Ways to be Prepared if 911 Goes Out

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911 services do not often go out, but it can happen. In 2018, a massive outage at a data center led to 911 being out across several states and that could happen again due to many causes. So, what do you do if 911 is no longer available?


Some areas support the ability to text to 911. Even during outages, most often the text-to-911 services remain running. To see if your area supports the service, you can visit the Federal Communications Commissions website and look at the Text 911 Master PSAP Registry.

Text for Rescue

After an earthquake in Haiti, a woman was rescued from under the rubble by texting someone from Canada. Knowing someone you can text when an emergency or disaster strikes and you cannot reach 911 could help increase chances of survival.

Local Emergency Numbers

If you haven't done this yet, look up and keep a list of emergency numbers somewhere easily accessed. You can use your phone, write it down and place it somewhere in your home, car or wherever you believe you will easily find them if needed. Sometimes the power goes out, circuits break, and software crashes, so it's always good to have backup numbers for an emergency.


You should always stock and maintain emergency preparedness and first aid kits. In the event of a natural disaster, clean water and non-perishable food that can be grabbed and taken at a moment's notice is always excellent, as well as a fully stocked first aid kit in the bag and one for the house.

In an emergency, 911 is the best place to start for a response, but should you ever encounter issues where the system is down, make sure you have your first aid kit stocked, a disaster preparedness kit ready and the numbers of your local police, fire stations and hospital on you at all times. Saving these numbers on your phone will make these calls easier to make and ready to go when the timing is crucial.


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