Keeping contact with emergency responders during an outage


In the event of cellular service disruptions, such as the one that impacted Verizon customers earlier this month, it is important that Maricopa residents know they have options for contacting emergency responders, according to the City of Maricopa.

Federal regulations have made this a priority.

The FCC requires wireless providers to transmit all 911 calls to an emergency call center, regardless of whether the caller subscribes to the provider’s service.

All wireless phones can still call 911, whether or not it is subscribed to or supported by a specific carrier. In many cases, calls to 911 will go through even if a phone shows no signal bars. In the event of an outage that impacts service to the emergency call center in Maricopa, calls are automatically rerouted to another call center (Chandler).

Maricopa and all of Pinal County announced in 2021 the ability to send a text message to reach 911 emergency. While texting is available, voice calls to 911 are more expedient and provide much more information to 911 call centers.

How to text 911

• Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field on your mobile device.
• ALWAYS provide your location and the nature of your emergency in your original text message.
• “Send” your message.
• Be prepared to answer questions and follow any instructions provided to you by the 911 operator.
• Reply as quickly as possible.
• Always remember to use simple words. No abbreviations!

Important facts to know

• Voice calls are ALWAYS the best option for contacting 911.
• Texting is not available from deactivated cell phones, but you can still call 911 from them.
• A text-to-911 may take longer to be received, may be delivered out of order or not received at all.
• Text-to-911 is not available if your cellular device is in ‘roaming’ status.
• You will receive a ‘bounce back’ message when texting is not available.
• Photos and videos cannot be sent to 911.
• Do not text and drive!

You can also sign up to receive emergency notification for Pinal County residents by clicking here.