In a recent survey performed by the Red Cross, over 50% of the respondents replied that they would send a text message to a response agency to request help. The survey also found 35 percent would post a request to an agency’s facebook page, and 28 percent would try to Twitter an agency for help.
The survey found that 69 percent believe that response agencies should monitor their Web and social media sites to promptly respond to requests for help. Here is a link to the entire article. http://bit.ly/crvkrR
With all that you hear about Next Generation 911, (NG911) you would think that this technology may be available today, it is not.
Best guess by industry experts are, that the technology to accept text messages at a Public Safety Answering Point/Dispatch Center is 5 years away. Rest assured that the problems are plenty and that the IP network to achieve this NG911 capability, is being looked at by federal, state, and local government and response organizations, along with industry experts. Work is ongoing to plan for and to build the reliable network and technology for the ability to text 911. It is not here yet though.
In the meantime we will continue to use our landlines and cell phones (out a window or outside, please) to contact 911 by voice, or for the hearing impaired by TTY.
Expectations are out pacing technology!