Text to 911 for Emergencies now Available

text to 911 picture

On Tuesday, the state rolled out a statewide program allowing Minnesotans to text 911. While officials still want you to call 911 if possible, texting can be the first option for those deaf or hearing impaired along with those in situations where actually calling may be dangerous. 

While the ABE field is just beginning to move with its efforts to use cell phones in the classroom, I feel this is one skill that should be taught regardless if you have a set curriculum for cell phones or not.


The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Dos and Don’ts:


  • DO enter the numbers 911 in the “to” field.
  • DO text your exact address and type of emergency. 
  • DO send the message.
  • DO use simple words.
  • DO keep the message to 160 characters or less.
  • DO answer questions and follow instructions quickly.


  • DON’T use abbreviations. 
  • DON’T use emojis. 
  • DON’T send pictures or other multimedia. 
  • DON’T text if you’re able to call.
  • DON’T text and drive.
  • DON’T text 911 just to try it out. 

More information can found in a number of online articles including information from the Emergency Communications Network https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ecn/programs/911/Pages/text-to-911.aspx  

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