We make it a priority to keep communities informed of imminent threats to safety – and to alert them to missing persons in their area – by using Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs).
What types of WEAs are there?
WEAs are free wireless notifications delivered to WEA-enabled mobile devices as part of a public safety system in conjunction with federal, state and local authorities.
There are three types of WEAs:
- Presidential Alerts: These alerts issued by the president can include news of national concern.
- Imminent Danger Alerts: These alerts can warn you of extreme weather or other threats to safety.
- AMBER Alerts: These alerts notify the community of abducted children or other missing persons who may potentially be sighted in the local area.
You may opt out of Imminent Danger and Amber Alerts through the Settings menu on your device, but you may not opt out of Presidential Alerts per federal mandate.
Enhanced 911, also known as E911, allows Verizon to provide enhanced location information to emergency call takers so they can more effectively route calls for emergency assistance.
How does E911 work?
he E911 information we provide to public safety answering points does two things:
It automatically delivers the 911 caller’s telephone number to the call-taker.
It enables the call-taker to obtain an approximate location of the caller so they can dispatch emergency responders who are near that location.
E911 works for all GPS-capable phones, including all wireless phones sold by Verizon Wireless since December 31, 2003.
Verizon Wireless does not provide E911 service for calls placed through any third-party applications you may have downloaded to make voice calls. Refer to the terms of service for these apps to learn whether you can reach 911 when using them.
Here are some important points to keep in mind about the limitations of E911:
Verizon Wireless' E911 service works only where Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) have upgraded to Enhanced-911 capable equipment or systems.
Because wireless phones can react to the environment – for example, due to weather conditions or surrounding terrain – the enhanced location information we provide to emergency call takers can’t guarantee a precise location.
In some places, public safety call takers still rely solely on the caller's descriptions to locate and dispatch help to people in emergency situations.
Depending on your location, you may be able to text 911 in an emergency instead of calling.
You can check with your local public safety officials to learn if the local 911 center is prepared to accept text-to-911 messages. Public information lines, such as 211 or 311, may also have more information on text-to-911 service availability. And the FCC’s website maintains some information at www.fcc.gov/text-to-911.
Some important things to know about text-to-911
Voice calls remain the best way to contact 911, as a phone conversation allows an emergency dispatcher to quickly gather important facts about your situation, such as your location, and talk you through any necessary steps.
Texting, on the other hand, is not always instantaneous and therefore it may take slightly longer to dispatch emergency services. Texts must first be typed and sent by the person requesting emergency services and then read by the dispatcher, who will then need to reply via text.
Other things to keep in mind about text-to-911 service:
- If a text is sent to a dispatch center that is not equipped for text-to-911, you will receive an auto reply instructing you to call the 911 center.
- Text-to-911 requires the use of text messaging service provided by Verizon Wireless. Other messaging apps may not support text-to-911.
- The character limit for all text messages is 160.
- Make sure to include the nature of your emergency in your message and be as clear and concise as possible. Do not use slang or abbreviations.
- Always provide your location, as your location can only be approximated through a text.
- You need to be in range of Verizon Wireless cell towers to send a text.
- Do not attach pictures, video, other attachments or other recipients to the message.
- Text-to-911 is for emergency use only.
Emergency Related News
Reliability matters when it comes to communications. Verizon personnel prepare year-round to deliver strong and reliable services for our customers – wireless and landline – to help them stay connected in case severe weather, wildfires, or other hazards impact our communities. To that end, we launched an Emergency Resource Center in 2019.
Visit the resource center in times of need.
Emergency Resource Center in 2019 is updated every time there is an event that impacts our customers and our networks. The center will provide the latest information, tips and ways to contact us.
Verizon continues to work on staging and testing emergency response equipment, scheduling fuel deliveries, reinforcing network assets and other logistics to buttress service and respond in the case of emergency. These efforts are underpinned by the company’s long-term investment in its networks – both in big cities and less-populated areas.