm and answer all of the Operator's questions.  If you are calling from an apartment, condominium, motel or hotel, tell the Operator the unit number and what floor you are on.  Answer all of the Operator's questions as best as you can and calmly follow their directions.  They may give you specific instructions to provide assistance while help is on the way.

Today, there are many different types of telephone service.  Some customers have the standard wire line telephone service from a local phone company, while others have telephone service that uses internet services, called VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).  It is important to understand what type of service you have, and how you use it to call 911​. 


Below are some examples of the different types of telephone service in use today.

Text to 911

Text if it is unsafe to call

  • Abduction
  • Domestic Violence
  • Home Invasion

Text if you have a medical condition or injury that prevents you from speaking


You have poor or limited voice call coverage

Call if you can, Text if you can't

Click here for more information about text to 911 in Palm Beach County

911 Technical Services Logo.png 

Don't Text and Drive



You may have your telephone service set up through your local cable company such as Comcast Xfinity.  This service uses a modem that plugs into your telephone and uses internet technology for your calls.  Generally, 9-1-1 will be set up by the cable company when you subscribe, however if you move it is important that you make certain the cable company has changed your address in their system as well.​


MagicJack uses your computer to make local and long distance telephone calls by plugging your telephone into your computer.  It will then connect your call through technology on the internet.  In order to contact 9-1-1 you must enable this service on your my.magicJack.com​ ​account.​


Vonage uses the internet to connect ​your local and long distance phone calls.  The service sends your phone call over the internet instead of the standard telephone lines.  For 9-1-1 services, the customer is responsible for setting up their full address with Vonage and must maintain their address with the company.  If you move, even for a short time, you will have to change your location with Vonage.​


When you call 9-1-1, technology in the phone tells the cell tower where you are, and routes this information to the 9-1-1 center.  However, you should do your best to tell the dispatcher where you are when they ask you. 

Cell phones that are inactive can still dial 9-1-1.

Many programs are available to donate your old cell phones to victims of domestic violence, or low income families who need to call for help quickly. 

Please remember to remove the battery before giving a child an old cell phone to play with.  Many times, they can accidently call 9-1-1.

​You should have an extra battery for your phone in the event there is a power outage and you cannot recharge your phone.  Many electronic stores also sell portable chargers for mobile devices.​ 


If your cable, power, or internet services goes out, you will also lose your telephone associated with your service provider.  You should always have a back up plan, such as cell phone service, or knowing your neighbors to ask for help if you need it.​