Skip to Main Content

Emergency Services News

Too Dangerous to Talk? Text 911!


Buncombe County Emergency Responders are now accepting texting as an option for contacting 911. However, there are some important details you should know:

  • If you can make a voice call, they prefer you not text
    • In an emergency, seconds matter, and 911 operators can get more information from you quicker from a voice call than from a texting conversation.
    • When you first text 911, they will ask if you can get to a location to make a voice call. If not, continue with the text conversation. 
  • What are some situations that are good for texting 911:
    • If you are hiding and don't want to give your position away.
    • If you are in a domestic violence situation and need to discreetly contact first responders or the authorities.
    • If you have bad cell reception, sometimes it is difficult for calls to go through, but texts still have the ability to send.
  • If you text 911, what should you know beforehand:
    • Texting 911 has limited abilities to let first responders know your exact location, so if you text 911, make sure you specify your exact location.
    • Make sure you specify what kind of emergency it is. Is it a fire? Is it a medical emergency? Do you require law enforcement? Make sure to let them know in the initial text.

For more information about texting 911, you can visit buncombecounty.org/911