What is “text to 911” technology?

Text to 911 is the ability to send a text message (SMS) to 911 from your mobile phone or handheld device. Effective March 1, 2016, Loudoun County’s new Emergency Communications Center will have the capability to receive text to 911 messages. Please note, however, that wireless carriers have up to 180 days to activate the service. Individuals with questions regarding their carrier’s text to 911 capabilities should contact their service providers directly for information.

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1. What is “text to 911” technology?
2. When should I text 911?
3. How do I text to 911?
4. Where can I text to 911?
5. How will I know if 911 received my text?
6. Is there a charge to text to 911?
7. Can I text to 911 in languages other than English?
8. What are some of the limitations associated with text to 911 service?